(NewsNation) – A fresh round of concerns over whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would launch nuclear missiles as part of the war on Ukraine could be driven by another issue: He’s essentially out of any other credible threat.
“It does appear to be part of a pattern of hyperbole, a lot of propaganda,” retired Marine Intelligence Officer Hal Kempfer said Friday in an interview on “NewsNation Prime.” “And, of course, you have to remember: this is about the last thing that he really has to rattle.
“His conventional forces haven’t functioned, his economy is really in a desperate strait. So the one thing he can go back and point to is, ‘We have nuclear weapons,'” Kempfer said
The United States and other Ukrainian allies were forced to confront the nuclear threat again this week. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace claimed Putin could declare World War III in just two days or use nuclear weapons on May 9, the day that commemorates the end of World War II.
That analysis came on the same day key members of Russian state media said it was “more probable” Putin would turn to a nuclear attack than accept defeat.
“Either we lose in Ukraine, or the Third World War starts,” said Margarita Simonyan, editor of Russia Today. “I think World War III is more realistic, knowing us, knowing our leader.”
Kempfer, who is also the CEO of Global Risk Intelligence and Planning, said the White House needs to better express how serious they are about the threat. They downplayed it to avoid panic, but now should be clearer about what’s happening behind the scenes to assure the American people whether this is a credible threat, he said.
Kempfer said there’s no doubt that the United States and its allies are monitoring the activity of Russian missile locations and the status of those facilities.
Besides the nuclear threat, Kempfer pointed out that the Russia-Ukraine conflict has almost become a “war of logistics.”
“The production line issue is a huge fight,” he said. “In fact … it’s almost become a war of logistics: our logistics versus their logistics. It’s getting the weapons produced, it’s getting the weapons over there.
“We have significantly depleted our stocks of things like Stinger missiles, Javelin missiles,” Kempfer said. “It’s tough to turn production lines on from, from one level to a much higher level, certainly if the production line has been turned off all together.”
President Joe Biden on Tuesday will visit a Javelin anti-tank missile manufacturing facility in Alabama. Earlier in the week, the U.S. Commerce secretary said semiconductor shortages could cause a slowdown in weapons like the javelin to Ukraine.
Kempfer noted that the flow of weapons from multiple countries is supporting the Ukrainians.
“It’s not just our missiles,” Kempfer said. “It’s a multilateral thing.”