An overreaction by the United States and NATO could lead to Russia to "nuclear escalation," Radar has learned.
A new report from Brown University's Costs of War Project details the possibility of nuclear escalation as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues.
"The horrific conflict resulting from Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues to develop into a volatile situation for European security with the grave possibility of a wider war," the report states. "In turn, these escalatory pressures have led to calls for significantly enhanced United States defense spending. Yet, it is important that the U.S. not succumb to threat inflation, or 'speech that gives an exaggerated sense of danger,' in regards to public and official perceptions of Russia."
Russia's struggling efforts in Ukraine have shown that the country is "a weaker conventional military power than many in the U.S. had imagined," the report states.
According to an August report from the United States Department of Defense, in August Russia had suffered up to 80,000 casualties. The country also has lost an estimated thousands of armored vehicles.
Since Russia's invasion began, the United States has adopted measures to isolate Russia financially through sanctions and other measures. It has also sent billions of dollars and military equipment to assist Ukraine in fending off the Russian invasion.
Early on, it was expected that Russia would take over at least key regions in Ukraine. However, with help from the West, Ukraine has begun pushing the Russians back, foiling many of its efforts to take control of the country.
The Costs of War Project report states that "there is no additional cause for intensified fear of a Russian military threat to the US nor for the resultant expansion of the Pentagon budget."
"If the U.S. and NATO increase their military spending and conventional forces in Europe, the weakness of Russian conventional military forces could prompt Moscow to rely more heavily on its nuclear forces," the report said, adding that "because the Russian military is relatively weak, an over-reaction to Russian aggression could push the Russian leadership toward nuclear escalation."