How The US Government Is Planning For Nuclear War

Though it's not a result anyone wants, this also means having contingency plans for nuclear war.

By Douglas Helm | Published

nuclear war

In the wake of the tragic Russian invasion of Ukraine, many countries are making sure they’re prepared for whatever may come next. Though it’s not a result anyone wants, this also means having contingency plans for nuclear war. As small as the chance might be, it’s better to be prepared than not.

As reported by the New York Times, the White House is utilizing “The Tiger Team” to ensure that we’re prepared for biological, chemical, and even nuclear war. This team is comprised of a group of national security officials who create plans for these types of scenarios. Namely, what to do if Russia uses a nuclear weapon or if they decide to invade a NATO country. Ukraine was not a part of NATO when they were invaded, which is part of what makes the Russian invasion so difficult for the country to handle and for other countries around the world to get involved. Since they’re not a NATO country, Putin is able to threaten other countries if they try to intercede. So far, it appears the best other countries can do to avoid retaliation from Russia is heavily sanction the invading country and provide financial and equipment support for Ukraine. Essentially, if another country helps Ukraine by giving them troops or actual military backup, they could risk Russia attacking them too.

In the case of nuclear weapon use, this would undoubtedly change. Putin starting a nuclear war would warrant more extreme measures from other countries, whether he dropped the weapon in a NATO country or not. Many officials agree that the likelihood of nuclear war is very small, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t taking measures to prepare for the possibility.

nuclear war

Due to the large cache of nuclear weapons held by many major countries, Putin would essentially be bringing the concept of mutually assured destruction to fruition. Mutually assured destruction assumes that if you drop a nuclear weapon on a country, your country can expect the same result in kind. It’s a no-win scenario. While complete nuclear disarmament would be preferable if the goal is to avoid nuclear war in any way shape or form, so current situations like the war in Ukraine can’t happen, mutually assured destruction at least minimizes the chance of nuclear war.

Also reported by the New York Times, the aforementioned Tiger Team was formed on February 28, which is about four days after the initial invasion. The full scope of the Tiger Team’s plans aren’t laid out for the public at the moment, but they indicate that President Joe Biden is keen to avoid a direct confrontation at all costs, which is in line with the attitude of many other NATO countries. All signs point to nuclear war being an unlikely outcome. The invasion of Ukraine is still ongoing, with new negotiations between the two countries set for Monday. Previous negotiations haven’t been fruitful. Hopefully, Russian forces will be withdrawn sooner than later and the people of Ukraine can begin to rebuild and return to normalcy without the threat of foreign invaders looming over them.