Using nuclear weapons for anything other than deterrence has become unthinkable in the West. Not so in Moscow. Every new iteration of Russian strategy stresses the centrality of nuclear systems in Moscow’s defense posture–including in regional conflicts along Russia’s periphery. Russia has both the doctrine and the capability to use short-range, low-yield weapons in Ukraine that might turn the tide of war in Moscow’s favor. Moreover, Russian President Vladimir Putin has good reason to suspect that the West would not respond decisively, given that Ukraine is not a member of NATO. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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