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Palantir CEO weighs in on the Ukraine war: ‘The lesson for every big country is holy s—‘

Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir arrives ahead of a “Tech For Good” meetup at Hotel Marigny in Paris on May 15, 2019, held to discuss good conduct for technology giants.

Bertrand Guay | AFP | Getty Images

Palantir CEO Alex Karp believes that the war between Russia and Ukraine is making big countries re-consider their military strategies.

Asked by CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin if there is a lesson for China from the war, Karp said: “The lesson for every big country is ‘holy s—. We’ve been buying all this heavy stuff and if people are willing to fight as heroes, fight to the last person … they might actually be able to beat us’.”

Karp, who was interviewed at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, said every large nation is currently evaluating its offensive and defensive abilities.

“Is our offensive capability actually offence? Or will defense-offense like in Ukraine be able to beat us? Every single large country in the world is looking at this. Not just our adversaries but also our allies.”

His comments come as tensions between China and Taiwan continue to escalate. Veteran U.S. diplomat Henry Kissinger on Monday said that Washington and Beijing must seek to avoid putting Taiwan at the center of their tense diplomatic relationship, adding that the need for the world’s two largest economies to avoid direct confrontation is in the interest of global peace.

Nuclear risk

Karp said he believes there is a 20-30% chance of a nuclear war taking place in the long term as the war in Ukraine shows no sign of dissipating.

He added that the risk of nuclear war is currently being underestimated, adding that most people see it as being below 1%.

“I think, of course, it depends on the duration. If you have a long duration, I think the risk is modellable and it’s probably in the 20-30% range.”




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