Meanwhile, We’re Still WAY Too Close To Nuclear Armageddon

Caitlin Johnstone
4 min readMay 24, 2024


Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

While the antiwar zeitgeist has been quite understandably focused on the genocide in Gaza, over the past few weeks we’ve been seeing some very disturbing reports about empire managers ramping up nuclear brinkmanship escalations in Ukraine that are worth going over.

Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp has been doing a great job covering these developments, as usual. Here are a few recent stories from which deserve some attention today.

In an article titled “Blinken Pushing To Let Ukraine Hit Russian Territory With US Weapons,” DeCamp goes over a New York Times report about a “vigorous debate” within the Biden administration over whether to let Ukraine use US-supplied war machinery to attack targets in the Russian Federation itself. This would risk direct hot war between Russia and NATO, as Moscow already made explicitly clear recently with regard to similar developments in the UK.

“Moscow recently warned the UK that if Ukraine used British weapons on Russian territory, Russian forces would target UK military sites in Ukraine ‘and beyond’,” DeCamp writes. “The warning came after British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Ukraine had the ‘right’ to use British arms in attacks on Russia.”

Obviously Ukraine has the “right” to attack Russia since Russia is attacking Ukraine; nobody disputes this. What is of course disputed is that it is wise or moral to risk the life of every terrestrial organism by tempting hot warfare between Russia and NATO over who controls Kharkiv.

In “Speaker Johnson Thinks Ukraine Should Use US Weapons on Russian Territory,” DeCamp reports on a letter sent by a bipartisan group of House representatives urging the president to lift any restrictions on the Ukrainians using US-supplied weapons to strike Russian territory “in the way they see fit.” Which means pressure is mounting both within the White House and on Capitol Hill to escalate nuclear tensions in this way.

In “Estonia Says NATO Countries Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Sending Troops to Ukraine for Training,” we learn of Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas’ casual support for openly sending large numbers of NATO forces into Ukraine for training purposes. Small, unofficial special operations forces from NATO powers have long been active in Ukraine, but what the Estonian PM is advocating would be a significant escalation from there. DeCamp notes that “Estonia, Lithuania, and France have all expressed interest in deploying troops” in Ukraine.

All this insanely hawkish rhetoric is already drawing a response from Moscow. In “Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Drills Near Ukrainian Border,” The Libertarian Institute’s Kyle Anzalone reports on new war games which were announced by the Russian government “in response to Western leaders suggesting NATO troops could enter Ukraine.”

There was a lull in nuclear brinkmanship between NATO and Russia as the uncertainties of the Ukraine war and the influence the hawks would have over it got clearer, and things reached a cruel and bloody semblance of stability. But as Ukraine loses ground and runs out of manpower we’re starting to see some frantic flailings throughout the western empire on a front where cool heads are of existential importance to the survival of our species.

It would feel so unbelievably idiotic if we woke up to learn that nuclear war has begun after a series of reckless escalations and unpredictable developments led to a rapid sequence of events from which there could be no return. But that’s not an unreasonable fear at this point in history, and we are moving much, much too close to that ledge.


My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece here are some options where you can toss some money into my tip jar if you want to. Go here to find video versions of my articles. Go here to buy paperback editions of my writings from month to month. All my work is free to bootleg and use in any way, shape or form; republish it, translate it, use it on merchandise; whatever you want. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. All works co-authored with my husband Tim Foley.

Bitcoin donations: 1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Featured image via Adobe Stock.