Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen said on Sunday that U.S. officials should consider the possibility of Russia using a nuclear weapon amid its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
“It’s very difficult to know what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is thinking at any particular time. He’s obviously spoken to this. I think we need to make sure that we consider it as a possibility,” the retired U.S. Navy admiral said on ABC’s “This Week,” adding that he hopes deterrence works.
“They’re the most devastating weapons ever created on Earth.”
“We should remind that as the country that’s actually used them in the 1940s, how devastating they are and do everything we possibly can to make sure that they don’t get used. But they are a part of Putin’s arsenal,” Mullen told Raddatz. “He’s pretty well cornered and boxed in so we would certainly to have to consider … it’s a possible action he can take.”
Mullen added that he was encouraged to see Finland and Sweden apply to join NATO after having neutral stances for decades.
“What strikes me about Finland and Sweden is how deeply neutral they had been for decades and decades and how concerned they obviously are with this threat that has now been generated by Putin. And so I’m encouraged by that. I’m encouraged by the unity of NATO,” Mullen told Raddatz.
“Almost every European I’ve spoken to considers the threat in Europe now existential to them and I think that speaks to the move on the part of both Sweden and Finland and I’m encouraged by that,” Mullen said.