Category: struggle against nuclear war
Unlearned History Lessons
worker | April 25, 2021 | 9:00 pm | struggle against nuclear war, Struggle for Peace, USSR | Comments closed


Get short URL

“Avoiding a clash with great powers does not indicate cowardice, but wisdom, because sacrificing oneself is never an advantage anywhere”. Preface to “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu by N. Konrad

In recent years, relations between Russia and the US have shifted from competitiveness to confrontation, effectively going back to the Cold War era. The sanctions pressure, threats, conflict behaviour and defence of selfish interests are plunging the world into a state of permanent instability.

If relations between the two countries have been in the situation described above for a long time, it is called a crisis. Such crises provide a fertile ground for even more acute periods in the relationship – a “crisis of all crises”. Under such circumstances, any faux pas, any lack of patience, and any strategic understanding of the “weight” of each word could plunge not just two countries, but the entire world, into an abyss of the gravest challenges, threatening it with a direct military clash.

This has happened before in our common history. The time was a little different than now, and the scene was in the Caribbean, but the spirit of what was going on was very similar.

US foreign policy at the time forced our country to respond accordingly. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, it manifested itself in the deployment of American missiles in Turkey, in South Vietnam, and in Lebanon. And, as well, in the failed policies toward Cuba that sparked the revolution and then again, in an attempt to regain control of the Island of Freedom. And, in many other things.

Today, it has manifested itself in anti-Russian sanctions, an orchestrated harassment campaign against Russia, US policy towards our neighbouring countries, NATO’s final approach to our borders, opposition to Nord Stream 2, concerns about our country’s development of the Northern Sea Route, and finally the Ukrainian crisis. We see examples of such policies on a daily basis.

The Russia of today, as with the Soviet Union of the past, has always been in a catch-up position with the United States on the level of threats to its counterpart.

CIA reference photograph of Soviet medium-range ballistic missile (SS-4 in U.S. documents, R-12 in Soviet documents) in Red Square, Moscow. The weapon was deployed to Cuba in October 1962, sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis.
CIA reference photograph of Soviet medium-range ballistic missile (SS-4 in U.S. documents, R-12 in Soviet documents) in Red Square, Moscow. The weapon was deployed to Cuba in October 1962, sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis.

In the early 1960s, the Soviet Union responded to the Americans by deploying strategic offensive weapons to Cuba. The United States, as we know, had taken a further confrontational step by bringing in warships, imposing a naval blockade on the island and even preparing for a full-scale invasion. That became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

There are two key points in its framework.

  • The first, a long-term response, involved more than just the deployment of missiles off the coast of the United States. Above all, it was a demonstration and, more importantly, a realisation by Western countries of our state’s infrastructural capabilities to deploy military bases anywhere in the world at short notice.
  • The second, a situation, just “five minutes from war”, was saved by the leaders of the two superpowers retaining a sober assessment of the standoff, who recognised and accepted the “wisdom” of compromise and hence were prepared to make concessions.

At some points, the leaders communicated directly, at others – they did not, but in any case, there was dialogue between the Soviet Union and the US on an equal footing, pursued not through the language of threats and ultimatums.

After the resolution of the 20th century Cuban Missile Crisis, there has never been a situation since where the two countries were this close to war. Because both had learned the lesson that cooperation in solving international problems was better than confrontation.

But today the situation is somewhat different: the US has slid into an unstable foreign policy. This manifested itself in the rejection of the Iran nuclear deal. And in the US withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty and several other international treaties. And, at this moment, in the rhetoric of the new US president.

The new strategic reality – the instability of Washington’s foreign policy – is largely caused by domestic reasons but also by a certain decline in the credibility of the US as the leader of the Western world.

Police release tear gas into a crowd of pro-Trump protesters during clashes at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021.
Police release tear gas into a crowd of pro-Trump protesters during clashes at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021.

A new tactic of the American administration is to signal the need for dialogue, on the one hand, and increase pressure with the other. It can speak both of the fulfillment of the Democrats’ campaign promises and a lack of unity in policymaking and decision-making in the new team, and of an American “holy mission”. “We are always right, you must listen to us”. Both partners and opponents ought to take this course for granted, with a sense of gratitude for the “lesson” learned.

We heard the call for dialogue during a telephone conversation between the two presidents. And then tough rhetoric kicked in, new anti-Russian sanctions were imposed, diplomats were expelled, and an executive order on the ‘Russian threat’ was signed. This should also include the artificially-fueled conflict in eastern Ukraine, militaristic statements by the US leadership, and the redeployment of military equipment to our region. To put it simply, the situation is escalating.

It was clear that the United States perceived the Soviet Union as an equal opponent, which should undoubtedly be reckoned with. This was because the parties had military-political parity, and the system of international organisations was set up to preserve this balance. Two military blocs – NATO and the Warsaw Pact – accounted for this, too.

But after the collapse of the Soviet Union, this parity was lost for a while. The US, having lived for one and a half decades in a coordinate system where no other country in the world not only had no comparable power to it, but not even the hypothetical right to have such power, had simply become unaccustomed to equitable dialogue.

The new US administration, re-establishing its position as the world leader and protector of the Collective West (while in parallel persuading itself of this), does not have the fortitude to recognise that someone in the world may have infrastructural capabilities and military-political capacity comparable to them. For example, China or Russia.

The question on the agenda is whether the current US administration will find the “wisdom of compromise” that the leaders of the Caribbean crisis of the 1960s reached?

And what can help to defuse problems when the situation is heated to the breaking point?

There are three such points.

  • First, an understanding of the price of a “fatal decision”. If the damage from winning is so extensive that it raises doubts about the continued existence of the winner, then it is not a victory.
  • Second, direct communication. It is not just a phone you can use, but an opportunity to speak frankly and, more importantly, to hear your counterpart. And to understand their logic and arguments.
  • And third, which is most important. Not only an understanding of the necessity and possibility of compromises but also a willingness to make these compromises. A willingness to reject the language of ultimatums and disgraceful behaviour that drives the dialogue down below ground level.

