Putin Will Not Use Nuclear Weapons

Is the US to blame for the devastation in Ukraine? Given our influence across the globe, our diplomatic reach and our military might, should the US and Joe Biden have done more to avoid the current catastrophe, which includes humanitarian devastation and genocide?

The US has come a long way from “speaking softly and carrying a big stick.” For sure we still have a big stick, but our politicians and leaders don’t know how to effectively wield existential power. In all fairness, there are two really important facts that we must be mindful about. One is that Russia has nuclear weapons that can end mankind as we know it today. Two, Putin may be crazy enough to use nuclear power.

I think it was a mistake for Biden and his administration to give credence to the possibility of a nuclear confrontation. History has proven that even the most despicable troublemakers in the world don’t have the guts to launch a nuclear attack. Up to now, only America has used a weapon of mass destruction. It was a frightful decision that many still resent. Thousands of innocents died on the eventful day. Even North Korea and Iran, and all the terrorists they are affiliated with, know that a nuclear attack will result in obliteration of their countries.

Of course, Russia has unique status. It has nukes that can destroy the world. Yet, it has had its share of aggressive leaders who backed away from a nuclear encounter with the United States. Consider Khrushchev Gorbachev and Yeltsin.

President Biden gave up too much in the days before the Ukraine attack. He assumed that Putin would go nuclear if the US responded aggressively. This was a big mistake. Putin continues to threaten the world with weapons of mass destruction, if NATO kills a soldier or downs a Russian aircraft. It’s not going to happen. Even a madman would not end the world for such a relatively insignificant event.

Does Putin have the power to launch a nuke without concurrence of others. Until now, I worried that if Putin woke up on the wrong side of the bed, he might initiate an atomic war. This is absurd. If he gives the order, other politicians and generals will need to be convinced that Russia will not be wiped out by the US arsenal of nuclear response (which will happen). The decision they will make is clear.

By giving credence to the nuclear possibility, the US and NATO response to the Ukraine attack has been subdued. The West is supplying all forms of weapons without any real response by the Russians, only talk and idle threats. We should do more to help the Ukrainians fight back against Russia, and not assume a Holocaust is feasible.

John F Kennedy had the chops to respond to Khrushchev during the Cuban missile crisis. We need leaders who have the same courage to fight aggression. A decision to launch missiles and end the world is the ultimate fail safe.

Does Putin Have A Soul?

Dear President Putin:

You decided to attack the Ukraine with 175,000 troops and an armada of tanks and artillery batteries. Additionally, the Russian air force and navy have launched cruise missiles into areas populated by civilians. Your tactics have been ruthless and classified as crimes against humanity.

Many people around the world are wondering why you were so determined to attack your neighbor and former SSR. After all, there were many pro-Russian supporters in Ukraine prior to the commencement of hostilities.

Early man resorted to violence as part of his search for food, water and shelter. Prehistoric people were always looking for more fertile places to grow food and raise animals. When circumstances made it difficult to live, early man resorted to violence to fulfill his needs that might include land and natural resources.

As man evolved, warfare was commonplace among contiguous tribal groups who like their ancestors were constantly looking for places to find food and shelter for their families. Often, skirmishes and squabbles occurred when the needs were great, and the survival of the tribe was at stake.

Eventually, man invented weapons to do battle. This resulted in bloody confrontations for land and food sources. The strongest overwhelmed the weakest.

And finally, war erupted for political reasons and for access to natural resources that translated into wealth and prosperity.

There have been epic battles between neighbors over the years. During the 20th century, the scope of warfare increased exponentially as weaponry became more advanced. Wars broke out between people that were located around the world from each other.

During World War I, Germany tried to engulf the European continent. Sovereign states were invaded, and new and nefarious political systems were foisted onto defeated countries. During World War II, the stakes became greater as planes could fly hundreds and thousands of miles to drop bombs with devastating results. Innocent people were dying because of political ambitions. And finally, the US dropped nuclear weapons on Japan effectively ending the Japanese efforts to control Asia. Thousands of civilians died. This is a testament to the existential threat that nuclear weapons pose to civilization.

Today, most fighting involves terrorism, religion and political manipulation. Sunnis fight against Shia in the Middle East. Protestants fight against Catholics in Ireland. Tribes and African countries attack and slaughter each other because of hate and bigotry. Sometimes, countries are broken up to accommodate historically old feuds, like the Balkans.

