Quick thread on the nuclear posture change
First, this is a deterrence action against the west, both conventionally and western sanctions. It's a big 'keep out' sign, not a real intent to escalate to nuclear force or aimed at ukr.
From the operations so far, it looks like R intended a morale victory with fast surrender of UA forces. That didn't pan out, and this conflict is likely to escalate savagely with new commitments of conventional force. This is a 'keep out of it' to the west
The two big sanctions that rise to the level of a strategic threat are the sanctions against the central bank, and airspace closures making RU mainland-Kaliningrad connections look precarious
The inevitable response to the R nuclear posture change is that nuclear forces elsewhere will now also go to high readiness
Unfortunately, there is a good chance those postures will remain on high alert on both sides now until the conflict ends. Which could be a while. The huge risk is not so much immediate, but mistakes and missignalling that leads to horrific consequences until that happens
Key thing now is for the leaders of nuclear powers to make clear that *they* will not be the source of that escalation, and to recognize the real red lines that can lead to it
So EU, US, and leaders of those powers need to signal quickly and loudly the circumstances under which escalation can occur. Namely, no use without a strike by R, and to loudly commit that they understand and will not step over the red line triggers
For example, while airspace closures in EU will occur, under no circumstances will transit or logistics between R and Kaliningrad be disrupted. Under no circumstances will their conventional forces engage directly with R forces.
That sanctions will be severe and life-changing to R, it's govt, and it's people, but will, under no circumstances, rise to the level of preventing R undertaking its core sovereign activities
And that responses in cyberspace will not be taken that that have the functional or kinetic effect of disabling the core infrastructure necessary in a modern sovereign nation that would, under LOAC, rise to the level of an armed attack
During this period, defense ministers, foreign ministers, and heads of state should be particularly careful to ensure that they do not announce new policies or sanctions without consulting with experts and lawyers to ensure they don't unexpectedly step over those lines
This doesn't escalate to nuclear conflict by itself, it needs serious miscommunication to get there, but given how uncareful EU was in reading R MFA prior to conflict, and how uncareful talk has been since, it is important now for them to be much more careful in signalling
That all said, this is bad news for everyone, but also a really really ominous sign for ukr that this war is going to get a lot, lot more ugly in conventional force very soon.
You can follow @pwnallthethings.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: