President Putin of Russia has been talking a lot lately about his forces using nuclear weapons — presumably tactical nuclear weapons — in the war with Ukraine. It’s an easy threat to make but a difficult one to follow-through for reasons I’ll explain here in some detail. I’m not saying Mr Putin won’t order nuclear strikes. He might. Dictators do such things from time to time. But if Mr Putin does push that button, I’d estimate there is perhaps a 20- percent chance that nukes will be actually launched and a 100 percent chance that Mr. Putin will end that day with a bullet in his brain.

Given that I don’t […]