But mostly, civilized countries do not start wars unless another a group is violating human rights, terrorizing others and/or committing genocide.

Mr. Putin, why are you your soldiers dying in Ukraine? What do you want? Is it your dream to reestablish a new Soviet Union? About the only thing Ukraine has of value is access to the ocean in Crimea. Surely, Russia’s access to water, for commercial and military reasons, cannot be an issue. So, why hurt so many innocent people?

You say Ukraine is a threat to Russia. In what way? Surely, if NATO tanks populated the Ukraine which abuts Russia, it would not be a problem. You could easily obliterate whole armies with nuclear weapons. What’s your concern?

You say that countries should be formed based upon ethnic demographics. You might not agree, but the US and its melting pot citizenry are living proof that countries need not be of one race, religion or tribe to live peacefully and be great.

Are you attacking Ukraine for sport? Killing thousands and forcing three million plus people from their homes is not is not a legitimate pastime. You didn’t expect such amazing resistance from Ukrainians. They are fighting for freedom and their families. It’s no wonder that they are killing hundreds of tanks and thousands of Russian soldiers and making your adventure into Ukraine seem so utterly nonsensical.

Frankly, Mr. Putin, you underestimated many things. Besides the determination of the Ukrainians, you significantly misread the reaction of the West. Now the largest and most prosperous countries in the world are lining up to help Ukraine militarily and effectively bankrupt Russia. Your people are now suffering losses, inflation, food shortages, etc.

Many experts are predicting that Russia’s power and influence will be seriously diminished when all is said and done. You still have nuclear weapons, but that’s it. Even your oil and gas resources will decline in value as fossil fuels are used less in the future.

What’s next, Mr. Putin? Are you going to threaten the West with nuclear weapons like rogue countries such as Iran and North Korea? Do you want to be among these Godforsaken countries?

You will be long gone before Russia regains what it lost with this invasion of Ukraine. Look at photos of the damage and devastation your soldiers are causing. Look at pictures of women and children struggling to survive. Prove you have a soul and make peace.

Biden Keeps Floundering

President Biden is getting kicked around by most of the press corps for walking back on statements made relating to the Ukraine/Russia conflict.

He called for regime change in Russia; the administration walked back his comments. He implied the US would respond to chemical warfare by Russia “in kind” meaning that the US might consider responding with a weapon of mass destruction if Russia used one; the administration walked it back. He implied that the US might use ground forces against Russia; the administration walked it back because it was too inflammatory.

The result of all the flip-flopping is that the US looks weak and indecisive. Our allies are starting to think that Biden is not calling the shots and assuming assurances by the US cannot be taken for granted. I would like to know who is making decisions in the administration.

What is particularly disturbing is that Americans and Europeans think Putin has lost his mind, and he should be replaced, by force or whatever. For some reason, expressing this opinion publicly is undiplomatic. And, who would replace Putin? Would he or she be more bellicose then Putin? Will the chances of a nuclear confrontation be greater or lesser under a new Russian regime? Americans have been led to believe that the intelligence infrastructure is supposed to advise the president on all these matters. Apparently, they’re not doing such a great job, or Biden is not capable of following a sensible script.

The fact of the matter is that economic sanctions are putting average Russians on the hot seat, especially since Putin does not allow dissent in his country. The sanctions are crushing Russia’s currency and turning the economy topsy-turvy. Everything is more costly to Russians, and they are starting to resent their predicament, at least that’s what experts are saying.

I believe the US should have tried to bankrupt Russia since the Crimean invasion several years ago. Putin has taken advantage of a cash flow bonanza as oil and gas prices have increased markedly. Russia traditionally goes to war when oil prices go up.

Joe Biden is proving time and again that he is not capable of leading our country. His 40% current approval rating makes it obvious that that a large majority of Americans are unhappy with the current state of affairs.

Biden has not been an effective leader of his congressional caucus even though he spent decades in the Senate. Yet, he keeps trying relentlessly to push progressive economic spending programs through the Congress with no success. The president just announced another $5 trillion giveaway even though inflation is causing angst and the country cannot afford it. There is no chance this legislation will become law.

