“Putin can escalate the war,” said a Washington Post headline over an article by Michael McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia who supports Biden. His October 13 article said:

President Biden’s recent comments on the specter of a nuclear Armageddon suggest that the U.S. intelligence community believes Putin’s threats are credible.

And yet, if Putin were to use a nuclear weapon (God forbid), that might also very likely deliver the final blow to his hold on power in Russia. No world leader would support him. The democratic world would be compelled to respond, both with more sophisticated weapons for Ukraine — fighter aircraft (MiG-29s), longer-range missile systems (ATACMS) and better air defense weapons (Patriots) as well as genuinely crippling sanctions, such as designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.