Cold War Escalation
In withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty, a landmark agreement to rid Europe of medium-range nuclear missiles, and stating they have no intention of extending START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)America under Trump has recklessly re-ignited a new cold war with Russia. The 2019 Doomsday Clock is now showing two minutes to midnight—the closest it has ever been to Doomsday since the height of the Cold War in 1953.
By surrounding Russia with military bases, imposing economic sanctions on them, militarizing the Ukraine, and blaming Russia for "undermining democracy” everywhere in the world, America has pushed Russia to a point where on February 20 journalist Dmitry Kiselyov speaking on behalf of the Putin government provided a detailed description of the "mirror like” response that Russia will take to any US installations of land based cruise missiles directed against Moscow. Russian nuclear technology could not only match U.S. intermediate range missiles if they were deployed in Europe, but would exceed their capabilities. U.S. weapons would take 10-12 minutes to hit Moscow, but hypersonic Zircon missiles on Russian subs would take only half that time to strike U.S. targets from waters off the coasts.
The problem here is that it is not only that we are in a situation of wilful escalation of the possibility of nuclear war and increasing 'Russia-phobia'. It is also the case that these deployment systems depend on instantly responding computers that multiply the potential for misinterpretation and error. Moreover, as we all have come to know by now computers and intelligence systems can be compromised--hacked in a way that makes it appear as if a first strike occurred. Computers do not stop and ask whether they are doing the right thing. They just respond in nanoseconds.
Unlike the drunken, grovelling Yeltsin, Putin is no shrinking violet. He is a shrewd and ruthless ruler--a former KGB agent who WILL instinctively respond to American aggression. He has now drawn a line in the sand. Here's what he said: "I hope everything that has been said today" (about Russia's defensive and offensive nuclear capabilities) "will sober any potential aggressor. No one listened to us. Listen to us now.”
There were a few people listening. In fact, it was the sort of defiant Russian talk that American war hawks love to hear. You can be certain John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and Tim Morrison heard Putin with the sadistic glee of a General "Buck" Turgidson. These are the kind of people that believe America must be the dominate economic, political and military force on the planet, and should never have to be constrained by international law or international nuclear treaties.
Some have claimed that Putin was more interested in reassuring Russians than provoking America. However, if he did not grasp that he was, in fact, dealing with reckless American psychopaths, perhaps its time he took a closer look at what is happening in America. Russia's announcement that they could equal or better anything America might come up with gave the crazies in the Trump administration all the 'ammunition' they needed to launch a 30-year nuclear modernization effort, estimated to cost $1.7 trillion--not merely to improve the efficiency of nuclear weapons, but 'make them more useable'--
Make them more 'useable': Now that is as insane and dangerous as it gets. Perhaps it is time to move the Doomsday clock up to one minute to midnight.