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Ukraine crisis is a terrifying impasse

No (Nuclear) War Over Ukraine, Please,   Viewpoint by Jonathan Power, 19 Jan 21,

LUND, Sweden (IDN) — War over Ukraine? It mustn’t be. Some of us believed that at the end of the Cold War in 1991 American and Soviet nuclear rockets would be left to rust and rot in their silos. Indeed, we actually saw Ukraine, where the Soviets made most of their rockets and based many, (who says that Ukraine doesn’t have an umbilical relationship with Russia?), deciding to give up its nuclear armoury—for which the world should give more praise than it does.

Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush did quite a lot for nuclear disarmament. At a summit in Iceland, Reagan and Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, panicked most of their advisors and western commentators when they nearly agreed to total nuclear disarmament. …………………..

the US has not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty which would help stymie the further spread of nuclear arms to other countries. For new nuclear powers, if you can’t test you don’t know if you have a workable bomb.

The next stage in the disarmament process should be getting rid of short-range tactical nuclear-tipped missiles based in Europe. Moscow is insisting that the first step must be the US removing all its tactical weapons from Europe, which is fair given their proximity to Moscow. It would be as if Russia had rocket bases in Mexico. As for cutting the number of intercontinental rockets, the last big cut was made in the time of Obama and President Dimitri Medvedev. Biden did renew the agreement, but no disarmament talks are presently planned.

All this adds up to very little nuclear disarmament. The US Senate is an immovable brake on Biden, as it was earlier on President Barack Obama. For his part, Donald Trump wanted to upgrade the US armoury of nuclear missiles…………

how is it, 30 years after the end of the Cold War, that either side can justify nuclear weapons? Is Russia an enemy or is it not? Successive American presidents have said it no longer is. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barak Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden have all said it is not. The Russians say the same thing about the US and Europe. Putin still calls them “our friends”. But surely non-enemies don’t have nuclear weapons pointed at each other…….

So what is it all about? Why are we allowing events around the issue of the independence of Ukraine to slip out of our control to where the warriors call the shots? Loose talk in Moscow about bringing a nuclear-armed Russian submarine up close to the US coast does not help. Neither does the present deployment of similar US submarines in the Black Sea…………………………

Biden is checkmated by the intransigent forces around him. Maybe it is the same with Putin. Therefore, the world is checkmated. What a terrifying impasse this Ukraine crisis is.


January 20, 2022 - Posted by | politics international, Ukraine

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