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Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton leads us back to the Nuclear Precipice

Back to the Nuclear Precipice, Project Syndicate, Mar 20, 2019 

Long a global leader in efforts to reduce nuclear-weapons stockpiles and limit nuclear proliferation, the United States is now fostering the conditions for a new global arms race. With hawks calling the shots in US President Donald Trump’s administration, a nuclear conflagration in one of the world’s hot spots is becoming more likely.

………. the author of The Art of the Deal has followed the advice of someone who has yet to meet a deal he didn’t want to tear up: Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton. Having already dispensed with the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, during his tenure in President George W. Bush’s administration, Bolton has used his position in the Trump administration to launch attacks against the INF Treaty and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action(JCPOA) with Iran. Most likely, his next target will be New START. Signed by Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Prague in 2010, that nuclear arms reduction treaty will expire in 2021, barring an agreement on its extension.

With the steady collapse of the international arms-control architecture has come a fresh race to develop new types of nuclear weapons. The potential use of these weapons is now discussed with such frivolity as to foreshadow a return to the darkest days of the Cold War, but one that is even more dangerous, because other countries not subject to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), such as North Korea, have since joined the nuclear club.

During Trump’s first year in office, his incendiary public exchanges with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un brought relations between Washington, DC, and Pyongyang to their tensest point in decades. While Trump has since abandoned his threats of “fire and fury” and given diplomacy a chance, his administration’s approach to North Korea has ignored all of the canons of effective diplomacy. This has given rise to another kind of frivolity: the spectacle of vacuous praise.

In the end, the lack of consensus among US foreign policymakers and the misaligned expectations of the two negotiating parties, combined with Trump’s own improvisations, condemned his recent summit with Kim to failure. A reorganization is now urgently needed, particularly to incorporate the other regional powers and keep Bolton and other hawks in the administration from derailing the process further.

Meanwhile, India and Pakistan, two other NPT non-signatories, recently engaged in a cross-border military confrontation, following a terrorist attack last month in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Once deemed “the most dangerous place in the world” by former US President Bill Clinton, Kashmir is essentially shared between three nuclear powers: India, Pakistan, and China. Not since Pakistan revealed its nuclear capacity to the world in the late 1990s have Indian-Pakistani relations been so tense. Worse, as the latest instability shows, the presence of nuclear weapons is not sufficient to prevent conflict. Instead, it merely raises the risk that quarrels will escalate into existential conflagrations.

Lastly, in the Middle East, the Trump administration has actively sowed the seeds for nuclear proliferation. The decision to abandon the JCPOA was entirely counterproductive, merely reflecting Trump’s blind support for Israel – another NPT non-signatory – and Saudi Arabia. Indeed, the Trump administration is even exploring the possibility of exporting nuclear material to the Saudi regime without putting the necessary safeguards in place.

Apparently, Trump is not bothered by the fact that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has neither ruled out developing nuclear arms nor committed to a strict regime of inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. One false step, though, could plunge the Middle East into a nuclear arms race – truly a worst-case scenario for such a fraught region.

Meanwhile, India and Pakistan, two other NPT non-signatories, recently engaged in a cross-border military confrontation, following a terrorist attack last month in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Once deemed “the most dangerous place in the world” by former US President Bill Clinton, Kashmir is essentially shared between three nuclear powers: India, Pakistan, and China. Not since Pakistan revealed its nuclear capacity to the world in the late 1990s have Indian-Pakistani relations been so tense. Worse, as the latest instability shows, the presence of nuclear weapons is not sufficient to prevent conflict. Instead, it merely raises the risk that quarrels will escalate into existential conflagrations.

Lastly, in the Middle East, the Trump administration has actively sowed the seeds for nuclear proliferation. The decision to abandon the JCPOA was entirely counterproductive, merely reflecting Trump’s blind support for Israel – another NPT non-signatory – and Saudi Arabia. Indeed, the Trump administration is even exploring the possibility of exporting nuclear material to the Saudi regime without putting the necessary safeguards in place.

Apparently, Trump is not bothered by the fact that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has neither ruled out developing nuclear arms nor committed to a strict regime of inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. One false step, though, could plunge the Middle East into a nuclear arms race – truly a worst-case scenario for such a fraught region.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump raised a red flag for the umpteenth time when he suggested that Japan and South Korea should develop their own nuclear weapons as a means of self-defense. This idea couldn’t have been more wrongheaded. Logic dictates that if more countries acquire nuclear weapons, the likelihood of such weapons being used will increase.

