Risk Of Nuclear War Is Rising: U.S. Study

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Russia has promised to keep intimidating the United States and NATO with its nuclear weapons. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will keep advancing its nukes, according to Morning News USA.

Putin also warned the U.S. and NATO against “unnecessary meddling” in North Africa and the Middle East. Putin’s comments came in a Russian documentary titled ‘World Order’, which aired on state television on Sunday night.

Putin promised that Russia will be advancing its nuclear arsenal, including nuclear warheads, bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ICBMs.

“Russia as a leading nuclear country will be improving this weapon as a containment factor; the nuclear triad is the basis of our nuclear security polices,” Putin said, as reported by ITAR-TASS. “We have never brandished or will brandish this nuclear club, but our military doctrine allocates it a place and role.”

The Russian President also warned the U.S. and NATO against interfering in affairs of North African and Middle Eastern states. “You can’t just impose your version of democracy, of good and evil, onto people of other cultures, with other religions and traditions in this mechanic, automatic way,” Putin said. “Apparently, they think they’re infallible, but when the moment comes to take some responsibility, they disappear,”

Russia vs U.S., NATO nuclear war is still on

Putin’s statements come amid reports that there is a high risk of nuclear war happening some time soon, according to Reuters. Over the past six months, the Project for Study of the 21st Century polled 50 national security experts on the risk of a variety of potential wars.

The study concluded that there are now multiple potential scenarios in which the world could spiral into destructive conventional or nuclear wars. There is a 6.8% chance that we could face a major nuclear war over the next 20 years. Such a war would kill more people than World War II (in which roughly 80 million people were killed), according to the study.

The rising possibility of a nuclear war has been felt by 60% of the study’s respondents over the past decade, while as many as 52% respondents expected it to further escalate over the next decade.

China and Russia’s meddling with their nuclear arsenals have become the center of the study’s attention, with 80% of respondents expecting a further escalation of “ambiguous” or “asymmetric” conflict between major countries.

And with U.S. warships sending its patrols to the South China Sea, which China claims its own sovereignty, and a NATO member state – Turkey – shooting down a Russian fighter jet, things could go wrong any moment and we could face a war on a previously unimaginable level.

Who is likely to use nuclear weapons?

The study also concluded who is more likely to fight whom. According to the study, a military confrontation between India and Pakistan is currently the most probable one, with the likelihood of their forces clashing in a military conflict over the next two decades estimated at 40%.

A nuclear confrontation between the two countries was estimated at 9%, which is considerably low compared to the likelihood of a nuclear exchange between Russia and the U.S. Nobody would benefit from a nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan, but it could still occur in case tensions get particularly hot.

Despite the fact that Iran and the West reached a nuclear deal earlier this year, the study still estimated a 27% chance of Iran launching a military campaign against its enemy: the U.S., Israel, or the Gulf States, or all at once. And there is a 6% chance of such a conflict spiraling into a nuclear confrontation.

North Korea, known for its regular battle cries to unleash a war against the U.S., is expected to target its enemies with nuclear weapons by 6% of respondents, while 17% expect a conventional military conflict.

But the most interesting results came about China and Russia. The study concluded that while it has been long expected that China would start becoming a potential nuclear enemy for the West, Russia’s latest nuclear actions has taken the analysts by surprise.

The risk of NATO engaging in a military confrontation against Russia was estimated at 22%, while the chance of the Chinese forces fighting U.S. forces stands at 17%. Meanwhile, the risk of military confrontation between Japan, a major U.S. ally in Asia, and China was seen at 19%.

The chances of a nuclear conflict between Russia and the U.S. was estimated at 4%, while a nuclear confrontation between China and the U.S. stands at 2%.

High chance of Russia vs U.S. nuclear war

The fact that a military clash between Russia and the U.S. is more likely than a military confrontation between the Chinese and the Americans is not surprising, considering the fact that Washington and Beijing are major economic powers, both of which gain a lot from a globalized world of stability and prosperity.

All Russia has, meanwhile, is its military might – and in particular, its nuclear capabilities – that Putin orders to boast every once in a while in order to show off its far-fetched superpower status.

Just recently, the world faced a serious chance of getting into a devastating nuclear confrontation between Russia and NATO. In November, Turkey shot down a Russia fighter jet violating the NATO member state’s airspace. The incident prompted a furious response in the Kremlin, with analysts saying that Russia was “likely” to start a war against the Alliance.

And in case Putin starts a war with NATO, the only way the Russians could win a war against NATO is by going nuclear, according to Pavel Felgengauer, Russia’s top defense analyst, as reported by ValueWalk.

“It is most likely that it will be war,” said Felgenhauer, as reported by ValueWalk, citing Mirror. “In other words, more fights will follow when Russian planes attack Turkish aircraft in order to protect our [Russia’s] bombers. It is possible that there will be fights between the Russian and Turkish navies at sea.”

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About the Author

Polina Tikhonova
Polina Tikhonova is a writer, journalist and a certified translator. Over the past 7 years, she has worked for a wide variety of top European, American, Russian, and Ukrainian media outlets. Polina holds a Master's Degree in English Philology from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Saint Petersburg State University. Her articles and news reports have been published by many newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs and online media sources across the globe. Polina is fluent in English, German, Ukrainian and Russian.

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