President Joe Biden waves as he walks to speaks to reporters before boarding Air Force One at Des Moines International Airport, in Des Moines Iowa, Tuesday, April 12, 2022, en route to Washington. Credit: Carolyn Kaster / AP

Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to

Apparently the author of the letter “Biden’s weak response” in the BDN on April 14 does not understand how those with the levers of power operate. He would have you believe that in response to Vladimir Putin putting his nuclear forces on high alert, President Joe Biden allowed the entire U.S. strategic nuclear force to go to Disneyland.

What the author does not seem to understand, but Putin certainly does, is that, in addition to land-based U.S. nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles, at any given time there are hundreds of submarine, ship, and aircraft-based nuclear missiles that can hit anywhere in the world in a matter of minutes. It’s a good bet that most of these are lurking right near Russia these days. The Russians also know that the launch of these assets are much harder to detect than their technologically more cumbersome, but devastatingly effective, land-based kin.

The fact that Biden did not respond with a public response that would drive the media into a frenzy, or launch into a childish and bellicose tirade (a la Donald Trump), does not mean that the Russians were not quietly reminded of this through the back channel methods that are commonly used in diplomacy.

Sometimes the most effective way to respond to the playground bully is not to bully back, almost certainly resulting in a brawl. It is to walk quietly and carry a big stick. Biden is well aware of that.

David L. Bridgham