Having a president that cannot deal with our enemies is a pathetic situation, especially in America. Is there not one politician capable of winning election and leading us to peace and prosperity? Are all politicians blathering idiots? Do we have some men or women capable of standing up to crazed autocrats?

Given the maniacal things Russia is in the process of doing, are there any leaders in the country who can rally Americans and peace-loving nations? If we cannot put together a loyal following around the world to counter Russian aggression, will we be able to do anything productive with the global community regarding climate change, nuclear proliferation, hunger and disease?

The Russian Blame Game

The New York Times published a story that suggests there is dissension brewing between Russian generals and Putin. The war in Ukraine is not proceeding well and some officials are playing the blame game. If the Russian effort continues to worsen, heads will roll. Hopefully, Putin will be among those who take a fall.

Some generals are criticizing the Russian effort. The war plan was supposed to be a bloodless takeover. When Ukrainians saw a massive invasion of tanks, armored carriers carrying 175,000 troops and fighter jets in their air space, they were expected to yield to the aggressors and put down their arms. Not so.

The opposite has occurred. With support from their friends, Ukrainians have stealthily held their ground and have inflicted massive casualties along with destruction of countless armed vehicles. Choosing to attack in the Spring was a bonehead decision because tanks cannot move effectively through wet areas. They are travelling on roads where guerrillas are ambushing them with anti-tank missiles provided by the US and other countries. To make matters worse, several generals have been killed while attempting to motivate the troops. This has resulted in serious morale issues that have been exacerbated by fuel and food shortages.

In general, no pun intended, the occupation is not a cakewalk because every able-bodied Ukrainian is fighting to protect his and her freedom. The response by Russian leadership has been to become more aggressive and crueler as time passes. Missiles launched by warships close to Ukraine, bombs by fighter planes and artillery shot by ground forces have been directed at civilian areas including hospitals, schools and residences. The result is an epic sprint to the border by those rendered homeless. When it’s over, millions of Ukrainians will be disbursed to countries across Europe.

There still is the existential threat of nuclear weapons weighing heavily on the minds of Europeans and the US. A fraudulent and unwise incursion by Russia could lead the world into a larger confrontation. In effect, a relatively minor incursion could result in a conflict with horrendous ramifications.

Back home in Mother Russia, Putin’s people are getting restless. The pocketbooks of many are being impacted by a seriously devalued currency, a devastated financial system and an inability to trade with other countries. Putin has responded by making it a crime to protest the government and has censored all news outlets. The actions will likely infuriate citizens and ultimately encourage regime change.

The scary question is, how will Putin react to his crumbling government? Will he resort to more violence directed at Europe and US? He has already communicated with Xi Jinping who should have warned Putin to avoid the use of nukes. Xi’s design of worldwide domination is not enhanced by Putin’s roguish actions. There have been no obvious offerings by China to assist Russia in its Ukrainian invasion.

Softball Politics published a blog on July 22, 2014, titled “Severe Economic Sanctions Could Bankrupt Russia And End The Conflict In Ukraine.” In it, financial sanctions were encouraged shortly after Russian-backed rebels in the Ukraine shot down a commercial airliner with a land missile. A Russian invasion of Crimea occurred soon after. The moral of the story is that EU and the US should have been imposing greater and greater sanctions against Russia to discourage future aggression eight years ago. The US did nothing more jawbone at the time. Our current president should learn from history that Putin and his war-mongering generals understand nothing other than brute force.

Why Did Russia Attack The Ukraine?

Like many others around the world, I’ve been watching, in shock, the events unfolding in the Ukraine. It’s shameful that Russia, and its deranged leader Vladimir Putin, have decided to attack a helpless sovereign nation. Thousands of innocence people will ultimately die, and the Ukraine will be left in ashes.

In the meantime, over one million refugees have crossed the border seeking safety from the onrushing Russian tanks and soldiers. A humanitarian crisis is brewing as two or three million Ukrainians are expected to leave their homes. Russian soldiers have repeatedly targeted civilian buildings, residences and non-military targets like a TV radio station and a gigantic nuclear facility that provides electricity to Ukrainians. 

It’s unclear what Putin’s ultimate objective is. Is it to engulf Ukraine for sentimental or political reasons? The country is not a powerhouse by any measure. There were 30 million people living in Ukraine when all this started. They are reportedly hard-working people with loose connections to Russia. There are no raw materials or anything worth starting a world war over. The only strategic asset in the country is Crimea, and its access to the Black Sea.

