“I know that President Joe Biden is deeply concerned about the risk of a third world war,” the CIA chief said Thursday.
Military setbacks in Ukraine could prompt Russian President Vladimir Putin to deploy a tactical or weak nuclear weapon there, CIA chief William Burns said Thursday.
“Given that President Putin and the Russian leadership may sink into despair, given the setbacks they have suffered so far from a military perspective, none of us can bear the threat posed by a potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or small-energy nuclear weapons ‘ said William Burns during a speech in Atlanta.
The Kremlin has spoken of putting its nuclear forces on alert, “but we haven’t really seen concrete signs like deployments or military action that might compound our concerns,” added the chief of America’s top intelligence agency, speaking to students at Georgia Technical University.
“Of course we are very concerned. I know that President Joe Biden is deeply concerned about the risk of World War III and is doing everything possible to avoid getting to the point where nuclear conflict becomes possible,” he added.
“A Power in Decline”
Russia, according to its “escalation-de-escalation” doctrine, has many tactical nuclear weapons less powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, which would consist of first using a low-powered nuclear weapon in the event of a conventional conflict in order to regain the advantage with the West.
But this hypothesis implies that “during this conflict, NATO is militarily intervening on the ground in Ukraine, and that, as the President has clarified, is not planned,” he said.
William Burns recalled being the United States Ambassador to Moscow and had no words harsh enough for a “vengeful,” “stubborn” Vladimir Putin, who over the years had fallen into an “explosive mix of complaints, “Ambition and Insecurity” has sunk.
“Putin demonstrates every day that a power in decline can be just as destabilizing as a power on the rise,” he added.