This is why rhetoric boiled down to the crude phrase “Russia will pay the price”, while sounding very American, leads straight to a dead end. There is no way out of this tunnel. This mantra will offers no enlightenment to anyone.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

Caitlin Johnstone: The rising threat of nuclear war is the most urgent matter in the world
worker | April 25, 2021 | 8:39 pm | struggle against nuclear war | Comments closed

Caitlin Johnstone: The rising threat of nuclear war is the most urgent matter in the world

Caitlin Johnstone: The rising threat of nuclear war is the most urgent matter in the world
There is no more urgent matter on earth than the looming possibility that everyone might die in a nuclear war. It’s madness that we’re not talking about it all the time.

US Strategic Command, the branch of the US military responsible for America’s nuclear arsenal, tweeted the following on Tuesday:

The spectrum of conflict today is neither linear nor predictable. We must account for the possibility of conflict leading to conditions which could very rapidly drive an adversary to consider nuclear use as their least bad option.”

The statement, which STRATCOM called a “preview” of the Posture Statement it submits to the US Congress every year, was a bit intense for Twitter and sparked a lot of alarmed responses. This alarm was due not to any inaccuracy in STRATCOM’s frank statement, but due to the bizarre fact that our world’s increasing risk of nuclear war barely features in mainstream discourse.

STRATCOM has been preparing not just to use its nuclear arsenal for deterrence but also to “win” a nuclear war should one arise from the (entirely US-created) “conditions” which are “neither linear nor predictable”. And it’s looking increasingly likely that one will as the prevailing orthodoxy among Western imperialists that US unipolar hegemony must be preserved at all cost rushes headlong toward America’s plunge into post-primacy.

The US has been ramping up aggressions with Russia in a way that has terrified experts, and it looks likely to continue doing so. These aggressions are further complicated on increasingly tense fronts like Ukraine, which is threatening to obtain nuclear weapons if it isn’t granted membership to NATO, either of which would increase the risk of conflict. Aggressions against nuclear-armed China are escalating on what seems like a daily basis at this point, with potential flashpoints in the China Seas, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, India, and any number of other possible fronts.

STRATCOM commander Charles Richard told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that China’s nuclear capabilities are advancing so rapidly that they’re not even bothering with intelligence vetted more than a month ago in their briefings because it’s probably already out of date, urging an upgrade in America’s nuclear infrastructure. Richard reportedly testified that a portion of China’s nuclear arsenal has been recently primed for ready use.

The fact that those in charge of US nuclear weapons now see both Russia and China as a major nuclear threat, and the fact that US cold warriors are escalating against both of them, is horrifying. The fact that they’re again playing with “low-yield” nukes designed to actually be used on the battlefield makes it even more so. This is to say nothing of tensions between nuclear-armed Pakistan and nuclear-armed India, between nuclear-armed Israel and its neighbors, and between nuclear-armed North Korea and the Western empire.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has the 2021 Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to midnight, citing the rising threat of nuclear war:

Accelerating nuclear programs in multiple countries moved the world into less stable and manageable territory last year. Development of hypersonic glide vehicles, ballistic missile defenses, and weapons-delivery systems that can flexibly use conventional or nuclear warheads may raise the probability of miscalculation in times of tension. Events like the deadly assault earlier this month on the US Capitol renewed legitimate concerns about national leaders who have sole control of the use of nuclear weapons. Nuclear nations, however, have ignored or undermined practical and available diplomatic and security tools for managing nuclear risks. By our estimation, the potential for the world to stumble into nuclear war–an ever-present danger over the last 75 years–increased in 2020. An extremely dangerous global failure to address existential threats—what we called ‘the new abnormal’ in 2019—tightened its grip in the nuclear realm in the past year, increasing the likelihood of catastrophe.

In a recent interview with Phoenix Media Co-op‘s Slava Zilber, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft nuclear policy specialist Joe Cirincione described a ramp-up in weapons technology among all nuclear-armed nations in the world, the future of which he described as “bleak”:

We right now have a global nuclear arms race. Each of the nine nuclear-armed nations are building new weapons. Some are replacing weapons that are getting old. Others are expanding their arsenals. But all of these new weapons represent new capabilities for these countries. So you’re seeing a qualitative and a quantitative arms race that is completely unchecked.

 “If you look at the data that’s collected by the Federation of American Scientists, for example, you see that – since the 1980s at the height of the Cold War – we have slashed the global nuclear arsenals. We went from a world in 1986 where there were almost 70,000 nuclear weapons in the world down to where we are now where there’s just about 13,500 nuclear weapons. Tremendous progress. 85% reduction in the stockpile…

“But it’s flattened out. There really haven’t been significant reductions for years. The 2010 New START agreement was the last successful arms control agreement. That was 11 years ago. There’s been no reduction agreement since then. There’ve been no talks about new reductions agreements. Now I think the future of arms control is bleak. It’s bleak. And I see no interest really in a new round of arms control either from the United States or from Russia. So I’m pessimistic about our prospects.

As I all too frequently find myself having to remind people, the primary risk here is not that anyone will choose to have a nuclear war, it’s that a nuke will be deployed amid heightening tensions as a result of miscommunication, miscalculation, misfire, or malfunction, as nearly happened many times during the last cold war, thereby setting off everyone’s nukes as per Mutually Assured Destruction.

The more tense things get, the likelier such an event becomes. This new cold war is happening along two fronts, with a bunch of proxy conflicts complicating things even further. There are so very many small moving parts, and it’s impossible to remain in control of all of them.

People like to think every nuclear-armed country has one “The Button” with which they can consciously choose to start a nuclear war after careful deliberation, but it doesn’t work that way. There are thousands of people in the world controlling different parts of different nuclear arsenals who could independently initiate a nuclear war. Thousands of “The Buttons”. It only takes one. The arrogance of believing anyone can control such a conflict safely, for years, is astounding.

2014 report published in the journal Earth’s Future found that it would only take the detonation of 100 nuclear warheads to throw 5 teragrams of black soot into the earth’s stratosphere for decades, blocking out the sun and making the photosynthesis of plants impossible. This could easily starve every terrestrial organism to death that didn’t die of radiation or climate chaos first. China has hundreds of nuclear weapons; Russia and the United States have thousands.

This should be the main thing everyone talks about. There is literally no more urgent matter on earth than the looming possibility that everyone might die in a nuclear war.

But people don’t see it.

