By U.S. Navy Public Affairs Resources Website —, Public Domain,

I’ve Just Been Told That Nuclear War Would Be Merciful

Compared to what? Life?

5 min readNov 2, 2022


It was an argument. A debate with someone who sincerely believed that escalating the war with Russia is a necessary evil to finally end the threat that he felt Russia was to the world. He believed that enduring a nuclear war would be preferable to Putin’s victory if he were to blackmail the earth to accede to his demands.

He insisted that Ukraine has agency. If so, Ukraine has so far refused to negotiate peace with Russia and will not do so until Russia leaves Ukraine. Ukraine has the luxury of refusing to negotiate peace with Russia. Why?

Because Ukraine has received enough foreign aid to sustain itself through a war that could possibly turn into a nuclear war. That’s agency. Everything we’re sending to Ukraine only delays a peace deal. And every day that passes is one day closer to a nuclear war.

I know they’re out there, those people say that a nuclear war is unlikely. Maybe that’s because they haven’t read the latest Nuclear Posture Review. I haven’t read it, either. But the Union of Concerned Scientists have read it, and they say it’s scary AF. Here’s a smattering of what they thought about the potential for Armageddon on October 27th:

This NPR does not reflect the sensible steps President Biden proposed as a candidate to reduce the nuclear threat. Instead, the document says the United States has no choice but to build all-new nuclear weapons, despite science-based findings that the current warheads in the arsenal will be reliable for decades to come with only modest maintenance efforts. It abandons the pledge Biden made on the campaign trail to support a “no first use” policy and declare that the sole purpose of U.S. nuclear weapons is to deter nuclear attacks on the United States and its allies. It endorses the new, lower-yield W76–2 warhead produced by the Trump administration that the 2020 Democratic Platform called “unnecessary, wasteful, and indefensible.” [emphasis mine]

The same people who say the risk of nuclear war is low, tell me that if Russia used nukes, it would lose all of its allies. Russia knows that China would be most unhappy if Russia launched a nuclear weapon anywhere. At least, China says so. I think India said something about that, too.