SCOTT RITTER: Nuclear High Noon in Europe

Now is the time for Biden to clarify U.S. nuclear doctrine. But he remains silent.

U.S. President Joe Biden  in July 2021. (White House, Adam Schultz)

By Scott Ritter
Special to Consortium News

On Monday, Oct. 17, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization kicked off Operation STEADFAST NOON, its annual exercise of its ability to wage nuclear conflict. Given that NATO’s nuclear umbrella extends exclusively over Europe, the indisputable fact is that STEADFAST NOON is nothing more than NATO training to wage nuclear war against Russia.

Nuclear war against Russia.

The reader should let that sink in for a moment.

Don’t worry, NATO spokesperson Oana Lungscu reassured the rest of the world, the purpose of STEADFAST NOON is to ensure that NATO’s nuclear war-fighting capability “remains safe and effective.” It is a “routine” exercise, not linked to any current world events. Moreover, no “real” nuclear weapons will be used — just “fake” ones.

Nothing to worry about here.

Enter Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general, stage right in the nuclear theater. In a statement to the press on Oct. 11, Stoltenberg declared that, “Russia’s victory in the war against Ukraine will be a defeat of NATO,” before ominously announcing, “This cannot be allowed.”

To that end, Stoltenberg stated, the STEADFAST NOON nuclear drills would continue as scheduled. These drills, Stoltenberg said, were an important deterrence mechanism in the face of Russian “veiled: nuclear threats.”

But they weren’t related to any current world events.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a foreign policy forum on Wednesday. (NATO)

Enter Volodymyr Zelensky, stage left. Speaking to the Lowy Institute, a nonpartisan international policy think tank in Australia, the Ukrainian president called for the international community to undertake “preventative strikes, preventive action” against Russia to deter the potential use of nuclear weapons by Russia against Ukraine.

While many observers interpreted Zelensky’s words to imply a request for NATO to carry out a preemptive nuclear strike against Russia, Zelensky’s aides were quick to try and correct the record, saying he was simply asking for more sanctions.

Enter Joe Biden, center stage. Speaking at a fund raiser on Oct. 6, the president of the United States said that, “For the first time since the Cuban missile crisis, we have a direct threat of the use of a nuclear weapon if in fact things continue down the path they are going.”

Biden went on: “We’ve got a guy I know fairly well. He’s not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming.”

Biden concluded: “I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily use a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon.”

While it has been made abundantly clear by the White House that Biden’s comments were his personal view, and not based on any new intelligence regarding Russian nuclear posture, the fact that a sitting U.S. president was speaking about the possibility of a nuclear “Armageddon” should send chills down the spine of every sane individual in the world.

No Kremlin Talk of Tactical Nuclear Weapons

March 31, 2011:  Russian nuclear submarine crews drill in the Murmansk region. (RIA Novosti archive, Mikhail Fomichev, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

First and foremost, there has been zero talk about the employment of tactical nuclear weapons from the Kremlin.


Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated that Russia would use “all the means at its disposal” to protect Russia. He said this most recently on Sept. 21, when in a televised address announcing partial mobilization, he accused the West of engaging in “nuclear blackmail,” citing “statements of some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO states about the possibility of using nuclear weapons of mass destruction against Russia.”

Putin was alluding to a statement that Liz Truss made prior to her election as British prime minister, when, in response to a question on whether she was ready to undertake the responsibility of ordering the use of the U.K.’s nuclear arsenal, she replied, “I think it’s an important duty of the prime minister and I’m ready to do that.”

“I want to remind you,” Putin said,

“that our country also has various means of destruction and in some components more modern than those of the NATO countries. And if the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people.”

Putin’s statements were consistent with that of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who in an address to the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security delivered on Aug. 16, asserted that Russia would not use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. According to Shoigu, Russian nuclear weapons are authorized for use under “exceptional circumstances” as described in published Russian doctrine, none of which apply to the Ukraine situation. Any talk of the use of nuclear weapons by Russia in Ukraine, Shoigu said, was “absurd.”

[Related: SCOTT RITTER: The Onus Is on Biden & Putin]

Apparently not to Biden, who despite his claim to know Putin “fairly well,” got it all wrong when talking about the potential for nuclear conflict.