Putin believes Ukraine belongs to Russia, which is absurd. And, he wants to use Ukraine as a buffer to keep away European military forces, as if Europeans are planning to invade Russia. This is all nonsense. In a hot war, the US would attack Russia with our intercontinental ballistic missiles based thousands of miles away. 

Why the hell is Russia spending all this money and risking economic disaster for Ukraine? It has to be because Putin has gone batty. This leads us to another concern. Who is in control of nuclear weapons in Russia’s arsenal? This point was made in my last blog about Putin.

In the meantime, the US is still buying oil from Russia, which is funding his invasion. The US has decreased its production of oil and gas making us dependent upon Russia and Middle East producers. Presumably, this was done in an effort to jumpstart the war against fossil fuels. How can our president and Congress sacrifice national security because of demands by radical left wingers in our government?

I think the ultimate solution to the crisis is to not be weak and cringe every time Putin reminds us that he has nuclear weapons. Biden must indicate that the US is willing to go to war with Russia if its forces move on one foot of territory beyond Ukraine. We must protect our allies from this evil force that threatens democracy and freedom. Further, the US and nations around the world must bankrupt Russia, literally.

This means that all countries should stop doing business with Russia. No bank facilities should be available to the Russian government or its corporations. These actions will crush the Russian economy and create havoc in the country. And hopefully, the Russian people will recognize that Putin is an egotistical maniac that is bad for the country. A change in regime should be the ultimate goal. 

This plan should effectively convert Russia to a second class, irrelevant country.  

Is Putin Unhinged Mentally

The craziness in the Ukraine is beginning to look like an Ian Fleming or Tom Clancy novel complete with an existential threat to mankind. “Maniacal Russian despot attacks helpless former Soviet Union SSR and threatens to use nuclear weapons to fend off interference by the US.” It’s a daunting story line.

I’m beginning to think Vladimir Putin is off his rocker. All his strategic and tactical moves in Ukraine make no sense. He has lost the respect of virtually all peace-loving nations globally. Maybe not all nations, the leaders of North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba and some rogue African nations are probably siding with the mad Russian.

We haven’t heard a peep from China. Xi Jinping is probably cooking up a nefarious plan to attack Taiwan given the tepid response of Joe Biden towards Russia’s latest foray into Europe. I suspect Xi is ready to take advantage of our weak US president and leader.

So what’s going to happen next? Here are some possibilities. 1. Putin defeats the hapless Ukrainian army and puts Zelenskyy on trial for crimes against humanity. 2. Putin defeats the Ukraine and rebuilds his Army to move against former Balkan SSRs. 3. Putin agrees to a cessation of violence and demands that Ukraine agrees to never join NATO. 4. Biden threatens a real war in Europe if Putin attacks any former SSRs that are now members of NATO. Keep in mind every member of NATO is committed to fight against any aggressor towards NATO members.

The big question is whether Russia will, under any circumstances, test the patience of the US and Europe and risk a larger scale war that could include nukes. Putin has indirectly implied that he will use weapons of mass destruction if the US or Europe interfere with his plans.  Does this include the reunification of the Iron Curtain?

The choices Putin has made up to now are puzzling prognosticators. Does anyone really believe a coherent Putin might initiate a nuclear war to regain control of a few less than impressive former members of the Soviet Union? Has Putin gone off the deep end? Are any senior officials challenging Putin about his actions that threaten global peace? What if Putin orders a nuclear strike? Will Russian generals execute such a plan? Is the world at risk of a nuclear holocaust?

I’m getting existential for good reason. In the US, a person who becomes president cannot launch nuclear weapons without concurrence of others. Does Russia have the same failsafe arrangements?

Large wars have resulted because of errors in judgment and mistakes by former leaders. Mutual destruction protection does not work for insane leaders of countries with nuclear weapons. The leaders of the world should think about this, after this sordid chapter of history ends.

In the meantime, who is going to stop Putin? Zelenskyy wants to negotiate. Putin thinks he’s an empty suit.

Someone in Russia better be monitoring Putin’s battle plans to ensure none of it includes nuclear weapons.

Putin’s Ukraine Invasion Is Insane

My prediction of a Putin bluff regarding the Ukraine is not looking good at this moment. The power crazed leader of Russia is determined to make trouble in the Baltic countries, while attempting to re-assimilate the former SSRs. NATO guarantees should mitigate this latter possibility.

