True, the evidence shows he did not need to use nukes to enter Ukraine.
The point was to counter Roy who was discounting the possibility of this confrontation going nuclear. It could go nuclear by misstep and miscalculation, or it could go nuclear purposely. In either case, the consequences would be dire, for I think the odds of being able to have a ‘limited’ nuclear confrontation without it spiraling out of control to something dire are low.
Putin has no sons. Putin's daughters have nothing to do with leading Russia. Of course some day someone besides V. Putin will be leader of Russia. What makes you believe the next leader of Russia will be someone like Gorbachev? What makes you believe after all this a Putin successor will be U.S. friendly? Btw., citizens of former Soviet Union believe Gorbachev was flipped by U.S. Are hoping U.S. has a groomed successor waiting to take over Russia? Seems like a plot to an entertaining movie.
Nah, I don't care what happens to Russia. I'm just saying that I'm far more confident in the US chain of command right now than Russia -- which is in the act of losing the most humiliating war in European history.
Unless you are living in the biggest cities or next to a nuke base, the chances of you surviving (the initial nuclear exchange) are much greater than you getting instantly incinerated. Even if all of Putin's nukes land, which they wouldn't, most projections are that no more than around 10% of the population would be killed instantly.
In reality you may have been in the safest place in America. Back then both sides employed a second strike policy which targeted the opponents cities. A first strike policy would involve targeting the opponents missile sites. But the difficulty with this was the opponent would have several minutes warning and that would be enough time to launch their missiles. When your missiles arrive they would hit empty missile silos. So both sides opted for second strike with MAD being the end result.
I don't know what the policy is now. A crippling cyber attack in advance of a nuclear strike may make a first strike policy feasible. But even then the math is scary. If Russia has 6000 nukes and your first strike takes out 90% of them before they are launched, they still get 600 off the ground. If your anti missile systems take out 90% of those before they strike, 60 still get through. That is probably twenty cities destroyed.
That percentage is relevant only in the event that there is a coordinated nuclear strike blanket-covering most of the US. I don’t see anything beyond a strike targeting one or two cities in the US as a realistic possibility by any adversary. It’s easier to just let Russia have Ukraine.
Another consideration is, most of the nuclear war talk is just posturing. Most of the fat cats in power are way too rich and comfortable to commit to MAD. I suppose if Putin is really dying, he might not care, but I'd imagine if it came to that someone in his inner circle would take him out first. China won't do it, and their nuclear arsenal sucks anyway. Same for North Korea. It's like two teenage boys bumping chests and acting like they want to fight, but in reality they are both just waiting for someone to break them up.