The US government’s enemies won’t have to lift a finger against it. They can just wait for it to go bankrupt. From Lawrence Wittner at antiwar.com:
In late May of this year, President Donald Trump’s special envoy for arms control bragged before a Washington think tank that the U.S. government was prepared to outspend Russia and China to win a new nuclear arms race. “The president has made clear that we have a tried and true practice here,” he remarked. “We know how to win these races and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion.”
This comment was not out of line for a Trump administration official. Indeed, back in December 2016, shortly after his election, Trump himself proclaimedthat the United States would “greatly strengthen and expand” the US government’s nuclear weapons program, adding provocatively: “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.” In a fresh challenge to Russia and China, delivered in October 2018, Trump again extolled his decision to win the nuclear arms race, explaining: “We have more money than anybody else, by far.”
And, in fact, the Trump administration has followed through on its promise to pour American tax dollars into the arms race through a vast expansion of the US military budget. In 2019 alone (the last year for which worldwide spending figures are available), federal spending on the US military soared to $732 billion. (Other military analysts, who included military-related spending, put the figure at $1.25 trillion.) As a result, the United States, with about 4 percent of the world’s population, accounted for 38 percent of world military spending. Although it’s certainly true that other nations engaged in military buildups as well, China accounted for only 14 percent of global military spending that year, while Russia accounted for only 3 percent. Indeed, the United States spent more on its military than the next 10 countries combined.
According to this article, on June 8, 1967 two US bombers were dispatched with nuclear bombs with instructions to drop them on Cairo. From Phillip F. Nelson at lewrockwell.com:
HINT: It wasn’t the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis – that was a distant second on the list
The 53rd anniversary of the United States’ closest-ever nuclear confrontation event will soon come and go with nary a mention of its significance – certainly not in the “Main Stream Media” (MSM) where it should appear, but probably very little in the “alternative” press either.
That is because it is still shrouded in secrecy, for the sake of protecting the presidential legacy of a man generally mis-designated as one of the ten “best” presidents of all time by people who self-identify as credentialed “historians,” who are purposely ignorant of the incident because knowledge of it is not “politically correct.” The ironies abound, given that this incident was merely another – and not even the worst – of his treasons.
The documented facts (at least by the BBC and Al Jazeera, since no American MSM source ever investigated it) are that at 8:45 a.m. EDT (2:45 p.m. off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula) on June 8, 1967 two A-4 bomber aircraft loaded with nuclear bombs were dispatched from the aircraft carrier USS America, bound for Cairo with orders to drop those bombs on that city.
It should come as no surprise that US foreign and military policy is set up to maximize the profits of US defense and intelligence contractors. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.com:
When Germany’s Social Democrats – the junior governing coalition partner – renewed long-standing calls for withdrawing U.S. nuclear bombs from the country, the backlash from Washington was fast and furious.
Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Berlin, wrote an oped for German media slamming the move as “undermining” NATO’s nuclear deterrence in Europe. Grenell, who is also the acting U.S. Director of National Intelligence, was scathing, reiterating President Trump’s vituperative claims that Germany was not pulling its weight in NATO commitments.
Grenell has been the bane of many German politicians of all stripes over what they view as his high-handed interference in the country’s internal affairs, with one former Social Democrat leader likening him to a “colonial officer”.
Then came the intervention from the American ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher, who mischievously proffered that if Germany didn’t want to station U.S. nuclear warheads, then Poland would provide an alternative site for the weapons. Given the history of bad blood between Germany and Poland, not to mention the incendiary provocation to Russia, Mosbacher’s suggestion is ludicrous. Nevertheless it illustrates the strenuous pushback by Washington to the renewed calls for removing U.S. nuclear weapons from German soil.
Much of Europe would like to make peace with Russia. Much of the US government would like to make war. From Brian Cloughley at strategic-culture.com:
It is intriguing but almost inevitable that examination of so many European policies must begin with reference to the United States. The reason is that the US is majestically (and the word is used advisedly) important to Europe, and no matter what opinions may be held of Washington’s policies under the erratic Trump, these will always have influence in Europe’s capitals.
One major Europe-US consideration is the Trump administration’s decisions on nuclear strategy which have an enormous impact that will be likely to shape international relations indefinitely.
This has been examined by President Macron of France whose recent speech on Defence and Deterrence Strategy has not received the attention it merits in the US media. He delivered his talk at the military’s War College on February 7, and opened by making the point that he was the first president to speak there since Charles de Gaulle “announced on 3 November 1959, sixty years ago, the creation of what he then called the force de frappe”. The force de frappe is literally the nuclear ‘Strike Force’ (now less combatively referred to as ‘deterrence’) and is comparatively modest, consisting only of some 300 weapons, as assessed by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in 2019.
US nuclear strategy is based on a flawed assumption. From Scott Ritter at rt.com:
Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer. He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, served in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 served as a Chief Weapons Inspector with the UN in Iraq. Mr. Ritter currently writes on issues pertaining to international security, military affairs, Russia and the Middle East, and arms control and nonproliferation. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter
The US has deployed “low-yield” nuclear missiles on submarines, saying it’s to discourage nuclear conflict with Russia. The move is based on a “Russian strategy” made up in Washington and will only bring mass annihilation closer.
In a statement released earlier this week, US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood announced that “the US Navy has fielded the W76-2 low-yield submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) warhead.” This new operational capability, Rood declared, “demonstrates to potential adversaries that there is no advantage to limited nuclear employment because the United States can credibly and decisively respond to any threat scenario.”
