Prof. Lingelbach Considers Putin's Motives for Escalating the War in Ukraine
April 20, 2022
Contact: Office of Advancement and External Relations
For his latest opinion piece in The Hill, David Lingelbach, associate professor in The University of Baltimore's Merrick School of Business, looks at the factors behind Vladimir Putin's threats to escalate the war in Ukraine into a wider nuclear conflict.
"[M]ore than perhaps any other contemporary leader, [Putin's] actions cannot be predicted. He is a master of uncertainty. He cannot be read," Prof. Lingelbach writes.
"The 1962 and 1983 nuclear scares between the Soviet Union and the United States were resolved in part because both sides behaved rationally according to their own lights. Putin may not be irrational, but he leans into the uncertainty that nuclear deterrence has sought to calculate away. He is not a creature of the deterrence world. He is a revolutionary actor.
That is the problem for the West. Why would Putin use nukes? Because he doesn't accept the rational calculus of nuclear deterrence."
Lingelbach addresses four scenarios that are being discussed by analysts and media around the world. Each has value, he says, but none deliver an answer with finality. The principle of uncertainty is the leading factor.
Read the piece in The Hill.
Learn more about Prof. Lingelbach.