On a recent Tucker Carlson Tonight appearance, former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard did a solid job describing the horrors of nuclear war and the very real possibility that it could be inflicted upon us due to America’s insane brinkmanship with Russia. She spoke earnestly about how “such a war would come at a cost beyond anything we can really imagine,” painting an entirely accurate picture of “hundreds of millions of people dying and suffering, seeing their flesh being burned from their bones.”

ALSO ON RT.COMStop the ‘saber-rattling’ & begin de-escalation before Russia-Ukraine conflict turns into ‘nuclear holocaust,’ Gabbard tells BidenGabbard is correct, and was right to give such a confrontational account of what we are looking at right now. But if you read the replies to Gabbard’s tweet in which she shared a clip from the interview, you’ll see a deluge of commenters accusing her of “hyperbole”, saying she’s being soft on Putin, and admonishing her for appearing on Tucker Carlson. It’s like they can’t even hear what she’s saying, how real it is, how significant it is.

People’s failure to wrap their minds around this issue is a testament to the power of normalcy bias, a cognitive glitch which causes us to assume that because something bad hasn’t happened in the past, it won’t happen in the future. We survived the last cold war by the skin of our teeth, entirely by sheer, dumb luck; the only reason people are around to bleat “hyperbole” is because we got lucky. There’s no reason to believe we’ll get lucky in this new cold war environment; only normalcy bias says we will. Believing we’ll survive this cold war just because we survived the last one is as sane as believing Russian roulette is safe because the guy passing you the gun didn’t die.

It’s also a testament to the power of plain old psychological compartmentalization. People can’t handle the idea of everything ending, of everyone they know and love dying, of watching their loved ones die in flames or from radiation poisoning right in front of them, all because someone made a mistake at the wrong time after a bunch of imperialists decided that US planetary domination was worth rolling the dice on the life of every terrestrial organism for.

But mostly it’s a testament to the ubiquitous malpractice of the Western media. It’s inconvenient to the agendas of the imperial war machine to have people protesting these insane cold war games of nuclear brinkmanship, so their media stenographers barely touch on this issue. If mainstream journalism actually existed, this flirtation with nuclear war would be front and center in everyone’s awareness and people would be flooding the streets in protest against their lives being toyed with as casino chips in an insane all-or-nothing gamble.

ALSO ON RT.COMNext stop, the apocalypse? The bumbling Biden administration’s claim to fame may be jumpstarting World War IIIThis is so much bigger than any of the petty little things we spend our mental energy on from day to day. It’s bigger than whatever your number one pet issue is. It’s bigger than your disdain for Moscow or Beijing. It’s bigger than my disdain for the US empire. It’s bigger than our political opinions. It’s bigger than whatever argument we might be having on the internet. It’s bigger than whether or not we’ve got a problem with Tulsi Gabbard appearing on Tucker Carlson.

Because once the nukes start flying, none of that will matter. None of it. All that will matter is the fact that this is all ending. If you open the door and see a mushroom cloud growing on the horizon, all of your mental priorities will rearrange themselves real quick.

We should not be in this situation. There is no good reason governments should be playing these games with these weapons. There is no good reason we can’t just get along with each other and collaborate toward a healthy world together. Only the psychopathic agendas of power-hungry imperialists perpetuate this insane balancing act, and it benefits none of us ordinary people in any way.

The rising threat of nuclear war is the most urgent matter in the world, and it’s absolute madness that we’re not talking about it all the time.

Let’s do what we can to change that.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

The toxic legacy of nuclear weapons testing serves as a stark warning of the danger these weapons pose
worker | March 11, 2021 | 7:14 pm | struggle against nuclear war | Comments closed

The toxic legacy of nuclear weapons testing serves as a stark warning of the danger these weapons pose

Scott Ritter
Scott Ritter

is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ‘SCORPION KING: America’s Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.’ He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

The toxic legacy of nuclear weapons testing serves as a stark warning of the danger these weapons pose
Millions of people suffer and die from the effects of radiation exposure from decades of nuclear weapons testing. Their experience should give serious pause to those who continue to embrace the viability of a nuclear deterrent.

A dust storm originating in the Sahara Desert swept across parts of Spain, France, the UK, and Ireland last month. In addition to bringing a red tinge to the sky, the dust caused a slight, yet noticeable, spike in radiation in the areas it reached. This radiation spike was caused by the presence of cesium-137, a radioactive isotope produced through the nuclear fission of uranium-235 in nuclear weapons. A legacy of French nuclear weapons testing that occurred in Algeria during the 1960s, the cesium-137 contamination is a reminder that while the testing of nuclear weapons may have been halted for the time being, the consequences of these tests live on through the poisoning of the planet mankind calls home.

The Saharan radioactive dust cloud is but the most recent visible phenomenon of a plague that has infected much of the world. Cancer and birth defects can be linked to hundreds of atmospheric nuclear weapons tests conducted by the five so-called “nuclear powers” (the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom). The secrecy that these states attached–and still attach–to these tests has complicated efforts to obtain a true and accurate account of the human cost associated with nuclear weapons testing. Even the horrific numbers put out by a 1991 study by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), which estimated that the radiation and radioactive materials from atmospheric testing taken in by people caused 430,000 cancer deaths by the year 2000, and predicted that roughly 2.4 million people could eventually die from cancer because of atmospheric testing, is just a guess.

ALSO ON RT.COM‘Creative approach’: South Korea suggests North should freeze ALL ‘nuclear activities’ just to ‘begin’ rapprochement with US

A cancer on the globe

That many of these victims were veterans who were deliberately exposed to the effects of nuclear weapons is neither shocking nor excused. Some 250,000 US military personnel involved in the occupation of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were exposed to radiation produced by the two atomic bombs dropped on those cities at the end of World War 2; another 400,000 were exposed to the effects of nuclear weapons over the course of nearly two hundred atmospheric tests that took place between 1946 and 1962. According to a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute and Centers for Disease Control, radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons testing has killed more than 15,000 Americans and caused at least 80,000 cancers. The Department of Veterans Affairs has created a category of veteran, the so-called “Atomic Veteran,” to classify military personnel and their dependents who qualify for compensation if they have been stricken by at least one of 21 presumptive cancers defined by law as being linked to radiation exposure.

