US President Joe Biden said Thursday that “the risk of nuclear ‘Armageddon’ is the highest it has been in 60 years after Russian President Vladimir Putin renewed his threats as his military retreats in Ukraine.” However, according to a story published in the Los Angeles Times, the statement “appeared to go beyond U.S. intelligence assessments.” In fact, “National security officials say they have no evidence that Vladimir Putin has imminent plans for a nuclear strike.” In this case, I too believe that we should take both leaders’ statements with a grain of salt.
In the end, the Russians, too, fear the consequences of using nuclear weapons. Humanity has never seen what a nuclear world war looks like. The precedents in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as horrific as they were, are nothing compared to the massive and prolonged destruction that a nuclear world war will inflict, especially given the power of today’s atom and hydrogen bombs.
The threats by Russia and its allies are unnerving, but I think that this is their intention—to demoralize and frighten. I do not think that there is a genuine intention to employ tactical nuclear warheads or any other kind of nuclear weapons.
If humanity plunges into a nuclear world war, we have no idea where it will lead us or how it will end. I think that everyone realizes this and will act accordingly. There is simply too much at stake, too much to lose to gamble with a nuclear war.
Besides, such an attack would turn the entire world against the aggressor. No superpower, however strong and however weaponized, can stand against the entire world. Therefore, threats to use nuclear weapons and disheartening declarations about a possible nuclear Armageddon are, in my opinion, unrealistic, at least at this point in time.
That said, as a whole, the world is certainly moving in a negative direction. If we cannot understand that war is not the way to achieve political or economic benefits these days, we will eventually plunge into a third world war.
The developments in Ukraine should worry all of us, and encourage us to nurture stronger ties among all parts of humanity in order to avoid a possible breakdown of global society.
If we can learn the lesson from this painful war, perhaps it will give some meaning to the misery that millions are experiencing. If we cannot learn from it, we will need another war, most likely a crueler one, to accept that we must lay down our arms and treat humanity as it really is—a single entity whose parts are interconnected and interdependent.
Eventually, we will learn that war is not the way. I only hope we learn it not through a nuclear ordeal.