On CNN Monday, Ret. Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling addressed the risk that Vladimir Putin escalates to using weapons of mass destruction in the invasion of Ukraine.
"I'm sure Mr. Putin and his generals are extremely frustrated, but truthfully, from the very beginning, as we said, they have not put the kind of forces and they have not had the kind of synchronization you need," said Hertling.
"There's a school of thought — Peggy Noonan wrote, 'The worse Putin's army does on the ground, the greater risk he takes an outlier move, such as using tactical nuclear weapons,'" said CNN anchor Jim Sciutto. "Again, I don't want to overstate that risk. I know it is one the Pentagon takes, at least seriously, and watches for any signs of. Putin can't lose, right? So, do you worry that as he gets more frustrated, that risk becomes greater?"
"I don't worry about it, Jim, but it is certainly a concern," said Hertling. "I think the intelligence indicators are focused on what might create those kinds of uses of extreme weapons, weapons of mass destruction. So, I firmly believe that the U.S. government and NATO is watching very closely for any indicators of the use of chemical or nuclear weapons and there will be a reaction to that, or preemption in some cases, if that happens."
"You know, folks — the pundits since the very beginning have said, if we push too hard, Russia is going to use some kind of extreme measure," Hertling continued. "That is certainly a consideration. What we've seen so far is, Mr. Putin, since the very beginning, has failed in achieving every one of his strategic objectives.
"He continues to adjust his operational objectives. And even then, he continues to fail. So, you know, when you're talking about what is next for him, man, I hope that there's a potential that the Russian people will see what's happening and as more news gets back to the population, that they will take action and get this individual out of the leadership of Russia."
Mark Hertling says Russian generals are "frustrated" www.youtube.com