The risk isn’t that Russia would start a pre-emptive nuclear war over Ukraine.

The risk is that America would.

Biden’s Pledge of ‘Sole Purpose Policy’

Biden came into office in February 2021 promising to enshrine in U.S. nuclear doctrine a “sole purpose policy,” under which “the sole purpose of our nuclear arsenal should be to deter — and, if necessary, retaliate against — a nuclear attack.”

It is now the middle of October 2022, and America finds itself in a situation where the president himself fears for a potential nuclear “Armageddon.”

If ever there was a time for Biden to make good on his pledge, now is it.

But he remains silent.

The danger inherent in Biden’s silence is that Putin and other Russian officials who are concerned about Russian national security must rely upon existing published U.S. nuclear doctrine, which continues to enshrine a policy of nuclear pre-emption promulgated during the administration of President George W. Bush. Under this doctrine, nuclear weapons are but another tool in the military’s toolbox, to be used as and when needed, including occasions where the destruction of battlefield targets for the simple purpose of gaining an operational advantage is the objective.

Nuclear-biological-chemical warfare practice in 1987 at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. (U.S. National Archives)

One can argue that this sort of non-nuclear preemption has its own inherent deterrence value, a sort of “madman” kind of vibe that makes an opponent question whether the president could act in such an irrational manner.

“I call it the Madman Theory,” former U.S. President Richard Nixon reportedly told his assistant, Bob Haldeman, during the Vietnam War. “I want the North Vietnamese to believe that I’ve reached the point that I might do anything to stop the war. We’ll just slip the word to them that ‘for God’s sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about Communism. We can’t restrain him when he’s angry — and he has his hand on the nuclear button’ — and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace.”

Madman Theory 

President Donald Trump. (White House/Shealah Craighead)

Former President Donald Trump breathed new life into Nixon’s “madman theory,” telling North Korea that if it continued to threaten the United States “[t]hey will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.” Trump went on to have three face-to-face meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un in a failed effort to bring about the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

It was under the Trump administration that the U.S. Navy deployed the W-76-2 low-yield nuclear warhead on its Trident submarine-launched ballistic missiles, giving the president a greater range of options when it came to the employment of nuclear weapons.

“This supplemental capability,” John Rood, the then-under secretary of defense for policy, declared, “strengthens deterrence and provides the United States a prompt, more survivable low-yield strategic weapon; supports our commitment to extended deterrence; and demonstrates to potential adversaries that there is no advantage to limited nuclear employment because the United States can credibly and decisively respond to any threat scenario.”

One such threat scenario that was tested involved the theoretical employment of a W-76-2 low-yield warhead in a Baltic European scenario in which targets from the actual wartime contingency were used as a point of illustration. In short, the U.S. trained to preemptively use the W-76-2 to compel Russia to back down (deescalate) less they risk a nuclear escalation resulting in a general nuclear exchange — in short, Armageddon.

Which brings us to the present time. As this article is being written, U.S. nuclear-capable B-52 bombers are flying to Europe from their U.S. bases, where they will practice delivering nuclear weapons against a Russian target. Dozens more aircraft, flying from Volkel Air Force Base in the Netherlands (home to an arsenal of U.S. B-61 nuclear bombs), will practice employing NATO nuclear weapons against…Russia.

Russia has responded to the NATO nuclear drill by going forward with its own annual nuclear exercise, “Grom” (Thunder). These drills will involve the large-scale maneuver of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces, including live missile launches. In a statement unmatched in its hypocrisy, a U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said “Russian nuclear rhetoric and its decision to proceed with this exercise while at war with Ukraine is irresponsible. Brandishing nuclear weapons to coerce the United States and its allies is irresponsible.”

Physician, heal thyself.

Oct. 22, 1962 — nearly 60 years ago to the day, President John F. Kennedy delivered a dramatic 18-minute television speech to the American people during which he revealed “unmistakable evidence” of the missile threat. Kennedy went on to announce that the United States would prevent ships carrying weapons from reaching Cuba and demanded that the Soviets withdraw their missiles.

