The US and its NATO allies should prepare a “devastating” response to potential Russian nuclear action, Sen. Mitt Romney said on Saturday.
The call to action comes on the heels of threats from the Kremlin and warnings from Russian diplomats that the country’s Ukraine invasion could lead to a nuclear strike, the Utah Republican wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times.
“Russia’s use of a nuclear weapon would unarguably be a redefining, reorienting geopolitical event,” Romney, 75, wrote.
“We should imagine the unimaginable, specifically how we would respond militarily and economically to such a seismic shift in the global geopolitical terrain.”
The former presidential candidate presented several options available to western allies in addition to a nuclear response if a “cornered and delusional” Russian President Vladimir Putin deployed a nuclear weapon.
NATO forces could engage with Russia in Ukraine and crush out their attempts to reclaim the peaceful former Soviet territory, he wrote.
The US could also pressure China and other Russia allies to turn against its partner with an ultimatum, similar to the one delivered by former President George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks.
“You are either with us, or you are with Russia — you cannot be with both,” Romney wrote.
Any nation that aligned with a post-nuclear Russia would be a “global pariah,” and would be forced to endure an “economic Armageddon,” which is “far preferable to nuclear Armageddon,” he said.
Romney said he supports the continued US support of Ukraine and presumes the Biden administration is working with NATO to “develop and evaluate a broad range of options.”
“The potential responses to an act so heinous and geopolitically disorienting as a nuclear strike must be optimally designed and have the support of our NATO allies,” Romney concluded.
“Mr. Putin and his enablers should have no doubt that our answer to such depravity would be devastating.”