The US is not the only nation that recklessly exposed its military personnel to the effects of nuclear weapons testing. The French army recently acknowledged that as many as 2,000 of the 6,000 military personnel based in French Polynesia who were involved in the nuclear tests between 1966 and 1974 have since contracted at least one form of cancer. This data set does not include the several thousand other French military personnel exposed to radiation from the seven nuclear weapons tests conducted in Algeria. On top of this some 22,000 British military personnel witnessed more than a dozen nuclear weapons tests carried out on Australian territory and neighboring Pacific islands between 1953 and 1963.

ALSO ON RT.COMNew START treaty with US officially extended until February 2026 as Moscow hopes for new chapter in global stability

Supernova in the East

The Soviet Union, which carried out 137 atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons, took the exposure of military personnel even further, conducting a nuclear test where a bomb the size of those dropped on Japan was detonated within two miles of 45,000 Red Army soldiers dug into defensive fighting positions. This test, conducted on September 14, 1954, in the Ural Mountains about 600 miles southeast of Moscow, finished with these soldiers, most of whom were not wearing any protective equipment, rising from their defensive positions to conduct an assault across the newly nuked landscape, apparently to prove that troops could operate effectively in a nuclear war.

It is not known how many of these soldiers died because of exposure to radiation, but the levels they were subjected to are estimated to be ten times that permitted for an American soldier to experience for an entire year. It is also unknown to what extent similar military exercises were held in relation to nuclear weapons testing nor the total number of Soviet military personnel exposed to the effects of radiation and the long-term health consequences.

Of the five so-called “nuclear powers” (nations whose nuclear arsenals are openly acknowledged and recognized by the nuclear nonproliferation treaty), China operates with the greatest level of secrecy, but we know of nearly two dozen atmospheric tests. While little is known about these tests, some estimates hold that more than 20 million Chinese may have been exposed to radiation, that 194,000 people may have died from acute radiation exposure, and another 1.2 million may have received doses high enough to cause cancer.

ALSO ON RT.COMUS needs to choose between new ICBMs & nightmare of nuclear deterrence OR meaningful disarmament through arms control

The civilian cost

That civilians bear the greatest burden of the decades of nuclear weapons testing should not come as a surprise. Even though the nuclear weapons powers will all contend that they went to great lengths to conduct these tests in remote locations, as far from civilian populations as practical, the reality is that the unpredictability and persistence of the radioactive fallout produced from these tests have led to widespread exposures, with deleterious health effects.

In Algeria, it is estimated that between 27,000 to 60,000 people from communities around the French nuclear test sites were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. More than 110,000 occupants of French Polynesia were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation, including the 80,000 inhabitants of the capital, Papeete, when the highly radioactive cloud from a 1974 atmospheric test drifted over the city. The civilian population was not notified, and no precautions were taken. The number of Australian aboriginal people exposed to radiation from the United Kingdom’s nuclear testing on Australian soil likewise numbers in the many thousands.

The Kazakh region of Semipalatinsk bears similar witness to the dangers of testing. Between 1949 and 1989, 1.5 million residents of the former Soviet oblast of Semipalatinsk were subjected to at least 456 nuclear tests conducted at an 18,000-square-kilometer site known as Semipalatinsk-21. Today, samples taken from the soil and water of the region show a level of radiation more than 10 times the norm. More than half the population has died of cancer before reaching the age of 60, and one in 20 children born in the region has some form of serious deformity. These results are not an aberration, but the norm.

British veterans who were exposed to radiation from nuclear testing were found to have fathered children possessing congenital defects at a rate of 94.2 per thousand births, as compared to 9.6 for non-veterans. And radiation is the gift that keeps on giving–among the grandchildren of these “Atomic Veterans,” the defect rate was 61.4, compared with 7.4 for the grandchildren of those not exposed.

ALSO ON RT.COMIf the US is really worried about a nuclear Iran, it would go back to JCPOA. But nukes are not at the core here

The Dirty Harry Test – not feeling lucky

The United States has its own sordid history of nuclear tests gone bad, perhaps the most notorious being the so-called “Dirty Harry” test involving a 32-kiloton weapon that was detonated at the Nevada Test Site on May 19, 1953. Due to a miscalculation in the weather report, accompanied by an unexpected change in wind direction, the explosion generated a highly contaminated fallout cloud which drifted over the town of St. George, in the neighboring state of Utah. The town’s residents were not told to shelter, and school children were playing at morning recess when the radiation began to settle on the town. Radiation counters used to measure the level of contamination maxed out at 300-350 milliroentgens, more than three times the maximum permitted annual rate of exposure. It would be hours before the citizens of St. George were told to take cover.

The impact of the ‘Dirty Harry’ test on the health of St. George’s population is still a matter of dispute, with various legal claims still working their way through the US legal system. But an indication of the deadly potential of exposure to the fallout of this test can be gauged by the experiences of the cast and crew of the Hollywood movie, The Conqueror, filmed on location outside St. George in 1954, a year after the test. The cast and crew spent several weeks on location. By 1980, 91 of the 220 persons involved with the film had developed cancer, of whom 46 died–including the stars of the film, John Wayne and Susan Hayward.

ALSO ON RT.COMDuterte threatens to end military cooperation with US if he gets ‘hard info’ on nukes stored in PhilippinesSometimes it takes the death of a celebrity to shed light on a real and pressing concern that otherwise would escape attention. The fact that a nuclear weapons test may have caused the cancer that killed two American film legends is not known by most US citizens today, let alone the rest of the world. But Susan Hayward and John Wayne’s deaths highlight the reality that radiation poisoning knows no boundary. There is no social status that protects one from the fatal consequences of exposure to radioactive fallout from nuclear testing–it will kill a Kazakh peasant and Pacific islander as easily as a Hollywood legend. The radiation that likely killed John Wayne and Susan Hayward came from a single nuclear weapons test. While the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons is a thing of the past, the continued utility of nuclear weapons as a so-called “weapon of deterrence” should send alarm bells off around the world. The fact that nations continue to incorporate these weapons into their respective arsenals, and develop a doctrine that envisions their possible use, underscores the fact that people and politicians have lost touch with how utterly awful these weapons are, and why they must never be used again.

