Pentagon Says Frustrated Putin May Use Nukes If War In Ukraine Is Unwinnable - AMEBO ONLINE NEWSPAPER

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Pentagon Says Frustrated Putin May Use Nukes If War In Ukraine Is Unwinnable

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President Vladimir Putin can be expected to brandish threats to use nuclear weapons against the West if stiff Ukrainian resistance to Russia’s invasion continues, draining conventional manpower and equipment, according to a new assessment by the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency.

“Protracted occupation of parts of Ukrainian territory threatens to sap Russian military manpower and reduce their modernized weapons arsenal, while consequent economic sanctions will probably throw Russia into prolonged economic depression and diplomatic isolation,” Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said in its new 67-page summary of worldwide threats.

The combination of Ukraine’s defiance and economic sanctions will threaten Russia’s “ability to produce modern precision-guided munitions,” Berrier said in testimony submitted to the House Armed Services Committee for a hearing on Thursday.

“As this war and its consequences slowly weaken Russian conventional strength,” Berrier added, “Russia likely will increasingly rely on its nuclear deterrent to signal the West and project strength to its internal and external audiences.”

The Pentagon agency’s grim appraisal of the war’s broader stakes comes on the eve of a call between President Joe Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping. Even as U.S. officials struggle to discern China’s position on the war, Biden will seek Xi’s help ratcheting up pressure on Moscow to end it.

Putin already has announced that he’s put Russia’s nuclear arsenal on a state of higher alert. The Russian Embassy in Washington didn’t immediately return a request for comment on the Defense Intelligence Agency report.

Unlike a report on global threats issued by multiple intelligence agencies last week with findings that predated the Russian invasion, the new report reflects information as of Tuesday.

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