Saturday, June 6, 2015

U.S. Nuclear Counterforce Option Against Russia A Boneheaded Idea

It appears that the U.S. Neocon warmongers still ensconced in Obama's administration have a new plan to teach those Russians a lesson. According to a Denver Post piece ('U.S. Pondering Tougher Responses to Russia', June 5, p. 13A):

"The Obama administration is weighing a range of aggressive responses to Russia's alleged violations of a Cold War -era nuclear treaty, including deploying land based missiles in Europe that could pre-emptively destroy the Russian weapons."

Seriously? Hold strain, you haven't seen the half of it. As the piece goes on:

"The options go so far as one implied- but not stated explicitly - that would improve the ability of U.S. nuclear weapons to destroy military targets on Russian territory."

So, in other words, start World War III. To rejuvenate memories again, let's recall that the Russians have retained a “limited use" nuclear doctrine by which they reserve the right to employ nukes if they feel overwhelmed by conventional outside forces, say NATO’s, see e.g.

As noted therein:

"On March 13, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ran a piece by Nikolai Sokov with the paradoxical title Why Russia calls a limited nuclear strike “de-escalation.” He writes, “In 1999, at a time when renewed war in Chechnya seemed imminent, Moscow watched with great concern as NATO waged a high-precision military campaign in Yugoslavia.” It became concerned both that “the United States would interfere within its borders” and that the “conventional capabilities that the United States and its allies demonstrated seemed far beyond Russia’s own capacities.”

In response, Russia

… issued a new military doctrine whose main innovation was the concept of “de-escalation”—the idea that, if Russia were faced with a large-scale conventional attack that exceeded its capacity for defense, it might respond with a limited nuclear strike.

Of course, such response would also occur  if there is any U.S. nuclear first strike, especially on Russian targets.  You can therefore take it to the bank that any such U.S. belligerent tomfoolery would be met with an all -out Russian nuclear strike on those nuclear weapons and the nations hosting them.

Now, the other side - because that's important. As the article notes (ibid.):

"Russia denies violating the treaty and has in turn claimed violations by the U.S. in erecting missile defenses."

Which is spot-on true as I have pointed out before, e.g.

In an April 22, 2012, Wall Street Journal article ('Missile Gaffe Leaves European Unfazed', WSJ, today, p. A8) even Stefan Niesiolowski, chairman of the defense committee in the Polish Lower House of Parliament, noted such a missile system was not needed in Poland. Quoting him from the WSJ piece:

"There's no military threat and we haven't had a situation as secure as this in 300 years. The level of U.S. military engagement in Poland therefore is not of top importance."

WOW! No military threat? Then WHY do it? Obviously, to further antagonize the Russians,  having already dismissed Russia as a third rate nation after abusing a 1991 agreement in which NATO was not to have moved one millimeter further to the east if the Soviet Union was dissolved. Mikhail Gorbachev held up his end of the deal, the U.S. didn't. See e.g.

The ultimate bellicose move, of course, was instigating the coup in the Ukraine, which lies right on Russia's geographical doorstep. Let us see how close:

Note Ukraine abuts Russia on its southwest border. Note it carefully!  Now, try to conceive a juxtaposition of events and conditions whereby Florida (on the U.S. SE coast) has somehow become a separate protectorate  - say like Puerto Rico - and is suddenly taken over by hundreds of thousands of Cuban Castro sympathizers.  They localize attention at Miami where they essentially take over and raise Cuban flags. All this on a state right next to Georgia.

In a  symmetrical situation  would the U.S. just sit back and let events unfold, especially if the commie Cubans were going around beating up upstanding citizens, defacing buildings, burning up synagogues or churches  etc.? In your dreams!  There'd be such a display of 'shock and awe' invasion it would make your head swim! So no one can prattle away nonsense and tell me the U.S. wouldn't do the very same thing Russia is now doing, if the situation were somehow reversed.

But see this is the problem with the Neoliberal Pax Americana meme: one standard for the U.S. and another for everyone else. And no other nation better dare try to extend hegemony outside its national borders.

According to the Post piece, quoting a Lt. Col. Joe Sowers:

"All the options under consideration are designed to ensure that Russia gains no significant military advantage from their violation."

Totally oblivious to the fact that it has been the U.S. trying to press such advantage. Indeed, Pentagon and White House officials are even considering admitting the Balkan nation of Montenegro into NATO - further arousing Russian ire (WSJ today, p. A5) .  Even Ret. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson agreed back in MARCH, 2014, that if he was Putin and faced the sort of belligerence and upheaval in the Ukraine instigated by U.S. neocons (like Victoria Nuland) , he'd have made the exact same responses. Including going into the Crimea.

So what is really behind all this U.S. huff and puff?  Most of it can be traced to the document known as NSC-68 prepared by Paul Nitze of the National Security Council – completed by 1950. The document essentially contained the blueprint for unending strife and undeclared wars, all of which would be invoked on the basis of a zero tolerance threshold for foreigners’ misbehavior. The putative basis? To enable U.S. agitation, overthrow (or assassination) of democratically-elected leaders, e.g. Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954,
 and large and small occupations (ranging from the few thousand troops in the Dominican Republic in 1965, to more than 200,000 in Iraq by 2006.) 

The motivating force of the document was clear in this regard:

“a defeat of free institutions anywhere is a defeat everywhere”

In other words, any place for which the U.S. even remotely construes a “defeat of free institutions” gives it license to intervene at will. This critical aspect is described thusly by Morris Berman[1]:

Nitze emphasized the importance of perception, arguing that how we were seen was as crucial as how militarily secure we actually were. This rapidly expanded the number of interests deemed relevant to national security”.

In other words, it provided the formula for unending war, and the building of Empire. T
he problem for the U.S. now is that countries like Russia and China are no longer prepared to kowtow to the spread of the Neoliberal Empire based on this misbegotten Nitze doctrine. They are going to aggressively engage and protect their own spheres of influence as robustly as the U.S. would for its own.

Russia, for its part, and after the U.S. has moved its influence right up to its border, is not prepared to sit still and wait for hammers to fall.

Of course, Russian aggression will be a key topic in the G-7 summit tomorrow. But perhaps these misfits would be better served focusing on U.S. and NATO aggression provoking the Russians to react as they have. See :NATO's Warmongers:

See also:


[1] Morris Berman: 2006, Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire, W.W. Norton, page 118.


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