U.S. Senator Says Nuclear First Strike on Russia Should Remain an Option

Amid rising tensions between the United States and Russia, over both ongoing civil war in Ukraine and the political orientation of Belarus, Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker highlighted that an American nuclear first strike should no be ruled out. He stated that one possible course of action could be that “we stand off with our ships in the Black Sea and we rain destruction on Russian military capability. I would not rule out American troops on the ground,” adding that Washington should not “rule out first use nuclear action” against Russia. This followed the floating of the possibility of U.S. ground force deployments, with Wicker stating: “I would not rule out military action. I think we start making a mistake when we take options off the table, so I would hope the president keeps that option on the table.” The Senator’s statements appeared not to reflect a consensus in Washington, with the Biden administration’s special advisor for nuclear security, senior director for arms control and nonproliferation on the National Security Council Jon Wolfsthal, calling his statement “dangerous and irresponsible.” Some, however, such as Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, supported Wicker’s position. “Russia advances till they hit a brick wall. We can be the brick wall, or we can retreat from the Sudetenland and hope he doesn’t intend to rebuild ALL the Soviet Union. History repeats itself but we always deny it’s happening,” he stated.

Russia and the United States have the world’s first and second largest nuclear arsenals, with over 7000 each, giving each over five times as many warheads as all other seven nuclear weapons states combined. American lawmakers have long made statements advocating a much harder line than official policy would dictate, including in 2017 when there were widespread calls for an unprovoked against North Korea including plans for mass use of nuclear weapons. In 2015 and 2016, in the lead up to presidential elections, there were also frequent calls among candidates and lawmakers to declare an illegal no fly zone over Syria without UN authorisation. This would have entailed shooting down Syrian and Russian military aircraft over the country’s airspace to ensure only Western aircraft would have access. Such statements have frequently resonated with the American public, and thus been beneficial domestically for those making them, but have seldom translated into actual policy. 


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  1. In 2007, Wicker was criticized after securing a $6 million earmark for a defense company whose executives had made significant contributions to his campaign.

    (That is from his Wikipedia page. )

    Not that he is the sort of person who would risk extinction of all life on the planet for a few measly dollars.

    Wicker began his political career in 1980 as House Rules Committee counsel to U.S. Representative Trent Lott- who somewhat famously supported segregation of Black people.

    He sounds like a reeaaal winner to me.

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