At the same time, the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, Foy Kohler, delivered a letter from Kennedy to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, saying

“the one thing that has most concerned me has been the possibility that your government would not correctly understand the will and determination of the United States in any given situation, since I have not assumed that you or any other sane man would, in this nuclear age, deliberately plunge the world into war which it is crystal clear no country could win and which could only result in catastrophic consequences to the whole world, including the aggressor.”

June 3, 1961: The Soviet Union’s Nikita Khrushchev and U.S. President John F. Kennedy meet in Vienna. (U.S. State Department, John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, Wikimedia Commons)

Joe Biden would do well to reflect on that letter, and all that transpired after that, and understand that if you replace “United States” with “Russia,” one gets an accurate assessment of the current world view of Russia when it comes to NATO and nuclear weapons.

Now is not the time for drama, or theatrically inflammatory rhetoric. Now is the time for maturity, sanity…restraint. A sage leader would have recognized the possibility of misperception on the part of Russia when NATO, a mere week after being encouraged by the Ukrainian president to initiate a preemptive nuclear strike on Russia, carries out a major exercise where NATO practices dropping nuclear bombs on Russia. A sober leader would have postponed these drills and encouraged similar action from Russia regarding its nuclear exercises.

Instead, America gets an unscripted, off-the-cuff reference to a nuclear Armageddon from a narcissistic egomaniac who uses the horror of nuclear annihilation as a fund-raising mantra.

It would take but one miscalculation, a single misunderstanding to turn STEADFAST NOON into “High Noon,” and “Grom” (Thunder) into “Molnya” (Lightening).

We’ve seen this scenario before. In November 1983 NATO carried out a command post exercise, codenamed ABLE ARCHER ’83, designed to test “nuclear weapons release procedures.” The Soviets were so alarmed by this exercise, which they believed could be used to mask a preemptive nuclear strike by NATO against the Soviet Union, that they loaded nuclear warheads onto bombers, bringing NATO and the Soviet Union to the brink of a nuclear war.

Later, upon receiving intelligence reports about the Soviet fear of a U.S. preemptive nuclear strike, President Ronald Reagan commented that,

“We [the U.S.] had many contingency plans for responding to a nuclear attack. But everything would happen so fast that I wondered how much planning or reason could be applied in such a crisis…six minutes to decide how to respond to a blip on a radar scope and decide whether to unleash Armageddon! How could anyone apply reason at a time like that?”

This revelation led to a change in attitude on the part of a president who, until then, was known for labeling the Soviet Union as the “Evil Empire” and joking about launching nuclear missiles against the Soviet target.

A little more than four years after ABLE ARCHER ’83, Reagan sat down with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev and signed the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, a landmark agreement which, for the first time in arms-control history, eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons from the arsenals of both the U.S. and Soviet Union.

One can only hope that the current nuclear crisis will result in a similar arms control breakthrough in the not-so-distant future.

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. His most recent book is Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika, published by Clarity Press.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

42 comments for “SCOTT RITTER: Nuclear High Noon in Europe

  1. SteveB777
    October 20, 2022 at 17:29

    Thanks Scott for this article. I think it may be helpful to develop the scenario in which it is the US that does a ‘first use’ of the low yield W76-2 tactical nuke when they and NATO formally enter the Ukraine battlefield and start losing against the Russians. I think this is a more likely scenario than the western media’s claim that Putin will use a nuke. Given Biden’s dementia, the real puppet masters may have no qualms in using the W76-2.

  2. Mark Thomason
    October 20, 2022 at 16:06

    I can only hope that Biden does not “clarify” because the US policy is lunacy, and Biden’s various statements have constantly made things worse.

  3. October 20, 2022 at 14:08

    I discovered CN in 2013 when all this Ukraine stuff was just beginning to explode. I have been a loyal reader ever since. I find that they really do just ‘care what the truth is,’ and are entirely uninterested in making people look good or bad. Thanks, CN, for keeping me sane through all these years of insanity. I hope you will continue to do so for years to come, despite what NATO may have planned for all of us.

  4. Prompt Critical
    October 20, 2022 at 13:45

    Another excellent analysis by Scott Ritter. Perhaps not noticed so much by Scott, since he is so focused on actual sources of information, is the almost complete news blackout in the US regarding the existence of STEADFAST NOON. The exercise started on Monday. Here it is Thursday and the LA Times has mentioned it exactly zero times.