Putin’s gambit makes no sense from any perspective. Politically, he has alienated most of the civilized world. Putin’s invasion is taking us back to the years before World War II when Hitler overran European nations at his leisure in violation of international law. Russia has lined up thousands of tanks and heavy artillery along its border with Ukraine. One might ask why is this outrageous action important to Russia? Is it ego, political, financial? It’s difficult to see the upside of Putin’s erratic behavior.

It’s possible that Russia will end hostilities after re-assuming Ukraine territory that has strong Russian ties in the eastern part of the country, an annexation à la Crimea. But, Putin has amassed thousands of troops close to Kiev in a likely preparation to assault the capital.

Russia is temporally riding high because of the soaring prices of oil and gas. This is a passing moment and prices will decrease moving forward as producers drill more. Liberal efforts in the United States to decrease oil and gas production will reverse as producers are attracted to higher fossil fuel prices and the US changes its policies to avoid yet another oil crisis.

When prices fall, Russia’s windfall cash flow will subside, and the country will be ready for bankruptcy once again. This will be the beginning of the end of the Putin regime.

You would think the crazed leader of Russia would be saving for a rainy day. No. Instead he is mortgaging the future of his country by mobilizing and moving tanks, troops and armaments to the Balkans. The impending economic disaster will become a political disaster for the current leaders of Russia. 

And what about the US reaction to Russia’s aggression?  It was pathetic. Our country is virtually leaderless. Nickel and dime sanctions don’t threaten self-proclaimed conquerors like Putin. We should be going all in and doing everything possible to up the costs of Putin’s strategy. Decreasing defense spending is not such a good idea when there are megalomaniacs at play throughout the world.

Every US sanction should be directed at Russia’s cash reserves. We should make it difficult for Russia to sell oil and gas and move military assets from place to place. We should completely shut down Russia’s ability to pay for and receive payments for everything they do internationally. And we should encourage our allies to follow suit.

Putin is going to spend billions overrunning the Ukraine. What will he get in return? Tell me, because I can’t think of anything except a bad reputation. Russia is ripe for a change in its leadership.

The same is true of American leadership. We have the wrong person in the White House to combat this dangerous situation. 

Putin Is Going To Back Off

Vladimir Putin has come a long way since being a member of the KGB. According to Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State, he was a shy man who was intimidated by a US president, George W. Bush, 20 plus years ago.

Today Vlad’s is now a full-fledged megalomaniac and certainly not shy any longer. With higher oil prices, Russia is in the money. And so, Vlad has decided to take the world to the doorstep of a great war to wrest concessions from the West that are seemingly irrelevant. Russia is the only country that acts progressively more belligerent and aggressive when fossil fuels go up in price. Vlad probably hasn’t gotten the memo that fossil fuels are going to decline in value as the world gets deeper into climate change. Or maybe he has and wants one more bite of the apple.

This may be Russia’s last chance to bring back the good old days, not quite by making Putin a real czar, but by reassembling all the former SSR’s of Russia that can supposedly act as a buffer between Western Europe and Russia. Of course, This is an exaggeration. If the US got into a shooting match with Russia, the guy with the most ICBMs and nuclear weapons, not tanks and soldiers, would have the edge. If nukes were put into play, they could easily destroy the world as we know it today. Escalation from a small confrontation to a large worldwide maelstrom is what the world needs to worry about.  

The domination game that Russia and China are playing makes little sense. It would be wiser and more profitable to dominate smaller nations with valuable resources as allies not as satellites. Occupying foreign places, even if they are next door to the aggressor, is an expensive undertaking. In many situations you can gain political influence and abscond natural resources without using your soldiers to occupy. 

Vlad is doing a lousy negotiating his with the West. Nobody likes a bully, especially one that is always looking for a fight and threatening others with advanced weapon systems. The US has suffered in this regard continuously in the 20th and 21st centuries. Being blackballed is not good politics or economics for Vlad and his oligarch buddies. I think he bit off more than he can chew in this situation.

If Russia invades Ukraine, the world will line up behind the US, something that Russia does not want to happen. The West, led by the US, is going to shut down a big chunk of Russia‘s oil business and ability to use the international banking system. And what for? To gain a foothold in Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus?

