Biden Says Risk Of Nuclear ‘Armageddon’ Is Highest Since Cuban Missiles
President Joe Biden said on Thursday the risk of a nuclear war has never been as high since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, in a striking message about what he called the potential for “armageddon.”
“We have not faced the prospect of armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” Biden told a crowd at a fundraiser in New York.
“We are trying to figure out: What is Putin’s off ramp? Where does he find a way out? Where does he find himself where he does not only lose face but significant power?” he added.
The president’s remarks — starker than recent statements by White House members on how to deal with the Russian nuclear threat — surprised even senior U.S. officials.
Biden’s assessment was not based on new pieces of intelligence information, multiple sources said.
Biden’s reference to the Cuban Missiles Crisis in 1962 comes only a few days from the 60th anniversary of the conflict.
On October 16 that year, President John Kennedy had access to images of a Soviet nuclear installation in Cuba, which triggered a tense negotiation with the U.R.S.S. that lasted for 13 days, ending when Russia withdrew the missiles from Cuba.
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