Tucson, Ariz/ Evertise Digital / Mar 7, 2022/ Many Ukrainian flags were on display at President Biden’s State of the Union Address, and “we stand with Ukraine” is a bipartisan refrain. But it is not clear how far that goes, states Physicians for Civil Defense president Jane Orient, M.D.
The President focused on economic sanctions: cutting off Russia’s largest banks from the international financial system and assembling a Department of Justice task force to go after the “ill-begotten [sic] gains of Russian oligarchs.” He also declared that he was mobilizing “American ground forces, air squadrons, ship deployments” to defend “every square inch” of NATO territories should Putin venture further.
Biden did not use the word “nuclear” at all, but Putin has reminded us about it. Putin has put Russia’s nuclear forces on highest alert. And the U.S. “Doomsday” plane, designed to serve as a mobile command-and-control center for the U.S. arsenal in the event of a nuclear strike, took a 4.5-hour flight.
In a climate of increased tensions, war can be sparked by an accidental incursion as well as by a deliberate decision. In the confusion, a “suitcase nuke” or “dirty bomb” could be detonated by an actor other than Russia, provoking a superpower confrontation, Physicians for Civil Defense points out.
“Americans will be economically affected by sanctions and retaliation,” states Dr. Orient. “But we must never forget that Russia also has the literal ‘nuclear option.’”
“The Biden Administration has not warned Americans about the need to prepare for potential consequences of this war, just in case,” she added. “The website ready.gov, updated Mar 2, does not call attention to heightened threats, although people can find some basic information there by searching on “blast” and “fallout.”
“SOTU should signal the need for Americans to work on preparedness for their families,” Dr. Orient concludes. “Preparation for war-time conditions applies to both nuclear and conventional warfare, even outside the immediate war zone. Much information is available in the indispensable book Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson Kearny, available free on line.”
Physicians for Civil Defense provides information to help save lives in the event of natural or man-made disasters.
Jane M. Orient, M.D.,