(RightIsRight.co) – The United States will hit Russia and its military with a “devastating strike” if Russian leader Vladimir Putin uses even a single nuclear weapon against Ukraine, according to a former top US general who commanded the allied forces in Europe.
Should Putin resort to nukes in his attempt to conquer Ukraine, America will be drawn directly into the war, and may decide to annihilate the Russian Navy in the Black Sea, retired US Army Gen. Ben Hodges has forecast.
Between 2014 and 2018, the general was the supreme Europe commander of NATO, the US-led alliance of 30 Western nations.
Hodges noted that the American response against a potential Russian use of nukes against the Ukrainians does not need to be nuclear to be devastating, as cited by The Daily Mail.
Thus, he said that with its conventional capabilities, the US could destroy entirely not just the Russian Black Sea Fleet but also Russia’s military bases on its coast as well as in Crimea, the peninsula that Putin seized from Ukraine back in 2014.
Hodges made his forecast after the Russian leader dramatically escalated his failing invasion war against Ukraine by announcing mass mobilization in Russia and threatening the United States and its allies with a nuclear war.
“If there is a threat to the territorial integrity of our country, and in protecting our people, we will certainly use all means to us,” Putin said in his televised speech.
“And I’m not bluffing,” he added in what many have taken as a sign he is enraged his nuclear blackmail no longer scares anybody in the West.
According to Hodges, however, it is “very unlikely” that Russia would dare to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine or America and the West.
“[Putin] knows the US will have to respond if Russia uses a nuclear weapon. The US response may not be nuclear…but could very well be a devastating strike that could, for example, destroy the Black Sea Fleet or destroy Russian bases in Crimea,” the former top US military commander in Europe said.
“So, I think President Putin and those around him will be reluctant to draw the US into the conflict directly,” Hodges predicted.
Once considered the second strongest military in the world after the US, Russia has suffered enormous losses at the hands of the Ukrainian defenders, largely thanks to high-quality Western weapons systems supplied by the United States and other nations.
One recent estimate says the Russians have lost about 155,000 killed, missing, captured, and wounded men in Ukraine. In addition, the Ukrainian government estimates that 14,000 units of Russian military equipment have been destroyed.