US and British nuclear arsenal not ‘tuned up and ready’ despite Putin's warnings over Ukraine

US and British nuclear arsenal not ‘tuned up and ready’ despite Putin's warnings over Ukraine

Prince also spoke to GB News' Nigel Farage about dangers posed by ‘the enemies of western civilisation'

James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 03/03/2024

- 18:00

‘It’s a very dicey time… The hair on the back of my neck is standing up’, the founder of Unplugged said

American and British nuclear weapons’ readiness has been called into question after a week of “irresponsible” verbal escalation between Nato and Russian leaders over troop deployments in Ukraine.

Speaking to GB News, Erik Prince - founder of Unplugged, a former Navy Seal and founder of private military company Blackwater – said he “questioned how ready and tuned up America’s nuclear arsenal is” and warned of the dangers of making military tech assumptions.

Responding to claims by Vladimir Putin on Thursday that Russia’s nuclear stockpile was “in full combat readiness”, Prince said: “I question how ready and tuned up their arsenal is – I also question how ready and tuned up America's nuclear arsenal is, and I also question how tuned up and ready Britain's nuclear arsenal is.

“I understand there was a challenging or failed launch within the last couple of weeks in Britain as well.

Vladimir Putin, Erik Prince and nuclear explosion

Prince questioned US nuclear weapon stockpiles after Putin warned of the consequences of military escalation

Reuters/GB News/Wikimedia Commons

“Assumptions are really bad. They are extremely dangerous. As my dad told me: ‘When you assume, you make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.”

Putin’s comments – including a warning that Western troop deployments in Ukraine would bring “tragic” consequences – came after France’s President Emmanuel Macron refused to rule out putting boots on the ground in a Paris speech last Monday.

But Prince rebuffed Macron’s address, questioning whether he would actually send in French troops to intervene in Ukraine.

He said: “What weight does Macron have? I would argue the last time French troops intervened on their own, nothing went well for them – it’s irresponsible talk.”


Trident missile/HMS Vanguard

Prince also mentioned a failed British nuclear launch from HMS Vanguard last month

US Navy/Royal Navy

Prince called for an end to the conflict in Ukraine, which he described as “an unnecessary provocation in the first place”, saying he didn’t “see the point in the US continuing to fund an effort which is only killing Ukrainian and Russian men on both sides”.

When asked what peace in the region would look like, he said “even a peace like the DMZ between North and South Korea… is still much cheaper than losing hundreds of guys a day in constant artillery duels”.

Prince said: “Let Ukraine get back to trading – make them as cosy with the West as possible – but they should not be part of Nato.”

In a shocking revelation, Prince said he had given the Biden administration a foreign policy paper in December 2021 – two months before Russia’s invasion – which could have “stopped this entire nonsense before it started”.

F15 and F16 jets

Prince recommended donating F15 and F16 fighters to Ukraine before the conflict began

US Air Force

Prince’s paper recommended a large-scale provision of over 200 US combat aircraft to Ukraine, including F15 and F16 fighter jets, that had been slated for retirement – which he said would have cost $4-500million, and would have deterred a Russian attack.

He said: “So-called smart people in Washington need to open their minds a bit” and “beating [their] head against the wall is only killing more Ukrainian men”.

When asked about the possibility of any US-Russia deal to curtail the conflict this year, Prince said: “No – I’d say [there was] a very low chance of that”, admitting the “real window” for negotiations – August or September 2022 – was long gone.

He said: “Putin is under no pressure to stop the conflict because his defence-industrial base is being supplied by the Iranians, the Chinese with propellant and shells, and North Korea as well – he has time on his side.”

Houthi fighters stomping on US and Israeli flags

The former Navy Seal also warned of security threats from 'enemies of the West' like the Houthi rebels


Prince urged the US to attract Russia into its orbit, and said it was “in the long-term interest of the West to pull Russia away from a position of servitude with China… and make them a better deal”.

He warned that there were “bigger strategic issues at stake” than Ukraine, not least what he said was China’s intent to “overthrow the Westphalian order” – the international legal principle which states that each state has the exclusive right to sovereignty over its own territory.

In a chilling caution, Prince flagged a number of threats from the “enemies of the West”, possibly happening “in the next six months” including Houthi rebels destabilising Egypt, Iranian-backed “insurrection” in Bahrain, Venezuela “planning something” against Guyana, and even an “amphibious operation” by China in Taiwan.

“It’s a very dicey time… The hair on the back of my neck is standing up all the time”, said Prince.

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