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

John Pilger warns of war with Russia as West wages ‘propaganda’ battle (VIDEO)
worker | April 3, 2018 | 8:34 pm | Russia, struggle against nuclear war, Struggle for Peace | Comments closed

John Pilger warns of war with Russia as West wages ‘propaganda’ battle (VIDEO)

John Pilger warns of war with Russia as West wages ‘propaganda’ battle (VIDEO)
Campaigning journalist John Pilger has warned that the current propaganda war being waged by the West against Russia and China could escalate into a “real” war if it continues.

The Australian journalist and filmmaker issued the warning during an interview with RT on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange having his internet access cut off by the Ecuadorian embassy, where he resides. The WikiLeaks editor has been unable to access the internet or receive visitors since criticizing Germany’s arrest of Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont.

“This is about a war on freedom of speech. This man is being denied the most basic right – freedom of speech,” Pilger told RT. “It’s part of a wider war against known enemies, Russia is one of them and China is another, but at the moment [it’s] on the propaganda stage,” he added.

“This is about the public’s right to know and it’s the public’s right to know what governments are doing.”

Pilger cautioned against the grave implications of the West’s current information war, as he said: “Forget about the whole idea of trade war, we’ve got the prospect of a real war unless this propaganda war is seen through. The attack on [Assange] and WikiLeaks over the years is so important because it does what journalists should be doing and that is holding great power to account,” Pilger added.

READ MORE: Assange works for the people – now we need to save him

His remarks come after a petition calling for his internet to be restored was signed by more than 38,000 people. It opened with a letter signed by renowned public figures including Noam Chomsky, Vivienne Westwood, Oliver Stone and Brian Eno.

Assange has been locked up in the embassy since being accused of rape in Sweden back in 2012. While charges against him were dropped, he fears being extradited to the US for releasing a series of classified national security documents through his whistleblowing website, WikiLeaks.

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

Running Amok
worker | March 26, 2018 | 8:48 pm | Analysis, Russia, struggle against anti-communism, struggle against nuclear war | Comments closed

from Greg Godels is available at:

Periods of generalized fear and mass hysteria are not new to the United States. In the aftermath of both World Wars, a virulent Red Scare spread near and far. Thousands were caught in an official dragnet aimed at capturing Communists and other dissenters. At the same time, the government and powerful interests terrorized the rest of the population with fear of incrimination and stoked hatred toward those with ‘dangerous’ ideas. Threats were manufactured.

The suddenly shrunken ranks of principled civil libertarians, those yet to be cowed by the hysteria, saw parallels with witch hunts and inquisitions for good reason. They saw fear spawning outrageous claims and ridiculous charges. The fear of nuclear annihilation contributed to the madness of the 1950s, along with the cultural vulgarity of zombies and vampires. Flying saucers, alien invaders, rock and rollers, fluoride, motorcycle gangs, juvenile delinquents, and defiant atheists added to the terror of that time.

Some saw this as sheer insanity, but behind the orgy of fear was a calculated purging of domestic dissent and a stoking of foreign aggression and intervention, both essential for the crafting of a post-war political and foreign policy consensus. The calculation came easy to wealthy and powerful elements who had absorbed the lessons of the post-Civil War South, an era that nurtured outrageously contrived threats attributed to former slaves. The demonization of African Americans in the South during Reconstruction and after served well as the basis for the virulent racism that protected the privileges of the white upper classes. Fear sustained a terroristic, racist ruling class

Therefore, US elites readily recognize the value of fear-mongering as an instrument of persuasion, as an arm-twister, as a lever of consent. They foresee and secure the eager complicity of the corporate media in amplifying these fears.

True to form, the lapdog capitalist media accept their mission of uncritically following the lead of US policy makers in manufacturing conflict in Eastern Europe, in Latin America, Northern Africa, and, most diligently, the Middle East. Media bought and sold the contrived excuses for invading Iraq without a whimper of dissent. The current Western consensus on Syria is grounded from “reporting” bylined Beirut or Ankara, where US embassy press releases are readily and safely available, or from the claims of a London-based “observatory” that incredibly touts reliable sources from afar in every oppositional town or village in Syria.

The foundation for this perversion of objectivity is fear, fear of ill-defined “terrorism,” fear of Islam, fear of brown people. As a result of this madness, the Middle East is fractured.

The historic success of fear-mongering has emboldened US rulers to offer a further set of demons, another source of great evil– Russia. At a moment of slack political credibility, at a time of lost confidence in the US electoral process, Russia-bashing is serving as a useful distraction. It’s difficult to discern an evil-inspired motive for Russia to want to destroy our rotting political system when its system resembles our own money-driven, elite-dominated, craven media “pseudo-democracy.” Maybe they hope to retaliate for the US intervention in securing political changes throughout Eastern Europe, especially on multiple occasions in Ukraine. Doesn’t anyone remember US diplomat Victoria Nuland crudely selecting the leaders for a US-friendly Ukraine?

Despite no evidence– credible or otherwise– that any real damage has been accomplished by Russian perfidy, the millionaire TV news readers and the screeching commentariat have succeeded in turning public opinion around in a short span. Gallup reports that in the winter of 2010, most US respondents (47%) had a “favorable” opinion of Russia. By a small margin, most people had put aside the Cold War craziness. But by the spring of 2017, 70% of the respondents now had an “unfavorable” view of Russia. A remarkable turnaround based on little more than fear-mongering and innuendo.

Russia-bashing has long since moved beyond the charge of political influence that energized it. Like previous US infections of political hysteria, Russia now causes everything from tooth decay to impotence. One could see it only too clearly in a series of copycat headlines that appeared a week or so ago. BBC, Time, CNN, Reuters, The Times, ABC, and a host of other prominent media outlets featured a close variation of the headline Putin Ordered a Passenger Plane to be Shot Down. Some headlines were more shrill than others, some added that he called off the hit, but the lasting impression was that the callous Putin was about to order a commercial passenger plane to be blown up with the death of many innocent people before backing off. For those who bothered to read on, the plane was believed to be directed by a terrorist and heading for the Sochi Olympic games. Action was called off when the threat proved bogus.

Given that the emergency procedure would be and is a commonplace with any competent security service, it is difficult to understand why so many news services chose to highlight such an insignificant Putin anecdote, except to exploit the existing anti-Putin mindset.