  5. Renate
    October 20, 2022 at 13:26

    What could be more dangerous than a president with dementia having his finger on the red button?
    That is what we have, and not one person in that administration has the character and backbone, to tell the truth.

  6. JonnyJames
    October 20, 2022 at 11:37

    We should require these warmongering sociopaths (don’t call them “hawks” please) Dr. Strangelove, while Scott Ritter and others ruthlessly ridicule and mock them. These people really are madmen and madwomen – the criminally insane.

    These deranged cowards are willing to fight to the last drop of everyone else’s blood, while they hide in their nuclear proof bunkers. I hear the top US billionaire oligarchs have compounds in New Zealand. Many at the State Dept. believe that a nuclear war is “winnable”
    Is there a psychologist in the house?

  7. Morton Brussel
    October 20, 2022 at 11:31

    This article should be submitted and published by the NYT , the WP, the WSJ,, …but of course who believes that it would be accepted?
    The pathetic nature of our times here.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      October 20, 2022 at 12:50

      I have posted it on Facebook and Twitter, as have many others. The mainstream media is becoming more and more irrelevant in the eyes of the working class.

  8. Manifold Destiny
    October 20, 2022 at 10:42

    “First and foremost, there has been zero talk about the employment of tactical nuclear weapons from the Kremlin… Zero.” – Scott Ritter

    Apparently many on the so-called Left have not gotten this message. To wit, this from Dr. Lawrence Wittner, Professor of History emeritus, SUNY/Albany, author of Confronting the Bomb:

    “Also, to intimidate other nations, their leaders—most notably Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, who commanded the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals?openly threatened to attack these nations with nuclear weapons.”

    Not only is the sentence awkward, guilty of mixing tenses, but the hyperlink for Vladimir Putin leads to a WaPo opinion piece from the Editorial Board (Oct. 3) that begins, “Twice recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin has raised the prospect of using nuclear weapons in the war he launched to destroy Ukraine.”

    Shame on you, “Professor,” and Counterpunch for publishing it. We expect this kind of innuendo and hyperbole from the mainstream press, we don’t need it from uneducated educators as well.

    Keep up the great work, Scott, CN, et al!

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      October 20, 2022 at 12:52

      I have long since regarded Counterpunch as a pseudo-left Democrat-supporting web site. It hasn’t been the same since Alex Cockburn died. It posts lots of manby-pamby liberal junk and expects us to take it seriously. Same goes for Amy Goodman.

      • Prompt Critical
        October 20, 2022 at 13:36


      • rosemerry
        October 20, 2022 at 13:56

        You are right. I used it for a long time, until I found articles by Matthew Stevenson (?)that I could hardly believe were on such a site. I wrote and explained/ complained, but had no reply and have avoided the site since finding a few more similar MSM posts there. Tomdispatch as well.

  9. Em
    October 20, 2022 at 10:38

    The following excerpt of a letter, cited by Scott Ritter, (above) from Kennedy to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev; from the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, Foy Kohler, saying … “since I have not assumed that you or any other sane man would, in this nuclear age, deliberately plunge the world into war which it is crystal clear no country could win and which could only result in catastrophic consequences to the whole world, (INCLUDING THE AGGRESSOR)” tells us that nothing has changed about the American attitude of its exceptionalism since the Kennedy administration.
    The aggressor is always someone else. The US always sees itself as the aggrieved; after all, America had nothing to do with supporting the tyranny in Cuba, from the end of the Spanish/American war which ended in 1898, until 1959, when the tyranny was overthrown by Fidel Castro and the US really began to squeeze the lifeblood out of the new, sovereign, independent Cuban nation.
    The Soviet Union coming to the aid of the new government, naturally made it the aggressor, against the US interests.
    And today we are facing the identical threat of nuclear annihilation faced almost sixty years ago!
    Would someone please define wisdom for me, for I am at a loss for words!

