Turner, McCaul, Rogers to Biden: The U.S. cannot be a passive spectator as Russia uses nuclear intimidation
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), Lead Republican of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Mike Rogers (R-AL), Lead Republican of the House Armed Services Committee sent a letter urging President Joe Biden to detail what the U.S. response would be if Russia were to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. The lawmakers expressed that vague statements by the President are not enough to deter Russia. The letter comes after repeated threats by Russia to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
The full text of the letter can found here or below.
Dear Mr. President:
Recent media reports and public statements of Russian officials suggest that Russia views the use of nuclear weapons as an acceptable option to achieve their malign and illegal objectives in Europe. In fact, Russian leaders have explicitly threatened a nuclear strike against the United States and our European allies. Such threats are unprecedented and are reminiscent of the rhetoric of Russian leaders at the height of the Cold War. They are chilling and must be taken seriously.
There are numerous examples of Russian attempts at nuclear intimidation against the United States and NATO. Some disturbing examples include:
On May 31st, you wrote a guest opinion essay in the New York Times in which you stated, “Let me be clear: Any use of nuclear weapons in this conflict on any scale would be completely unacceptable to us as well as the rest of the world and would entail severe consequences.” This statement is insufficient to deter Russia.
In our view, every tool of national power should be leveraged to achieve deterrence of Russian nuclear aggression. To this end, we urge you to clarify U.S. policy concerning the use of tactical nuclear weapons by Russia in Europe and to clearly communicate such policy to the Russian government. We must reinforce our extended deterrence commitments regarding our nuclear umbrella upon which our European allies have relied for decades.
In addition, the U.S. cannot be a passive spectator as Russia uses nuclear intimidation. If Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the U.S. must act. This must be clear to Russia to deter their use of nuclear weapons in this unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine.
Thank you for your attention to this critical matter.