The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope


  • By Nicolas J. S. Davies, Popular Resistance, March 29, 2022

The war in Ukraine has placed U.S. and NATO policy toward Russia under a spotlight, highlighting how the United States and its allies have expanded NATO right up to Russia’s borders, backed a coup and now a proxy war in Ukraine, imposed waves of economic sanctions, and launched a debilitating trillion-dollar arms race. The explicit goal is to pressure, weaken and ultimately eliminate Russia, or a Russia-China partnership, as a strategic competitor to U.S. imperial power.

The United States and NATO have used similar forms of force and coercion against many countries. In every case they have been catastrophic for the people directly impacted, whether they achieved their political aims or not.

Wars and violent regime changes in Kosovo, Iraq, Haiti and Libya have left them mired in endless corruption, poverty and chaos. Failed proxy wars in Somalia, Syria and Yemen have spawned endless war and humanitarian disasters. U.S. sanctions against Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela have impoverished their people but failed to change their governments.

Meanwhile, U.S.-backed coups in Chile, Bolivia and Honduras have sooner or later been reversed by grassroots movements to restore democratic, socialist government. The Taliban are governing Afghanistan again after a 20-year war to expel a U.S. and NATO army of occupation, for which the sore losers are now starving millions of Afghans.

But the risks and consequences of the U.S. Cold War on Russia are of a different order. The purpose of any war is to defeat your enemy. But how can you defeat an enemy that is explicitly committed to respond to the prospect of existential defeat by destroying the whole world?

This is in fact part of the military doctrine of the United States and Russia, who together possess over 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons. If either of them faces existential defeat, they are prepared to destroy human civilization in a nuclear holocaust that will kill Americans, Russians and neutrals alike.

In June 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree stating, “The Russian Federation reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction against it and/or its allies… and also in the case of aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons, when the very existence of the state is put under threat.”

U.S. nuclear weapons policy is no more reassuring. A decades-long campaign for a U.S. “no first use” nuclear weapons policy still falls on deaf ears in Washington.

The 2018 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) promised that the United States would not use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state. But in a war with another nuclear-armed country, it said, “The United States would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners.”

The 2018 NPR broadened the definition of “extreme circumstances” to cover “significant non-nuclear attacks,” which it said would “include, but are not limited to, attacks on the U.S., allies or partner civilian population or infrastructure, and attacks on U.S. or allied nuclear forces, their command and control, or warning and attack assessment.” The critical phrase, “but are not limited to,” removes any restriction at all on a U.S. nuclear first strike……………………………………….

The danger that hawks in the State Department and Congress may convince President Biden to escalate the U.S. role in the war prompted the Pentagon to leak details of the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA) assessments of Russia’s conduct of the war to Newsweek’s William Arkin.

Senior DIA officers told Arkin that Russia has dropped fewer bombs and missiles on Ukraine in a month than U.S. forces dropped on Iraq in the first day of bombing in 2003, and that they see no evidence of Russia directly targeting civilians. Like U.S. “precision” weapons, Russian weapons are probably only about 80% accurate, so hundreds of stray bombs and missiles are killing and wounding civilians and hitting civilian infrastructure, as they do just as horrifically in every U.S. war.

The DIA analysts believe Russia is holding back from a more devastating war because what it really wants is not to destroy Ukrainian cities but to negotiate a diplomatic agreement to ensure a neutral, non-aligned Ukraine.

But the Pentagon appears to be so worried by the impact of highly effective Western and Ukrainian war propaganda that it has released secret intelligence to Newsweek to try to restore a measure of reality to the media’s portrayal of the war, before political pressure for NATO escalation leads to a nuclear war.

Since the United States and the U.S.S.R. blundered into their nuclear suicide pact in the 1950s, it has come to be known as Mutual Assured Destruction, or MAD.

As the Cold War evolved, they cooperated to reduce the risk of mutual assured destruction through arms control treaties, a hotline between Moscow and Washington, and regular contacts between U.S. and Soviet officials.

But the United States has now withdrawn from many of those arms control treaties and safeguard mechanisms. The risk of nuclear war is as great today as it has ever been, as the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists warns year after year in its annual Doomsday Clock statement. The Bulletin has also published detailed analyses of how specific technological advances in U.S. nuclear weapons design and strategy are increasing the risk of nuclear war…………………………………

It is the epitome of official insanity that U.S., NATO and Russian leaders have resurrected this Cold War, which the whole world celebrated the end of, allowing plans for mass suicide and human extinction to once again masquerade as responsible defense policy.

While Russia bears full responsibility for invading Ukraine and for all the death and destruction of this war, this crisis did not come out of nowhere. The United States and its allies must reexamine their own roles in resurrecting the Cold War that spawned this crisis, if we are ever to return to a safer world for people everywhere.

Tragically, instead of expiring on its sell-by date in the 1990s along with the Warsaw Pact, NATO has transformed itself into an aggressive global military alliance, a fig-leaf for U.S. imperialism, and a forum for dangerous, self-fulfilling threat analysis, to justify its continued existence, endless expansion and crimes of aggression on three continents, in KosovoAfghanistan and Libya.

If this insanity indeed drives us to mass extinction, it will be no consolation to the scattered and dying survivors that their leaders succeeded in destroying their enemies’ country too. They will simply curse leaders on all sides for their blindness and stupidity. The propaganda by which each side demonized the other will be only a cruel irony once its end result is seen to be the destruction of everything leaders on all sides claimed to be defending………………………………

A top priority must be to dismantle the nuclear Doomsday machine we have inadvertently collaborated to build and maintain for 70 years, along with the obsolete and dangerous NATO military alliance. We cannot let the “unwarranted influence” and “misplaced power” of the Military-Industrial Complex keep leading us into ever more dangerous military crises until one of them spins out of control and destroys us all.

Nicolas J. S. Davies is an independent journalist, a researcher for CODEPINK and the author of Blood On Our Hands: the Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.


March 31, 2022 - Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war

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