    • Em
      October 20, 2022 at 14:13

      A 14 minute interview today, with Scott Ritter on Judging Freedom by ‘Judge’ Napolitano, including 3 clips of Jack Devine, former C.I.A. agent


  10. IJ Scambling
    October 20, 2022 at 10:36

    From the essay:

    Biden went on: “We’ve got a guy I know fairly well. He’s not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming.”

    Biden concluded: “I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily use a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon.”

    As Scott Ritter points out here and elsewhere, only if Russia is under attack with nuclear weapons will its leaders retaliate in kind. Biden does not know Putin well, and his chain of thinking here is dangerously simplistic and stupid. He is suggesting that the SMO in Ukraine, as “underperforming,” means Putin is thinking about using nuclear weapons. Examine the SMO as “underperforming,” and you’ll realize Biden is pushing propaganda.

    He is using oversimplification politically to falsely portray Putin and excuse “Armageddon.” This small sample reveals Biden as weak and incompetent at a time when we need a JFK. No wonder we’re nervous.

  11. Dienne
    October 20, 2022 at 10:05

    If you find yourself to the hawkish right of bloodthirsty warmongers like Kissinger and Reagan, you really should take a good hard look in the mirror and decide who really is the monster. How can anyone be against negotiated settlement at this point?

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      October 20, 2022 at 12:54

      Hear, hear.

  12. Tony
    October 20, 2022 at 07:52

    “One can only hope that the current nuclear crisis will result in a similar arms control breakthrough in the not-so-distant future.”

    No, hoping is insufficient. People will have to demand it.

  13. peter mcloughlin
    October 20, 2022 at 06:38

    What we see unfolding before us is a lesson from history: everyone eventually gets the war they are trying to avoid. We don’t that lesson humanity will perish.
    A free ebook: The Pattern Of History and Fate of Humanity

  14. Addolff
    October 20, 2022 at 05:44

    Never forget, Russia placed missiles on Cuba in retaliation for the US – NATO stationing Jupiter missiles in Italy and (more importantly) Turkey in 1958 / 59.

    • rosemerry
      October 20, 2022 at 13:54

      Also remember 60 years ago when Vassily Archipov saved us all from nuclear Armegeddon when he refused to push the nuclear button in response to what his colleagues on the Russian ship thought was an attack but he thought/ hoped was an error. Luckily he was correct, but his could now so easily happen.

  15. Francis Lee
    October 20, 2022 at 02:54

    So Russia carries out a military action SMO against Ukraine, after the Don Bass was yet again the object of Ukrainian shelling. Signal for war. NATO carries out military interventions in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and possibly Taiwan but that’s okay, NATO was merely making the world safe for democracy.

    I don’t think anything needs to be added.

    • Lizzy
      October 20, 2022 at 11:33

      Yes, we need to remember Donbas and what happened in Sloviansk (Donetsk oblast’) on April 12, 2014.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      October 20, 2022 at 12:55

      You’re right.

  16. Deniz
    October 20, 2022 at 00:22

    Our Deep State has been cooking this up for years, Biden is a figure head. Is all US Presidential campaigns are is posturing on which candidate is going to stick it to Russia the hardest, without the slightest thought of whether it is what the American people wanted or needed. Now these lunatics got what they wanted and we are on the brink of nuclear war. Whatever one thinks of him, Trump derailed their plans for four years and now they want nothing more than to throw him into a prison to be the next Julian Assange.

      October 21, 2022 at 18:49

      It is worth remembering that it was the Trump administration that threw Assange in jail.

  17. Rudy Haugeneder
    October 19, 2022 at 23:45

    Closer, closer, closer. It is inevitable, whether between Russia and America, or India and Pakistan, etc. Closer, closer, closer. And then there’s the secret laboratories creating lethal bugs that could do the job almost as quickly, except certain types of marine, reptilian, and mammal forms will still be feasting on a damaged and disrupted planet that quickly heals itself with no humans of worth left alive to halt it. Closer, closer, closer. I am re-reading “The Stand” just to get an imaginative idea of how quickly it happens.

    • Valerie
      October 20, 2022 at 09:33

      “The Stand” is an excellent book. However, as far as the planet quickly healing itself, you might want to read “The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman. Humans will leave untold, dangerous legacies in their wake.

