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Pentagon spokesman expresses confidence in NATO deterrent posture to avoid nuclear confrontation


March 11, 2022

Responding to concerns of possible nuclear or biological escalation in the war in Ukraine at a press briefing today, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said, "We are confident in the strategic deterrent posture that we have in place," but added that "With respect to specific bio/chem weapons capabilities in Ukraine, [Russia] is a country that has a reputation for using those kinds of weapons on people and we know they have a program." Referring to Russian accusations that such weapons exist in Ukrainian hands, he said, "We continue to watch for the potential, and I want to stress the word potential, that [the Russians] could be banging this drum with the intent of creating some sort of false flag event that they could use as an excuse to escalate the conflict even more." "It's something that could happen that we want to watch out for," he said. Asked if captured Ukrainian soldiers are receiving Geneva Convention protection, Kirby said, "Obviously, we are not involved in this war. But our expectation would be that both parties abide by Geneva Convention requirements and to treat any soldiers that are captured humanely and in accordance with the rule of law." Commenting on the extent of support the US is currently providing to Ukraine, Kirby said, "I think you can understand we don't believe it's helpful to the Ukrainians to have us publicize and put in great detail the kinds of capabilities we are getting into their hands," adding, "It wouldn't be the right thing to do."





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