I am still convinced that Russia will not invade. It just makes no sense from any perspective.

Will Russian Go To War With The US?

Ever since the latest Russian troop build-up began on the border of the Ukraine, I’ve been skeptical about Vladimir Putin’s intentions. Would the megalomaniac intentionally start a continental or world war by invading a sovereign country? Doubtful.

I appreciate Russian angst about having a country loyal to the West on its border, or part of NATO. And it doesn’t surprise me that Putin wants to stop any former SSR’s from joining NATO, but are these reasons to start a war?

The downsides to Russia initiating a conflict and occupying a country include extraordinarily costs, maybe more than Russia can afford. At today’s oil prices, perhaps Russia has the cash flow to fund a war and an occupation for a short time. But what if oil prices decrease markedly or the West effectively closes the North Stream 2 pipeline, a major source of revenue for Russia?

The US may also cut off Russia’s access to the world banking system and abscond funds from Putin’s oligarch friends.

What if Biden gains the cooperation of other peace-loving countries against Russia? This existential danger to Russia could affect Putin’s ability to sustain his regime.

Yesterday, I read in the newspaper that Putin’s advisors are saying there are still a number of possible diplomatic solutions to the dispute. Seems to me that Biden has the upper hand and should not let Russia off the hook.

The dangers of an expansion of hostilities is more likely to occur if each party (the US and Russia), continues to mobilize troops, planes, ships and armaments. An invasion by Russia of a sovereign nation is one of the most audacious moves Putin could make. He will be demonized by all of Europe and the US.

Why is this happening now? Russia, and China for that matter, believe the US has weak leadership. It’s not a coincidence that both countries are acting far more aggressive than before the election. Biden has proven he is not up to the job of controlling and manipulating our greatest enemies. Incidentally, the actions of Iran (producing a nuclear weapon) and North Korea (launching ballistic rockets) are further evidence of American weakness.

I’m going out on a limb, but I don’t think Russia will invade the Ukraine, especially if given a chance to save face. Biden must make some minor concessions to Putin, and visa versa, to prevent the relatively minor dispute from mushrooming into a calamity.

Iran’s Nuclear Program And ISIS

By Sal Bommarito

The New York Times reports that a major breakthrough is possible in the negotiations with Iran regarding its nuclear energy program.

This development could be critical not only for the safety of the Middle East, but also for the ISIS crisis. If a deal can be struck that prevents Iran from using its uranium to build a weapon, the world will be safer. If this situation is rectified, it opens the possibility that Iran could become a productive member of the coalition fighting ISIS.

Now the bad news. The U.S. and Russia have not been as antagonistic towards each other since the Cold War ended. Russia is currently invading Ukraine, and the U.S. led a successful effort to implement economic sanctions in protest. The competition between the two super powers has reached an apex.

The U.S.’s status in the world has been greatly impacted by its ambivalent diplomacy. Frankly, most nations are skeptical about the U.S.’s integrity and willingness to keep promises made to its allies. This attitude is particularly prevalent in the Middle East where much of the trouble is brewing.

Perhaps Iran can live with a program in which its uranium is shipped to Russia and converted into fuel rods that can only be used for peaceful purposes. A plethora of other issues need to be settled before a deal is consummated, including the number of permitted centrifuges, the fate of a heavy-water reactor that produces plutonium and the inspection process.

Most important are the differing endgames of the U.S., Iran and Russia. Neither the U.S. nor Russia wants Iran to possess a nuclear weapon; Iran has not agreed to comply. Russia wants to assess Iran exorbitant fees to convert the uranium; the U.S. is not excited about any new programs that benefit the Russian economy. Russia would like to become more engaged in the Middle East; the U.S. certainly does not want yet another antagonist disrupting the region. The U.S. must be concerned with Israel reacting aggressively about the chances of Iran developing a nuclear weapon.

It is highly likely that negotiations relating to Iran’s role in fighting ISIS will spill over into the nuclear discussions. This is problematic because it may influence the U.S. to make a very bad long-term decision for a short-term benefit. Moreover, the Obama administration is so hungry for a diplomatic success that it might agree to something that will have disastrous consequences.

We should be enthusiastic about new negotiations that could decrease nuclear proliferation. However, it is too early to celebrate because the U.S. must deal with some very devious adversaries.