No opportunity is missed to further expand the fears of a Russian plan to destroy the US, though no one has exposed a credible motive.

Nearly all previous fright orchestrations have parlayed fear of a foreign “enemy” into a domestic crackdown– threats from Reds abroad mean threats from Reds at home, for example.

So far, the RussiaGate fanatics have seemingly sought few domestic leftist foes to boil in oil.

That may be changing.

An unlikely witch hunter, the iconic liberal Southern Poverty Law Center, served up a pot-boiler conspiracy theory linking the “Brown” with the “Red”– the so-called “alt-right” and the anti-imperialist movement. The multipolar spin: how fascists operationalize left wing resentment, authored by Alexander Reid Ross, a geography graduate student at Portland State University, pretends to expose a kind of united front between left and right knitted together by dark forces involving Putin, Rasputin-like Russians, and Russian “soft-power networks.”

Ross expresses his debt to an intellectual godfather, an anonymous self-styled anarchist blogger, “Vagabond,” who devoted 46,000 words in January to a meandering, unhinged attack on the US left for its “crypto-fascism.” Oddly, the acid-tongued Vagabond even castigates his sycophant, Ross, for posting on Counterpunch— the “red-brown cesspool.”

A sample of Vagabond’s writing captures its ominous, conspiratorial tone:

Now, why should the Stalinoid/Marcyite WWP and the PSL be shunned, apart from their obvious history of genocide denial and support for atrocities, lies in their alliance with fascists. The difference with Ross and the Marcyite parties is that Ross, while unfortunately published by CounterPunch, does not himself collaborate with fascists while the Marcyite parties are active collaborators of Lyndon LaRouche and Duginists.

The supreme irony of this innuendo-laced diatribe is that it is so reminiscent of the language of the attacks in the late 1960s on the National Welfare Rights Organization and the Marxist left by the National Caucus of Labor Committees and its guru Lyn Marcus– the aforementioned Lyndon Larouche. Like Larouche, Vagabond equates sharing a position on a public issue, any and even the most casual associations, or even attending a meeting or conference with the sin of “active collaboration.” This ‘gotcha’ politics was once solely the posture of the McCarthyite right, but has now become a signature feature with phony ‘antifascists’ like Vagabond and Ross.

Sadly, this charge of “red-brown” alliance seems to have gained traction in some anarchist and ‘antifa’ circles. In contrast to Vagabond’s shrill rants, Ross chooses a slightly more measured tone, referring to the imagined left-fascist connection as “syncretic”– “syncretic networks,” “syncretic news sites,” “syncretic figures,” “syncretic hub,” etc. Despite the attempt at academic-sounding cosmetics, both authors share the goals of guilt by association, of slandering the left.

Unshorn of the dubious web of ‘associations,’ the argument at the center of the attack– if it can be dignified by calling it an argument– is quite simply and transparently invalid:

The ‘fascists’ or ‘alt-right’ supports a multi-polar world

The Russians support a multi-polar world

The left supports a multi-polar world

Ergo, The ‘fascists/alt-right,’ the Russians, and the left are in alliance or, in a “syncretic” relationship.

Repeatedly, Ross (and others) build their case around the allegation that support for a multi-polar world– a world without one solely dominant power– is the tell in demonstrating underlying alliances, common networks, or sympathies. It must never occur to those seeing conspiracy that people could support the same end– a multi-polar world– for vastly different reasons. It must never occur to Ross, Vagabond, and their ilk (or the Southern Poverty Law Center) that the rational alternative today to a multi-polar world is a unipolar world like the one envisioned by the ruling class of the US. US elites brashly claimed that world for themselves after the demise of the Soviet Union, costing those standing in the way millions of lives.

But it is futile to reason with pathologies.

To add the illusion of seriousness, Ross supplies the reader with a pretentious network ‘map’ that obfuscates more than it clarifies, a Venn diagram that is not a Venn diagram, and a “conceptual model” that is a Venn diagram. The point of this exercise is only to present the Far Right and the Hard Left visually as overlapping or interlinked, just in case the narrative proved too convoluted and tenuous to suggest such a conclusion.

It is a curious picture, displaying a bizarre caricature of the left and singling out only those elements of the left that challenge the current US foreign policy line: active measures against Russia, Assad’s Syria, Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Eastern Ukraine, Venezuela, and others. From Black Agenda Reports’ Margaret Kimberley to ANSWER’s Brian Becker, outspoken anti-imperialists are labeled as part of a “red-brown” network. Workers World Party, Party of Liberation and Socialism, and even the Green Party’s presidential candidate, Jill Stein, are allies of the fascists in this demented picture. The leading anti-imperialist organizations, the ANSWER Coalition and the United National Antiwar Coalition are similarly charged with ‘brown’ affiliation.

Of course the glue that binds these individuals and organizations to the hard right, in the estimation of Ross and friends, is Russia, its foreign policy, and especially its media arms– RT and Sputnik. An appearance on either medium guarantees the “red-brown” disgrace.

For those in power, for those who crafted the imperialist policies that brought death, destruction, and chaos to the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and a host of other countries troubled by US intervention, an attack on the small, but dedicated “red” US left could not be more welcome.

History has shown that the vaunted liberal US values of fair play, due process, measured judgement, presumption of innocence, etc. are only credible when they are exercised under duress. Civil liberties are of greatest use precisely when they are most unpopular.

History also shows that in the most challenging times, in times of witch hunts and inquisitions, few liberals will step away from their comforts in defense of their values. Liberal fidelity runs thin.

With the endorsement of Ross’s baseless slander of the anti-imperialist and Marxist left, the Southern Poverty Law Center adds another chapter to that liberal history of disappointment, hypocrisy, and spinelessness.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has, on March 14, taken down the Ross posting. It is no longer accessible. In place of it, an “Explanation and Apology” has been posted that is neither an adequate explanation nor a sincere apology for the contemptible views originally posted. As SPLC sees it, “the article did not make the “point as clearly as it could or should have”, an explanation worthy of an adolescent caught in a fib. Further, the apology is extended to “those who believe they have been falsely described in it…”. There is no concession here that they have been falsely described. In my view, this weaselly “correction” only underscores the treason of the liberals in these dangerous times.

