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Intel expert weighs seriousness of Putin nuclear threat

(NewsNation) — Following statements this week from Russian President Vladimir Putin that his nuclear-armed country will “certainly use all means available to us” if the country, its people and its territory are threatened, military leaders are weighing in on how seriously the threat should be taken.

Barry McManus, a security consultant who spent more than 25 years at the CIA, joined NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” Thursday to speak on the matter and said evaluating the severity of Putin’s statements comes down to three logistical points: mobilization, economics and nuclear war.

Mobilization

McManus’ first point speaks to logistics and the toll it will take for Russia to mobilize 300,000 conscripts, even if 1,000 to 2,000 will be reserves.

“They have to be prepared to fight,” McManus said on “Rush Hour” Thursday.

Economy

And if Putin does manage to mobilize such a large number of troops, McManus said the second logistical point to consider is the economy.

“The economy is the fact that those 300,000 will definitely suck out of the economy,” McManus said. “And what I mean by that is, you think there’s protests now, but there clearly will be protests in the future, and they will get worse countrywide — so Putin has to be very concerned about that.

Nuclear war

The third thing, McManus said, is the threat of nuclear war.

“I don’t think we can take it lightly. I think you have to take it seriously, even though I think the probability is low. But you obviously can’t anticipate what someone like Putin could potentially do. But I think if he did take that course of action, it would be catastrophic,” McManus said.