The threat underpinning justification for this new US nuclear deterrent had its roots in testimony delivered to the House Armed Services Committee in June 2015 by US Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, who declared that “Russian military doctrine includes what some have called an ‘escalate to deescalate strategy’ – a strategy that purportedly seeks to deescalate a conventional conflict through coercive threats, including limited nuclear use.”
As long as Russia and the US can wipe each other out with nuclear weapons, Russia’s vaunted hypersonic weapons don’t really change the strategic calculus. From Michael Brenner at consortiumnews.com:
The West is out of practice when it comes to serious strategic appraisal of the U.S.-Russian arms race, writes Michael Brenner.
Part of an exhibition of advanced weapons and equipment that President Vladimir Putin visited in December 2019. (The Kremlin)
Deployment of Russia’s hyper-sonic missiles is causing heartburn in the West. Media headline the news as a dramatic breakthrough on a par with the first Sputnik. “Experts” are rushed into play like those self-styled pundits pronouncing when the initial exit polls appear on Election Day. Pentagon officials assure us that the United States is at the top of the nuclear game and able to respond to (if not exactly match) anything that the Russians can put out there.
Ninety eight percent of all this instant reaction is “fog-horning.” It simply signals that something big and important is out there even though we don’t have a clear picture of its actual shape or dimensions — or its significance. That’s normal. What counts is moving swiftly to the “searchlight” stage of close observation and hard thinking.
Whether analysts, official or otherwise, get there is problematic. We’re out of practice when it comes to serious strategic appraisal. After all, we’ve been flailing about in Afghanistan for almost two decades with no realistic aim or evaluation of the chances of achieving it by whatever means at whatever cost. The disorientation on Syria is even greater. There, we haven’t as much as figured out who are the “bad guys” and who are the “good guys” — except for ISIS.
Well-played, Rocket Man. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
As of Dec. 26, Kim Jong Un’s “Christmas gift” to President Donald Trump had not arrived. Most foreign policy analysts predict it will be a missile test more impressive than any Pyongyang has yet carried off.
What is Kim’s game? What does Kim want?
He cannot want war with the United States, as this could result in the annihilation of the Kim family dynasty that has ruled North Korea since World War II. Kim is all about self-preservation.
What he appears to want in his confrontation with Trump is a victory without war. In the near-term, Kim seeks three things: recognition of his regime as the legitimate government of North Korea and its acceptance in all the forums of the world, trade and an end to all U.S. and U.N. sanctions, and a nuclear arsenal sufficient to deter a U.S. attack, including missiles that can strike U.S. bases in South Korea, Japan, Guam, and the Western Pacific. And he seeks the capability to deliver a nuclear warhead on the U.S. mainland.
Nor is this last goal unreasonable from Kim’s vantage point.
It’s been fifty years since “duck and cover” but people are still scared to death of nuclear weapons and nuclear war. Imagine that. From Lawrence Wittner at antiwar.com:
Although today’s public protests against nuclear weapons can’t compare to the major antinuclear upheavals of past decades, there are clear indications that most Americans reject the Trump administration’s nuclear weapons policies.
Since entering office in 2017, the Trump administration has withdrawn the United States from the nuclear agreement with Iran, scrapped the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia, and apparently abandoned plans to renew the New START Treaty with Russia. After an overwhelming majority of the world’s nations agreed on a landmark UN Treaty on the Prohibitions of Nuclear Weapons in July 2017, the Trump administration quickly announced that it would never sign the treaty. The only nuclear arms control measure that the Trump administration has pursued?an agreement by North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program?appears to have collapsed, at least in part because the Trump administration badly mishandled the negotiations.
Moreover, the Trump administration has not only failed to follow the nuclear arms control and disarmament policies of its Democratic and Republican predecessors, but has plunged into a renewed nuclear arms race with other nations by championing a $1.7 trillion program to refurbish the entire U.S. nuclear weapons complex. Perhaps most alarming, it has again and againpublicly threatened to initiate a nuclear war.
First it was Russia and now it’s China coming up with weapons that can probably end US military hegemony. From Scott Ritter at theamericanconservative.com:
Last week’s military parade previewed a series of game-changing weapons that could neutralize American seapower.
For decades, the United States has taken China’s ballistic missile capability for granted, assessing it as a low-capability force with limited regional impact and virtually no strategic value. But on October 1, during a massive military parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Beijing put the U.S., and the world, on notice that this assessment was no longer valid.
In one fell swoop, China may have nullified America’s strategic nuclear deterrent, the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and U.S. missile defense capability. Through its impressive display of new weapons systems, China has underscored the reality that while the United States has spent the last two decades squandering trillions of dollars fighting insurgents in the Middle East, Beijing was singularly focused on overcoming American military superiority in the Pacific. If the capabilities of these new weapons are taken at face value, China will have succeeded on this front.
Under Iran’s interpretation of the Koran, both chemical and nuclear weapons are forbidden by Allah. From Ted Snider at antiwar.com:
In 1982, Iraq changed the nature of their war on Iran. They began using chemical weapons. At first, it was only tear gas. But, within a year, Iraq was using mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin and soman on, not only Iranian soldiers, but Iranian civilians. The downpour of chemicals was prodigious: the Iraqis later confessed to UN inspectors that they had fired approximately 100,000 chemical weapons on Iran. The cost was tragic: 20,000 Iranians were killed by the chemicals and as many as 100,000 more suffered serious injuries from exposure.
Iran immediately implored the UN for help, but help never came. Though the Security Council refused to act, Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, acting alone, sent no less than six fact-finding missions to investigate. They consistently reported that Iraq was raining down chemical weapons on Iranians. Still, the UN did not act.