Ex-CIA Chief’s Retaliation Threats in Case Putin Uses Nukes in Ukraine Likely to Escalate Tensions
In a major sign that the war in Ukraine could escalate, former CIA director and retired four-star army general David Petraeus on Sunday warned the US and NATO would wipe out the Russian troops and equipment in Ukraine and sink its Black Sea fleet if Russian president Vladimir Putin uses nuclear weapons.
“Just to give you a hypothetical, we would respond by leading a Nato – a collective – effort that would take out every Russian conventional force that we can see and identify on the battlefield in Ukraine and also in Crimea and every ship in the Black Sea,” Petraeus told ABC News.
Tensions are on the rise after Russian president Vladimir Putin said that if Ukraine attempts to attack Russian territories which have been annexed last month, Russia will not hesitate to use ‘various weapons of destruction’.
Former president Dmitry Medvedev was more direct when he said Russia has the right to use its nuclear weapons to defend its own territories.
Petraus was questioned if Russia used nuclear weapons on Ukrainian territory would it constitute an attack on NATO and would it then trigger Article 5.
The alliance’s Article 5, which calls for a collective defence, is triggered when one NATO member state is attacked, thus triggering a response from all member states.
Petraus said in case of a nuclear event and if the radiation extends to NATO countries under the Article 5 umbrella it could trigger a response from NATO nations.
“No amount of mobilisation; no amount of annexation; no amount of even veiled nuclear threats can actually get him out of this particular situation,” Petraus said.
Republican senator Marco Rubio past week said that Putin could likely attack logistical distribution points and could even attack places inside Poland where US and NATO weapons are being transferred to Ukrainian troops.
“He may strike one of these logistical points. And that logistical point may not be inside … Ukraine,” Rubio was quoted as saying by the Guardian. He warned that NATO may see the action as an escalation even if Vladimir Putin does not.
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