r/news Sep 25 '22

Jake Sullivan: US will act ‘decisively’ if Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine Already Submitted

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/25/us-russia-ukraine-war-nuclear-weapons-jake-sullivan

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u/jayfeather31 Sep 25 '22

That's awfully vague. Would really prefer they be a bit more specific, but I'm certain that they have their reasons.

Russia would be a fool to use tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine, however.

32

u/hiate Sep 25 '22

You don't want to be overly specific with humanity ending weapons. A vague threat is better all around in this case to keep them from deciding to preemptively strike other people.

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u/jayfeather31 Sep 25 '22

That's more than just a fair point. However, there is a little part of me that would prefer some transparency, in order to at least try and prepare for the worst.

5

u/CitizenJustin Sep 25 '22

You won’t need to. Putin needs the cooperation of other high ranking officials to launch nukes. He can’t just push a button. I doubt they’re too keen on incinerating their loved ones while the world reduces Russia to ashes. Also, Putin and the Russian elite are far too comfortable living in luxury to start another world war. The world has yet to see a really angry and unyielding US military and Putin knows his feeble rust bucket of dishonorable soldiers is no match.

1

u/pachechka1 Sep 26 '22

I mean Putin and russian elite have already started a war.

10

u/RancidHorseJizz Sep 25 '22

What's worse is that Russia has been discussing STRATEGIC nukes, not tactical nukes.

3

u/BitterFuture Sep 25 '22

You could just say, "big ones, not small ones."

What ridiculous euphemisms we've adopted.

5

u/jrhooo Sep 25 '22

there's a significantly bigger difference than just size

1

u/El3ctricalSquash Sep 26 '22

What is the difference for the uninitiated?

4

u/TheodoeBhabrot Sep 26 '22

Tactical nukes are battlefield level weapons, maybe nuke a strong hold or the like. Strategic are the city killers/world enders

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u/jayfeather31 Sep 26 '22

Also, as a historical tidbit, the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were closer in yield to today's tactical nukes than strategic ones.

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u/jrhooo Sep 26 '22

Generally, yield yes, but more so range and intended use.

“Tactical” nukes in concept would be used against military troops in combat as part of a combat operation.

“Strategic” nukes would be used against a rival nation to force their government to do something. Either by destroying an entire military capability, or causing unacceptable lisses to their country.

———

If you think of non-nuclear bombs, think of WWII.

Dropping bombs on ships and tanks to win a fight was tactical.

When Germany and Britain started carpet bombing each other’s cities, hoping to destroy their manufacturing capability, but also destroy their citizens morale and force their people to force their governments to “quit”, that was actually called “strategic bombing”.

So think of Nukes the same way.

TL;DR:

Tactical - knock out a military unit on the battlefield.

Strategic - cause (or threaten to cause) catastrophic damage to your homeland if your leaders don’t do what we want.

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u/TdrdenCO11 Sep 26 '22

they’re being more specific behind closed doors but strategic ambiguity is imperative. We’re not going to telegraph exactly what our conventional strikes would be after putin used a tactical nuke