How should the West react to the Russian nuclear bomb?

Washington – Russia’s attack on Ukraine and its veiled threats to use nuclear weapons make politicians, both in the past and now, think the unthinkable: how can the West react to the Russian explosion of a nuclear bomb on the battlefield?

The answer to the US default policy, say some architects of the post-Cold War nuclear order, is discipline and restraint. This could lead to tougher sanctions and the isolation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Rose Gottemoeller, NATO’s deputy secretary general from 2016 to 2019.

But no one can count on a calm mind to win at such a moment, and real life rarely goes according to plan. World leaders would be angry, offended, intimidated. There may be wrong attitudes and confusion. Hackers can add chaos. The requirements would be excellent for harsh retaliation – one that can be done with nuclear missiles capable of moving faster than the speed of sound.

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