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US leadership’s mistakes may lead to global catastrophe


Mikhail Popov said that, the only person in the US, who can issue a nuclear weapons launch order, is currently the US President, who is characterized as “elderly man with poor memory”

MOSCOW | TASS | Mistakes that the US leadership might make amid the ongoing difficult and nervous domestic political situation in the country, may cost a lot for the rest of the world and lead to a global catastrophe, Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Mikhail Popov said in an interview for Izvestiya.

“In the overall difficult and nervous internal political situation in the US that has emerged recently, the price of a management mistake, committed by the national leaders, either deliberately or involuntarily, has increased significantly,” he said. “And there won’t be much distance to a global catastrophe.”

In this regard, he reminded that, in mid-1970s, Major Harold Hering was discharged from the US Air Force after asking if there is any way for him to make sure that a potential nuclear missile launch order comes from “a sane president.”

“Now, 50 years later, this question sounds even louder and more relevant. Especially so after the recent publication of the report by Special Counsel Robert Hur, who was appointed to investigate the case of classified documents that Joe Biden and his entourage took out of the White House,” the security official said.

He added that, the only person in the US, who can issue a nuclear weapons launch order, is currently the US President, whom Counsel Hur characterized as “elderly man with poor memory,” who can hardly remember main facts and details in many cases.

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US nuclear shield

The US nuclear weapons control system was compromised, Mikhail Popov believes.

Speaking in an interview for Izvestiya, he commented on the situation around the hospitalization of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Popov pointed out that a nuclear launch decision in the US must be made by a US president, in agreement with a defense secretary and a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“And the Defense Secretary is not in office, and no one knows where he is, who stands in for him. According to the media, some of his duties were delegated to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks. But, at that moment, she was on vacation in Puerto Rico,” the official described the situation. “Surprising as it may be, the US nuclear shield has effectively been compromised.”

Popov pointed out that US President Joe Biden and his National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan found out about the situation several days after Austin’s hospitalization.

He commented on Austin’s decision not to announce his diagnosis with irony: “Apparently, Lloyd Austin simply did not want to disturb the leadership and the people of the country during the Christams holidays over such a ‘trivial’ issue.”

However, in his opinion, a US defense secretary must be guided by their feeling of responsibility and service duty in situation like this.

“We are not talking about a banana republic, but about a nuclear-armed nation that constantly claims the role of a global hegemon,” Popov underscored.

According to the Security Council Deputy Secretary, thinking US citizens get ideas that the US control system and the procedure of the use of nuclear weapons are currently in a dubious state. He pointed out that certain US servicemen even tried to challenge the procedure of nuclear launch order relay.

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