Greg Godels

Washington’s ‘crackpot’ nuclear posture endangers the world to an alarming degree
worker | February 6, 2018 | 7:39 pm | struggle against nuclear war | Comments closed

Washington’s ‘crackpot’ nuclear posture endangers the world to an alarming degree

Finian Cunningham
Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV.
Washington’s ‘crackpot’ nuclear posture endangers the world to an alarming degree
Washington’s latest Nuclear Posture Review imperils global security in three ways: it inflates perceived threats to the US, it conflates conventional & nuclear war and it pushes for the development of low-yield nuclear weapons.

These three new moments in US policy increase the risk of nuclear war rather than lowering it, as American Defense Secretary James Mattis claimed in signing off on the Nuclear Posture Review published last week.

Mattis states that the long-term goal of the US is the elimination of all nuclear weapons from the world — but Washington has no intention of ever doing this. That’s because US leaders never cease to view the world as a relentlessly threatening place, justifying a $1 trillion upgrade of the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

The NPR states: “This review comes at a critical moment in our nation’s history, for America confronts an international security situation that is more complex and demanding than any since the end of the Cold War.”

Four specific threats are outlined: Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.

But what’s perplexing is that so little credible detail is presented by the Pentagon to justify why it considers these four entities to be such dire threats, requiring greater US nuclear posturing.

In regard to Russia and China, the NPR asserts (on page 6): “Since 2010 we have seen the return of Great Power competition. To varying degrees, Russia and China have made clear they seek to substantially revise the post-Cold War international order and norms of behavior.”

However, the Pentagon doesn’t provide substantive detail on what this “revision of the international order” by Russia and China entails and why it should be considered by the US a grave security threat.

On Russia, the Pentagon claims: “Russia has demonstrated its willingness to use force to alter the map of Europe and impose its will on its neighbors, backed by implicit and explicit nuclear first-use threats… Its occupation of Crimea and direct support for Russia-led forces in eastern Ukraine violate its commitment to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

Regarding China, Mattis states in the preface of the NPR that Beijing is “challenging traditional US military superiority in the western Pacific.” Here, the Pentagon is referring to China’s territorial claims to islands in the South China Sea.

These alleged transgressions by Russia and China are repeated throughout the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review, as well as assertions that both countries have moved to “greater salience of deployment of nuclear forces.”

What is disturbing is how the Pentagon has inflated specific local territorial disputes — Ukraine and South China Sea — to constitute somehow a “worsening global threat environment.”

In the executive summary, the NPR states “global threat conditions have worsened markedly since the most recent 2010 NPR, including increasingly explicit nuclear threats from potential adversaries. The United States now faces a more diverse and advanced nuclear-threat environment than ever before.”

At a couple of brief points, the US NPR states that it does not want to have an adversarial relationship with either Russia or China, yet it repeatedly depicts both as a threat. This is consistent with two other documents recently published by the Trump administration — the National Security Strategy, in December, and the National Defense Strategy (NDS), in January — which again called out Russia and China as priority “rivals.” The NDS indeed said Russia and China were now a bigger national security threat than non-state terrorism.

In the latest NPR one quote (page 30) stands out: “Russia is not the Soviet Union and the Cold War is long over. However, despite our best efforts to sustain a positive relationship, Russia now perceives the United States and NATO as its principal opponent and impediment to realizing its destabilizing geopolitical goals in Eurasia.”

Aside from the flagrant deceit over US and NATO encirclement of Russia, again it is noteworthy how vague accusations are somehow made into a sinister threat. The NPR surely ought to say what Russia’s supposedly “destabilizing geopolitical goals in Eurasia” are, but doesn’t.

So are we to believe that Russia’s economic integration with China and other Eurasian neighbors is an illegitimate ambition? Is Russia’s move towards replacing the American dollar in bilateral trade with China immoral? Arguably, such moves are threatening to US hegemony. But they are not acts of war in any reasonable definition.

That’s the thing. It is obvious that Washington is construing political and economic changes in the world — the tendency toward a multipolar order — as a mortal threat to its unipolar ambitions. For Washington, this threat is being transposed into military terms. The problem is not foreign “enemies;” the problem is Washington’s warmongering.

The second perplexing theme in the US NPR is how it conflates conventional and nuclear war. Repeatedly throughout the document, it states that American nuclear forces are to be “tailored and more flexible” as “deterrents” (one could argue “offensives”) “against conventional and nuclear threats.”

With regard to Russia, the Pentagon reiterates the litany of allegations against Moscow that it is acting aggressively in Ukraine and against American allies in Europe, including with “new forms of aggression from cyberattacks.”

Provocatively, the Pentagon declares that “Russian aggression” will “trigger incalculable and intolerable costs for Moscow.”

This is disturbing, to say the least, because the military chiefs in Washington are accusing Russia of what it perceives as “aggression,” while at the same time Washington is saying that it is moving toward “nuclear deterrence” to confront it.

A third area of concern is the explicit go-ahead by Washington for the development of so-called “low-yield nuclear warheads.” The concept of “mini-nukes” has been around for several years, but now the Pentagon is declaring it will pursue development of these weapons. The NPR specified submarine-launched missiles as the sector where the mini-nukes will be deployed.

The dangerous consequence is the notion that a limited nuclear war may be feasible. Thus, a greater risk of “low-yield” nuclear weapons being deployed in action. But the real danger is that the threshold will then be lowered for escalation to strategic weapons of mass destruction.

Taken together, the latest US Nuclear Posture Review presents an alarming deterioration in global security. In stark contrast to the Pentagon’s claims of “raising the threshold” for nuclear war, the latest policy formulation entails a reckless lowering of that threshold.

During the height of the Cold War, the renowned American sociologist C. Wright Mills coined the phrase “Crackpot Realists” to refer to Pentagon war planners and their relentless depiction of world threats as justification for stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.

It is evident from the latest NPR that the Cold War is still being waged, and Crackpot Realists are ever-present in the Pentagon.

As Mills wrote back in 1958: “The absence of an American program for peace is a major cause of the thrust and drift toward World War III.”

Think about that. The risk of world annihilation and the grotesque waste of human resources could easily be solved, if only Washington would engage in peaceful diplomacy with the rest of the world.

