President Biden had a stark message Thursday night: The world faces “the prospect of Armageddon” for the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “direct threat of the use of a nuclear weapon” is no bluff as Putin stares down military defeat in Ukraine and the potential to “lose significant power within Russia.”
Indeed, nuclear threats abound:
- Putin said last month: “We will use all available means to protect our people. This is not a bluff.”
- Nuclear-armed North Korea has conducted a record number of missile tests this year, with six — including one that flew over Japan — in just the past two weeks. Both North and South Korea have flown warplanes near their border this week, and the U.S. and the South are staging drills.
- China has stepped up its military provocations of Taiwan, and the U.S. is rushing conventional weapons to Taiwan in case of an invasion that grows more likely each year.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock, an assessment of the imminence of nuclear conflict that has been updated regularly since 1947, is the closest it has ever been to nuclear midnight — and the last update was before these developments.
Threats abroad are a reminder of the need for unity at home. Our leaders at their best rise to the occasion of global challenges, but these dire times find them more divided than ever. Join us in our work of building the unity we desperately need.