      • Carolyn L Zaremba
        October 20, 2022 at 12:57

        I’ve read “The World Without Us”. It’s an excellent book and I recommend it to everybody.

  18. Maria G.
    October 19, 2022 at 22:53

    “At the July 20, 1961 NSC meeting, General Hickey, chairman of the ‘Net Evaluation Subcommittee’ of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented a plan for a nuclear surprise attack on the Soviet Union “in late 1963, preceded by a period of heightened tensions.” “Finally Kennedy got up and walked right out in the middle of it, and that was the end of it.” However, as much as JFK was appalled by a general nuclear war, his walkout was in response to a more specific evil in his own ranks: U.S. military and CIA leaders were enlisting his support for a plan to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. Kennedy didn’t just walk out. He also said what he thought of the entire proceeding. As he led Rusk back to the Oval Office, with what Rusk described as “a strange look on his face,” Kennedy turned and said to his Secretary of State, “And we call ourselves the human race.”

  19. Anon
    October 19, 2022 at 21:25

    Agree Mr. Ritter… & tnx CN 4 employing such a well-versed analyst!

  20. Jeff Harrison
    October 19, 2022 at 19:16

    There’s a reason the old Colt 45 revolver was called the peace maker. You’re absolutely correct. Russia did not try to pull some form of nuclear blackmail on the US. It was the US that did that. All Russia did was loosen the 45 in their holster and warn the US that Russia was not Iraq. Unfortunately, the US has become a nation of warmongers.

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      October 20, 2022 at 01:19

      The Colt 45 was invented in 1903 to kill Filipinos since the sidearm provided for US officers up to that time, the 38, was incapable of stopping a Filipino, wielding a machete and maybe stimulated by a local drug, from assaulting and maybe decapitating a US officer who had no business being there in the first place. The 45 was designed not for accuracy but to contain a slug powerful enough to stop any human being in his or her tracks wherever on the body it struck.

      But this really doesn’t apply in Russia’s case because despite the obvious provocations by the US and NATO, it was not about to be attacked or threatened with attack and was the one that fired the first shots that launched this war that has killed thousands of Russians and Ukrainians and brought the world to the brink of a life ending nuclear war.

    • Abraham
      October 20, 2022 at 05:09

      What if the crazy baldheads have decided to make the 60 anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis the time to give us an October surprise? They do have a macabre sense of humour and seem beyond care, for whatever reason, at this point. We underestimate the evil they can do at our peril. We must begin to accept that their insanity is boundless and the old rational rules simply do not apply.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      October 20, 2022 at 12:58

      You’re quite correct. But far too many Americans have closed their minds to the reality of the United States. That is a dangerous thing.

  21. Bob McDonald
    October 19, 2022 at 18:04

    With Biden the “Madman Theory” is more than just a theory. The whole world can see that his mental faculties are in rapid decline. Surely Biden’s descent into senility, coupled with his frail physical health dramatically increases both his time preference for decision making and his appetite for risk taking. In Russian minds, this must greatly increase the propensity for a US preemptive strike. Putin would be a fool to assume that Biden “… in this nuclear age, (would) deliberately plunge the world into war which it is crystal clear no country could win and which could only result in catastrophic consequences to the whole world, including the aggressor.”

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      October 20, 2022 at 12:59

      Yes, in Biden’s case it is not so much the “Madman Theory” as the “Demented Man” theory.

  22. Occupy on!
    October 19, 2022 at 17:54

    Thank you again, Scott, for your sobering analysis of humankind’s nuclear countdown to non-existence. Our own gift of “knowing” has brought us to this state.

  23. October 19, 2022 at 17:31

    Fabulous article Scott!!! I hope millions get to read it, but most importantly the two people who need to – Liar Joe Biden and his not very bright henchman Blinken.
    Thank you CN

    • Mikael Andersson
      October 19, 2022 at 21:58

      I second that Ranney. CN, Joe Lauria and Scott Ritter deserve our gratitude. Thanks one and all. Mikael

      • Carolyn L Zaremba
        October 20, 2022 at 13:00

        I agree. And that is why NewsGuard is trying so hard to discredit CN.

      • Mireya
        October 20, 2022 at 13:42


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