The underlying reason for why this does not happen — American-desired hegemony — is why Washington stands condemned.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Moscow Disappointed by Content of New US Nuclear Doctrine
worker | February 4, 2018 | 2:27 pm | Analysis, Russia, struggle against nuclear war | Comments closed

Russian Foreign Ministry building

Moscow Disappointed by Content of New US Nuclear Doctrine

© Sputnik/ Vladimir Pesnya

Get short URL

The Russian Foreign Ministry has commented on the Nuclear Posture Review, issued by the United States on February 2, naming Russia, North Korea, Iran and China as potential threats to the US national security.

“The content of the new nuclear doctrine (the so-called Nuclear Posture Review) released by the United States on February 2 has provoked our deep disappointment. The confrontational and anti-Russian nature of this document strikes the eye. We can state with regret that the United States explains its policies for a large-scale boost of nuclear weapons by referring to the modernization of the nuclear forces in Russia and alleged increasing role of nuclear weapons in the Russian doctrine statements. We are accused of lowering the nuclear threshold and of conducting some ‘aggressive behavior,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Speaking about the US Nuclear Posture Review released on February 2, the Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out that accusations against Moscow of aggressive behavior, interventions, breaches of arms control agreements, written in the document, have nothing to do with reality.

“All of these [accusations] has nothing to do with the real situation. The military doctrine of the Russian Federation clearly limits the use of nuclear weapons to two hypothetical and purely defensive scenarios: only in response to aggression with the use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction against Russia and (or) our allies, and also — the second scenario — in case of use of conventional weapons, but only when the very existence of our state is threatened,” the ministerial statement reads.

The Russian side revealed their position on the document, calling it an unfair attempt to shift the blame for the degradation of the international nuclear situation.

“Such peremptory cliches have recently been replicated by Washington without a pause. We consider this as an unfair attempt to shift on others the responsibility for the degradation of the situation in the field of international and regional security and the imbalance of arms control mechanisms, resulting from a series of irresponsible steps taken by the United States itself,” the ministry added.

The ministry called the statements concerning the US interest in “stable relations” and commitment to constructive cooperation, mentioned in the doctrine, hypocritical. As the ministry explained, Russia would take the necessary measures to ensure its security due to the approaches defined in the document.

“Of course, we will have to take into account the approaches introduced by Washington and take all necessary measures to ensure own security,” the ministry said in a statement issued in response to the Friday publication of the NPR.

READ MORE: Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review: From US Nuke Capabilities to Nuclear Terrorism

Addressing the bottom line of the document, Moscow stated that it questions Russia’s right to self-defense in situations critical for the country’s existence.

“It turns out that the US readiness, declared in this review, to use nuclear weapons in order to prevent Russia from using its nuclear weapons is an attempt to question our right to self-defense when countering aggression in situations critical for the existence of the state,” the statement said.

Nevertheless, Moscow urged Washington to engage in a joint search for solutions to problems related to maintaining strategic stability, underlining that all nuclear states should be involved in nuclear disarmament, especially the United Kingdom and France as the US’ allies.

“The doctrine’s parts about Washington being interested in ‘stable relations’ with us [Russia] and its determination to work constructively in order to reduce respective risks look hypocritical,” the statement reads.

“From our part, we are ready for such work [on cooperation]. We urge the United States to seriously engage, jointly with us, in the search for solutions to the problems accumulating in the sphere of maintenance of strategic stability,” the Russian ministry said.

“We have directed the attention [of various players] including the United States to the fact, that settling key strategic stability problems, such as unilateral and unrestricted deployment of the US global missile defense system, implementation of the ‘global strike’ concept, the US denial to ratify the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and refusal to rule out possibility of deploying weapons in space, would contribute to creating the needed conditions for moving on the path of nuclear disarmament,” the statement pointed out.

US Nuclear Weapons

Moscow has expressed concern over Washington’s “unlimited” approach to the issue of nuclear weapons use, calling for a deeper look into the possibility of its use in a case of “extreme circumstances”, as the Posture Review reads. Speaking about their anxiety over the document, the Russian side explained that the US still possessed ans is even modernizing tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, placing them near Russian borders.

“Washington’s practically ‘adjustable’ approach to the use of nuclear weapons is concerning. The possibility of its use in the case of ‘extreme circumstances’ is declared, which the doctrine’s authors do not limit to military scenarios at all,” the statement read.

“If all this is not an increase of the nuclear weapons factor in the doctrine, then what does the United States mean when it uses this notion about Russia?” the statement pointed out, referring to the US statement on the increasing role of nuclear weapons in the Russian military doctrine.

READ MORE: US Nuclear Doctrine Allows for ‘Another Hiroshima, Nagasaki Bombing’ — Lawmaker

Speaking about the accusations against the country, the Russian side stressed its commitment to all obligations under international agreements, in particular, the INF treaty (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty) and the Open Skies agreement.

“The document’s statement that Russia allegedly refuses to further reduce its nuclear capabilities is yet another example of the blatant ‘falsification,'” the ministry said.

The newly released Nuclear Posture Review describes US nuclear capabilities, as well as challenges supposedly posed by Russia, China, rogue states and nuclear terrorism.

“Statements that the implementation of plans presented [in the US nuclear doctrine] ‘will not lower the threshold of the use of nuclear weapons,’ is, at least, the intention to mislead the world community,” the Russian ministerial statement reads.

“Even more dangerous is the belief of the US military experts and other specialists in the sphere of national security, emerging from the pages of the nuclear doctrine, in their ability to reliably simulate the development of conflicts, in which they allow usage of ‘low-yield’ nuclear warheads. For us, the opposite is clear: significantly lowered ‘threshold conditions’ may lead to a missile-nuclear war even during low-intensity conflicts,” the Russian ministry stressed.

US President Trump has decided to follow Obama’s plan for modernizing the country’s nuclear arsenal, including new bomber aircraft, submarines and land-based missiles. US nuclear forces are said to contribute to the “deterrence of nuclear and non-nuclear attack,” “assurance of allies and partners,” “achievement of US objectives if deterrence fails,” and “capacity to hedge against an uncertain future.” As Secretary of Defense James Mattis has observed, “a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent is there to ensure a war that can never be won, is never fought.”