Paul Cobaugh is a retired Army veteran who served in special operations for 19 years. He now writes about military intelligence and narratives.

In his blog, “Truth about Threats,” he discusses whether Putin is likely to carry out his threats to use nuclear weapons. He indicates that there is some knowledge about Putin’s cognitive decline, which is worrisome.

But he is reassuring in his certainty that Putin and his advisors have been directly informed that any use of nuclear weapons will unleash a “devastating” response.

He writes:

Ever since Putin launched his unprovoked and disastrous war against his innocent, neighbor, Ukraine, he’s been either hinting at or overtly threatening the use of WMD, more specifically “nukes.” The sheer insanity of such threats is staggering but a closer look, just look may defang, some of our worst fears. Let’s give it a try. I will try to also avoid the legitimately complex language, of the arms control world.

First and foremost, a full-scale nuclear contest is what has long been termed, MAD, or “mutually assured destruction.” In simple terms, the absolute end to life as we know it. Putin knows this as well as anyone and is unlikely to commit suicide. This is not as unlikely as it was when the MAD doctrine became a routine assumption in the nuclear community but still, such a use would deny Putin, all that he is seeking with, “Putin’s War

Let’s not kid ourselves, Putin, who is soulless, has the propensity to gamble on a limited, tactical or similar deployment of these horrific weapons. He abides by no law, treaty of commitment. AS a result, there is virtually no reason to negotiate with him. Besides the historic, Russian paranoia of the west, baked into Russian identity, Putin has his own starkly personal version too. This coupled with reporting, since 2008 at least suggesting declining, cognitive abilities is not encouraging. Since reporting has taken this likely decline of Putin’s mental health, those in the US and allied nuclear forces have wisely focused on countermeasures. This should bolster everyone’s confidence somewhat.

Finally, the White House has done an excellent job managing Putin’s threats and in conjunction with our allies. Today’s statement by the NSA, National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, is blunt and to the point. Well done, WH. This statement includes public insight or two of the primary factors in managing Putin’s threats, deterrence and communication. This simply means that the WH, has made it expressly clear, with zero ambiguity that should Putin attempt to deploy any type of WMD, especially nukes of some sort that the response for him and Russia would be devastating. This clear understanding is the “deterrence…”

Okay, the above should help everyone breath a bit easier regarding a nuclear war of sorts and I hope that this helps you enjoy your weekend more than prior. I do want to just add a related note that is slightly less optimistic but still rather unlikely to occur.

There is a long list of WMD types, not just nuclear. Putin has, with his invasion, systematically adopted a scorched earth policy that leaves Ukraine incapable of surviving post war. This includes destroying Ukraine’s ability to be the breadbasket of Europe and much of the rest of the world with their immense and excellent agriculture industry. They have occupied and threatened radiological “dirty bombs” by allegedly having accidental explosions at nuclear power stations…

Let’s hope that cooler heads continue to prevail and that along with the support of the world’s good guys,” that Ukraine becomes the victor, sooner than later. Then comes the fight to force Russia to pay for reparations. We’ll get to that as we get closer to Ukraine’s victory. Remember, much of Russia’s $630bn of foreign exchange reserves is estimated to be held in the West. How about we freeze them now so they can be part of the reparations later? Hint hint.