Former US Marine Corps officer Scott Ritter warned that NATO’s “aggressive and irresponsible” attitude could encourage Russia to use its nuclear weapons.
The nuclear weapons inspector, who served on General Norman Schwarzkopf’s staff during the First Gulf War, pointed to efforts to attract Finland and Sweden to full NATO members.
Both countries are interested in buying F-35A fighter jets from the US. The fighter is nuclear-capable and is highly considered by Russia in the conflict map in the Baltic region.
Scott Ritter was once the inspector of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and he now writes extensively on international security, military affairs, Russia, and the Middle East issues.
The article written by Scott Ritter was published on the Russia Today website, Tuesday (26/4/2022). Ritter criticized the overreaction of the US intelligence elite and circles.
“Russia may not be prepared to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. However, NATO’s irresponsible attitude could result in an increase in the potential of Russia’s nuclear weapons for use in Europe,” Ritter wrote in his latest article.
The most modern US-produced F-35A fighter jet, certified as a nuclear-capable aircraft in October 2021, has been tested using the B-61 nuclear bomb.
Stocks of US Nuclear Bombs in Europe.
The US keeps a stockpile of about 150 B-61 nuclear bombs at various depots across Europe. These weapons are intended for use by the US and what NATO members call “non-nuclear”.
NATO allies currently operate the F-35, such as Poland, Denmark, and Norway. They may be asked to support future NATO nuclear sharing missions.
Finland recently announced plans to buy 60 F-35A fighters, a move that can only be considered worrying by Russia given Finland’s desire to join NATO.
Extensive use by the US and other NATO air forces of the F-35A to support so-called “Baltic air policing” operations.
The effort is underway over the skies of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, which Russia views as a serious threat, given that any F-35A in the air must be treated as a potential nuclear-armed threat.
NATO should be aware of the fact that the “Russian Basic Principles” list the deployment of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery in the non-nuclear weapons territory” as a “neutralized using nuclear deterrence” scenario.
US Intelligence Exaggeration.
The director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), William Burns, recently made headlines when answering questions from reporters about the threat posed by Russia’s nuclear weapons in the context of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
“Given the potential desperation of President [Vladimir] Putin and the Russian leadership, given the setbacks they have faced so far militarily, none of us can underestimate the threat posed by the potential use of tactical or low-yield nuclear weapons. guns,” Burns said at the time.
Burns’ statement stems from the fact that Ukraine, the US, and the media have stated that Russia is experiencing a serious setback in Ukraine and is eager to save the military situation on the ground.
Russia denies this, saying what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine is proceeding as planned, after moving on to the second phase, which focuses on destroying Ukrainian military forces in and around the Donbas region.
Burns was unable to provide concrete evidence to support his claims about the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
“While we have seen some rhetorical stance on the part of the Kremlin about moving to a higher level of nuclear alert, so far we have not seen much practical evidence of the type of military deployment or disposition that would substantiate those concerns,” Burns said.
“But we care very much about it, it’s one of our most important responsibilities at the CIA,” he said
Burns’ exaggerated and unfounded concerns were put front and center on the international stage by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky when answering a question posed by a CNN reporter.
“We should not wait for the moment when Russia decides to use nuclear weapons,” Zelensky replied.
“We have to be prepared for that,” he continued.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rejected Zelensky’s statement citing Burns. “(Zelensky) said a lot of things,” said Lavrov, speaking to reporters during his recent visit to India.
“I can’t comment on something, that was said by a person who wasn’t very adequate,” he added.
Lavrov noted that the US and Russia, during the June 2021 summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, reaffirmed the understanding of the Cold War era.
“There can be no victor in a nuclear war,” a statement adopted by the Five Permanent Members of the Security Council (Russia, US, China, France, and Great Britain) in January 2022.
Lavrov stressed the fact that this statement remains in full force and effect, and that Russia will only use conventional weapons in Ukraine.
Burns and Zelensky’s statements, which were exaggerated by the western media, were more interested in sensationalizing headlines than understanding the reality of the situation regarding Russia’s nuclear posture.
Russia, and in particular its leader, Vladimir Putin, has no doubts about the reality of Russia’s nuclear deterrent capabilities.
Russia Wants Balance in the Baltic Region.
Indeed, Putin, when announcing the start of the operation, raised the specter of Russia’s nuclear power status when warning the US, NATO, and the European Union not to intervene directly in Ukraine.
“Anyone who tries to interfere with us, and to create a threat to our country, to our people, should know that Russia’s response will be imminent and will lead to consequences you have never experienced in your history.”
Putin followed that statement with a sharper response to what he called the “unfriendly” actions of “western countries” in response to the Ukraine operation.
“Western countries have not only taken unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but high-ranking officials of leading NATO members have made aggressive statements about our country,” Putin said at a meeting with top officials.
He then directed Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and the military’s Chief of General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, to place Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces in a “special combat duty regime.”
While anti-Russian experts in the west immediately accused Putin’s directive of an order to increase the operational readiness of Russia’s nuclear arsenal.
The ability of the west to overreact to any news about Russia’s nuclear arsenal shows a lack of deep understanding of what Russia’s posture is like.