US intelligence director warns Russia will amplify nuclear threats as war worsens

by Trinity Cardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


The lieutenant general who oversees the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his underlings were likely to intensify their overt and direct threats of nuclear war.

As first reported by Bloomberg, Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, director of DIA, warned in a threat assessment report that, if Russian success in Ukraine either fails or is slow in coming, Putin will make ever-more-boisterous threats about deploying weapons of mass destruction.

“As this war and its consequences slowly weaken Russian conventional strength,” Berrier wrote, “Russia likely will increasingly rely on its nuclear deterrent to signal the West and project strength to its internal and external audiences.”

It’s important to note the use of the word deterrent. As of today, there have been no credible threats of active use of a nuclear weapon, but fears in the West are being stoked by the unwaveringly brutal method by which Putin is orchestrating his war on Ukraine.

“U.S. efforts to undermine Russia’s goals in Ukraine, combined with its perception that the United States is a nation in decline, could prompt Russia to engage in more aggressive actions not only in Ukraine itself, but also more broadly in its perceived confrontation with the West,” Berrier wrote.

However, Putin’s goal remains the reestablishing of dominance over the nations that used to comprise the Soviet Union. The threat of nuclear attacks is, then, as much a bully tactic as it is a true warning — and using nuclear escalation as a cudgel would be in keeping with the Cold War error strategy to which Putin seems to be reverting.

Berrier predicted Putin, like his Soviet forebears, will seek to use fear as a means of forcing the West, Ukraine, or any adversary into acquiescing to Putin’s demands.

While it is unclear if Putin would ever follow through on his threats – or if he has engendered enough loyalty from his military that officers would fire a nuclear warhead if ordered to do so – it is becoming more evident by the day that Russia is running out of options.

Not only is the economy under the strain of international sanctions, China has not enthusiastically rallied to Russia’s support — and Ukraine has, with the help of Western backing, slowed Russia’s advancement.

Time, money, and morale are all against Putin.

“We have anecdotal indications that Russian morale is flagging,” a senior defense official told reporters Thursday. “Now, I want to be careful here … we’re not polling all of the battalion tactical groups. We don’t have insight into every unit in every location.

“But we certainly have picked up anecdotal indications that morale is … not high in some units. And some of that is, we believe, a function of poor leadership, lack of information that the troops are getting about their mission and objectives, and — I think disillusionment– from being resisted as fiercely as they have been.”

However, Russia still enjoys a substantial advantage in manpower and long-range traditional weaponry.

“There’s a lot of fighting going on,” the senior official said. “The Ukrainians are … the reason why [Russian forces] haven’t been able to move forward and it’s because they are very actively resisting any movement by the Russians. So it’s not like a stall mate, where both sides are just kind of camped out. They are actively resisting any movement by the Russians.

“But again, the Russians have advantages in terms of the long-range fires, and they are continuing to use that in Kyiv.”