The Cold War gave us a glimpse of the risks we run when our single-minded pursuit of some geopolitical interests causes us to lose sight of the most important of them all: international security. As Obama emphasized ten years ago in Prague, the US is the only country ever to have used nuclear weapons, and therefore has an historic responsibility to ensure that they are never used again. For the US to forsake this responsibility and champion a new era of nuclear proliferation would be a tragic outcome. https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/us-trump-nuclear-proliferation-by-javier-solana-2019-03

March 21, 2019 - Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war

1 Comment »

  1. This explains the Whole DIRTY DEAL OF NUCLEAR WARMONGER DONALD trump. HowBillionaire Robert Mercer, who does not believe a Nuclear War would Be Bad, Manipulated The Internet and spent Millions to Buy Trump into Power. https://dealbreaker.com/2017/03/robert-mercer-pumped-for-nuclear-annihilation

    How ART ROBINSON, THE MAN WHO BELIEVES IN PUTTTING NUCLEAR WASTE IN AMERICAS WATER SUPPLY TO IMMUNIZE THEM FROM Radiation, Helped Buy Trump And John Bolton into Power. Robinson Helped Launder Mercer Dirty Dark Money With BANNON
    HOW Nuclear Warmonger , John Bolton BOUGHT himself into Power With Trump

    Gosh looks like Art was heavily involved w Cambridge Analytica. Robert Mercer likes the idea of spreading nuclear waste over people in America with an airplane and putting it in all the drinking water

    https://dealbreaker.com/2017/03/robert-mercer-pumped-for-nuclear-annihilation

    Mercer has a bunker. Thinks we will survive a nuclear war. Nuclear reactor accidents and explosions do not bother him

    https://boingboing.net/2018/03/24/war-criminal-judas-goat.html

    Boing Boing

    Cambridge Analytica became a US powerhouse thanks Mercer’s laundered money and a judas goat named John Bolton

    Cory Doctorow

    After interviewing Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie and other CA sources and reviewing leaked documents, the Washington Post has pieced together the story of how the dirty-tricking electioneers worked their way Republican political circles, as billionaire founder Robert Mercer opened doors for them with other notorious GOP billionaire backers, with an able assist from newly minted national security adviser John Bolton, a notorious war-criminal with close ties to terrorist groups like MEK.

    The docs reveal how Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix tried to impress billionaires like Sheldon Adelson by building dossiers on them to impress them with the power of his surveillance apparatus (in one memo, Nix exhorts his staff, “Can we pull a LOAD of data on them????”) (the quadruple question-mark, or “toff’s interrogative,” is taught only to the top-performing Etonians).

    In the end, they did not present Adelson with their dossier on his personality flaws and vulnerabilities.

    Cambridge Analytica’s path to Republican glory started with Steve Bannon’s brokering of an investment by Robert Mercer. With help from these GOP insiders, they were able to sign the John Bolton Super PAC as a customer, billing them for $1.1 million for “research” — howtos for microtargeting potential voters using Facebook. The proposed that Bolton could trick people into exposing their friends’ personal data by enticing them to take a personality quiz. Bolton’s PAC is a laundry for Mercer money.

    From there, CA received large paydays from Art Robinson, a Mercer-backed GOP candidate in Oregon, Colorado anti-abortion extremists Centennial Coalition, and For America, another Mercer front.

    The John Bolton Super PAC, led by the former diplomat and foreign policy hard-liner, paid Cambridge Analytica more than $1.1 million in the 2014 and 2016 cycles for research, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Mercer has been the largest donor to Bolton’s super PAC, giving $5 million since the 2014 cycle, according to FEC records.

    Part of the work that Cambridge Analytica performed for Bolton’s super PAC was psychographic voter targeting, which the company claimed could profile voters on the basis of certain characteristics. The predictive microtargeting was based in part on data gleaned from Facebook profiles and other sources, according to documents and former Cambridge Analytica employees.
    How Cambridge Analytica broke into the U.S. political market through Mercer-allied conservative groups [Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Craig Timberg/Washington Post]

    (via Naked Capitalism)

    SHARE / TWEET / 13 COMMENTS

    CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA / CHRIST WHAT AN ASSHOLE / EVIL BILLIONAIRES / FACEBOOK / JOHN BOLTON SUPER PAC / LEAKS / ROBERT MERCER / STEVE BANNON / TRUMPISM / WHISTLEBLOWERS

    Boing Boing

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    https://dealbreaker.com/2017/03/robert-mercer-pumped-for-nuclear-annihilation

    Comment by Doug | March 21, 2019 | Reply


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