Navy Admiral Charles A. Richard is mincing any words these days. The U.S. Strategic Commander announced that in light of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent threats, nuclear war is possible for the first time since the Cold War.
Putin is mobilizing more of his military, calling up 300,000 military reservists, The Wall Street Journal reported. “Russia will use all the instruments at its disposal to counter a threat against its territorial integrity—this is not a bluff,” Putin said in a 15-minute national address on Sept. 21 when he blamed the West for the conflict. “To those who allow themselves such statements, I would like to remind them, Russia also has many types of weapons of destruction, the components of which in some cases are more modern than those of the countries of NATO,” continued Putin.
The Cold War refers to a period of geopolitical tension between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War ran from March 12, 1947, to Dec. 26, 1991.
Richard spoke on a panel discussion entitled “America Under Attack—Defending the Homeland” held during the Air & Space Forces Association’s 2022 Air, Space & Cyber Conference, at National Harbor, Maryland, Newsweek reported.
Speaking on the panel to discuss national security, Richard said: “All of us in this room are back in the business of contemplating competition through crisis and possible direct armed conflict with a nuclear-capable peer.
“We have not had to do that in over 30 years. The implications of that are profound.
“They’re profound for homeland defense. They’re profound for strategic deterrence as well as us achieving national objectives. And this is no longer theoretical.
Richard also addressed the dangers that Russia and China could pose to the U.S.
American and other Western officials have already shot back at Putin’s decision reservists as an act of desperation, and warned the Russian leader of “severe consequences” if he carried out the nuclear weapons threat, The New York Times reported.
Despite Putin’s threat and the West response to it, there are current and former U.S. military officials who remain skeptical of Putin’s mobilization plans as they point out it could take months for Russia to train and equip additional combat-ready troops.
“He has suffered tens of thousands of casualties. He has terrible morale and unit cohesion on the battlefield,” John Kirby, a National Security Council spokesman, told “Good Morning America.” “He has desertion problems and is forcing the wounded back into the fight. So clearly manpower is a problem for him.”
Photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin in Veliky Novgorod, Russia, Sept. 21, 2022. (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)/In this Nov. 18, 2019 photo, Vice Adm. Charles A. Richard, commander of US Strategic Command, speaks to reporters following a change of command ceremony at Offutt AFB in Nebraska. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)/The Dec. 4, 1989 file photo shows U.S. Navy launching a Trident II, D-5 missile from the submerged submarine USS Tennessee in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin, File)