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US will be the first country to pull the nuclear trigger: Academic

The US military's multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) is an exoatmospheric ballistic missile payload containing several warheads, each capable of being aimed to hit a different target.

The United States will be the first country to pull the nuclear trigger, an American academic and political commentator has warned.  

Daniel Kovalik, an academic at the University of Pittsburgh, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Saturday, while commenting on the incendiary statements by former US national security adviser H.R. McMaster and other American officials.

McMaster said on Sunday that the United States must take Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine “seriously.”

McMaster, a retired US Army lieutenant general who served as a national security adviser under former President Donald Trump, claimed that Putin’s nuclear threat is the “only quiver he has left” as the Russian leader struggles in the war.

“We ought to take it seriously,” McMaster said of the nuclear threat. “We have to, but we ought to not allow this to cow us in terms of the support for the Ukrainians.”

Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned that there is no one to stop Putin from following through on his recent threats of using nuclear weapons.

The United States is considering how to respond to a range of potential scenarios, including fears that Russians could use tactical nuclear weapons, CNN reported on Sunday quoting three sources briefed on the latest intelligence.

“Officials caution the US has not detected preparations for a nuclear strike. However, experts view them as potential options the US must prepare for as Russia’s invasion falters and as Moscow annexes more Ukrainian territory,” the report said.

"All of this is very concerning,” said Kovalik. “Although, as this article notes as an aside that US 'Officials caution the US has not detected preparations for a nuclear strike,' these same officials nonetheless are attempting to instill the fear of Russia’s potential use of nuclear weapons in the American people in order to whip up support for war.”

“Meanwhile, it is the US which, in my view, represents the greater threat in terms of the potential use of nuclear weapons use than Russia does.  Indeed, Biden earlier this year changed long-standing US nuclear doctrine against the first use of nuclear weapons, now making it clear that such a first use is on the table,” he added.  

“Let us never forget that it is the US which is the only country in the world to ever use nuclear weapons against another country, and it did so twice against two civilian cities in Japan even as Japan was preparing to surrender to the Allies in WWII,” he noted.   

“It is my sincere fear that nuclear war is now a very real possibility, but it is my belief that it is the US which will be the first country to pull the trigger.  All of this talk about Russia possibly using nuclear weapons is based upon the great misrepresentation of Putin’s words and in fact represents the US’s projection of its own intentions upon Russia,” the academic concluded.

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