Former CIA director David Petraeus has predicted that the US and its NATO allies will destroy the Russian military and sink the Black Sea Fleet if Vladimir Putin decides to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
Retired four star general said in an interview ABC’s “This Week” On Sunday he believed what would happen if a Kremlin warship used nuclear weapons.
“We will respond by leading a NATO – a collective – effort that will take out every Russian conventional force that we can see and detect on the battlefield in Ukraine and on every ship in Crimea and in the Black Sea,” he said. .
Petraeus said Russia’s use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine would not trigger NATO’s Article 5, which calls for collective defense of member states, as Ukraine is not part of the alliance.
But he added that if Putin does use nuclear weapons, there is a high probability that radiation from the strike will affect a coalition member, potentially being construed as an attack against NATO and falls under Article 5.
“Maybe you can make that case,” he said. “The second case is that it is so frightening that there must be a reaction – it cannot go unanswered.”
Putin has repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons indirectly, prompting National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to Russia warned of ‘catastrophic consequences’ Last week.
Foreign Minister Antony Blinken similarly said the Biden administration has made it “very clear” to Moscow that the nuclear attack would have “terrible consequences”.
President Biden warned Putin in a speech Following the annexation ceremony in the Kremlin that the US and its allies were “fully prepared” to “defend every single inch of NATO territory”.
Petraeus said the Kremlin battleship is losing the war and is now facing an “irreversible” disaster on the battlefield, despite “desperate” moves.
“No amount of merger, even no amount of hidden nuclear threats, can get him out of this situation,” Petraeus said.
Petraeus had some harsh words on Putin’s “shy” mobilization efforts, which triggered protests in Russia and sent thousands of military-aged men fleeing across the border to dodge the draft.
“President Zelensky and Ukraine have mobilized much better than Russia,” Petraeus said. “Ukraine has recruited, trained, equipped, organized and employed a force incomparably better than Russia.”
Over the weekend, Ukrainian forces liberated the strategically important city of Lyman in the newly annexed Donetsk region and continued to make new gains in the Kherson region, which Russia also now claims.
“He will continue to lose on the battlefield,” Petraeus said of Putin.
Asked if Russia could still win the war with Ukraine, Petraeus said: “They can’t. Nothing (Putin) can do at the moment.”
Petraeus predicted that the war would eventually end at the negotiating table, as said by Zelensky himself, but the former CIA chief warned that “it could still get worse for Putin and Russia. And here it is.” Even the use of tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield will not change that.”
Still, he added, “you have to take the threat seriously.”