One branch of intelligence is called intentions and warnings, which is the study of actions taken by a potential adversary that will warn you of what they plan on doing in the near future.
I recently told you about reports that Russian strategic bombers were active at a base far away from their normal, closer to Ukraine home base. The base where they are located just happens to be where Russia stores a large number of its nuclear warheads.
Another disturbing report is that Russia has deployed its largest nuclear submarine from its homeport. Its whereabouts are unknown, but it is presumed to be in the Arctic ocean.
A third piece of news that indicates something is amiss is the fact that Russia has mobilized troops belonging to the 12th Chief Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Defense. This directorate is responsible for the safe-keeping, technical maintenance, transportation, delivery, issuance, disposal, and care of Russia’s nuclear arsenal. The troops from this unit have some of the most modern vehicles in the Russian arsenal, all equipped with modern NBC warfare capabilities. Those vehicles have been loaded onto trains that are kept for the exclusive use of moving nuclear weapons and their security forces around the country, destination unknown, but have been seen moving east.
To me, these developments signal one of a couple of possibilities:
Scenario 1: Saber Rattling
The Russians are going to do nuclear drills and/or testing. This is the essence of nuclear saber rattling. You do this to remind other nations that you have nuclear weapons and can use them. The ultimate warning will be the detonation of an above ground warhead as both a test and a warning. If this happens, the US will instantly know this due to the NDDS satellite detection system. It would be a violation of the test ban treaty, but would be a way for Putin to show them he means what he says when he warns them to back off. This is the most powerful warning he could send, short of actually attacking someone with a nuke. If this were to happen, I doubt that our morons in this administration would get the correct message.
Scenario 2: Nothing to Lose
The second possibility is that we have backed Putin into a corner where he feels has is about to be tossed from power in the Russian way, meaning a bullet to the head. After all, we are shutting down the Russian economy. His own citizens are starting to riot and push back. All he needs to do in order to join the Romanovs in their retirement villa is maintain the status quo. Having little to lose, he is actually planning on using nukes. If that is what he is up to, and it is certainly possible, then there are a couple of ways that I see him doing this. He will either attack Ukraine under the assumption that the other NATO countries will do nothing (because our leaders are senile and/or cowardly pussies), or he will do it in conjunction with a decapitation strike. Kill the President and bet that whoever is left in charge won’t have the guts to do anything about it. Could you see Harris ordering a nuclear strike?
Scenario 3: All of this is an illusion
All of this mysterious activity is merely large scale military readiness drills. Putin is bluffing. The movement is just business as usual. While it is certainly true that this may just be a readiness exercise, it is dangerous to do drill involving the movement of strategic units when your opponent has announced that they are watching closely to see if you are preparing for the use of nuclear weapons.
The more signs that are becoming available, the more troubling it appears. The US is in a bad spot. The only way that a nuclear arsenal is a deterrent is if your adversaries think that you have the capability and the willingness to use them if the other side crosses the line. The Biden administration is constantly projecting. They have no intention of ever using nukes for any reason, and are projecting that upon Putin. They think he is bluffing because they themselves are bluffing.
I just don’t see Biden attacking the Black Sea fleet directly with US forces, as the administration has threatened. That is a huge risk. There is a US carrier in the Med that is begging to be an Order of Lenin for some adventurous Russian submarine Captain.
As for the Russians, they and the Chinese (as well as the rest of the world) have gotten the message of last year’s Afghanistan disaster loud and clear: the US is bereft of real leadership and intestinal fortitude. They may well be thinking that we don’t have the guts to do anything but posture and make speeches.
The Russians are threatening to use nukes. This is not a time to be coy or vague. What is needed is to say that the use of nuclear weapons in Europe will result in a nuclear response and make the Russians believe it. You have to make them KNOW that there is no coming out of a nuclear exchange as a winner. As soon as they begin thinking that this is the path to victory, the Russians will start to think that it is a viable option, and your deterrent has failed. Ronald Reagan won the cold war because the Soviets were terrified of him, they were terrified of out military and its capabilities, and they knew deep down that a conflict with the US would result in a national disaster. That knowledge kept the peace.
The world knows that this President isn’t capable of decisive action and may just be willing to roll the dice.
That is the scariest thing of all.