by Taylor MacHenry
Here are some hard and true facts: As long as Vladimir Putin wants war in Ukraine or elsewhere too, any idea of a negotiated peace is a waste of time, and second of all, Vladimir Putin quit honoring the nuclear arms treaties with the United States and free world years ago. The fact that Tuesday, February 21, 2023, Putin officially proclaimed that the nuclear arms treaties no longer apply is good news for American defense strategy. America’s political hands are now untied. If it’s war Putin wants, then a Stinger missile up his tailpipe needs to happen. That or the free world braces for nuclear war.
A well-planned drone strike on Putin would solve many problems, and for most Russians, it would give them a reason to celebrate. Russian soldiers don’t want the war in Ukraine. They didn’t even know they had gone to war when Putin sent them to Ukraine, telling them it was a planned military exercise. Lots of Russians have died, and at home the bread lines remind Muscovites of days gone by when a different despot commanded the Soviet Union.
As for the nuclear arms treaties, many uninformed Americans now worry in their basements, including the President. However, the meat of the nuclear arms treaties had little purpose other than perhaps slowing down the ultimate destruction of entire Planet Earth. The real nuclear threat never received any mention in any nuclear arms treaties: the small nuclear bombs that the United States, China, Russia, and other allies of both sides, can fire from their field artillery pieces. Yes the so-called short-range weapons that all sides counted for use in theaters of contained warfare. Ukraine is such a theater of contained warfare, and field artillery, such as the Russian 2S19 152-millimeter self-propelled Howitzer or its big brother, the 2S7M Malka 203-millimeter self-propelled Howitzer, or the M109A7 Paladin 155-millimeter self-propelled Howitzers or any of the thousands of its towed brothers that US and NATO forces use. All of these weapon systems have nuclear capabilities. They use something called “wrap-rounds” that propel the nuclear projectile that they fire precisely onto targets anywhere nearby, a few miles distance, to 70 or even 100 miles away.
The numbers of these nuclear weapons are a mystery. The United States has a highly classified count of them, along with locations, however, the Russians have no idea how many nuclear projectiles exist in their bunkers nor where they exist. But they do exist and they exist in large numbers.
With Vladimir Putin announcing that the nuclear arms treaties today are no longer valid, clears the decks for him to employ nuclear artillery and rockets, within the contained battlefield of Ukraine, without concern of violating any treaty anywhere. With the nuclear weapons employed in Ukraine, in addition to wantonly killing hundreds of thousands more innocent people (a war crime against humanity) the nuclear fallout will salt the highly productive farmlands of Ukraine, rendering them useless for decades if not centuries. Putin’s only drawback to the nukes are the prevailing westerly winds that will blow any nuclear clouds back into Mother Russia.
But does he really care? Most likely, he does not. Russian lives mean nothing to the dysfunctionally narcissistic leader.
What should the United States do? Probably our leaders won’t, but this approaching horror story will require leadership with resolve and iron courage, the likes of which Winston Churchill and a few others possessed. Not some blowhard loudmouth and certainly not some soft-spoken lily of the valley who waffles and worries about political winds and elections.
With the announcement of Vladimir Putin that Russia no longer regards any nuclear arms treaties valid, represents the big red banner of nuclear war standing at the threshold. Western leaders, not just Joe Biden but all leaders of NATO and the free world should stand in resolve, and gird their nations for nuclear war. Unless someone can engineer a drone strike that can penetrate the bunker where Vladimir Putin hides today.