Today, the dangers of military escalation are beyond description.
What is now happening in Ukraine has serious geopolitical implications. It could lead us into a World War III Scenario.
It is important that a peace process be initiated with a view to preventing escalation.
Global Research does not support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The history of this war must be understood.
The bombing and shelling led by Ukraine’s Armed Forces directed against the people of Donbass started eight years ago, resulting in the destruction of residential areas and more than 10,000 civilian casualties.
A bilateral Peace Agreement is required.
At no point since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945, has humanity been closer to the unthinkable. All the safeguards of the Cold War era, which categorized the nuclear bomb as “a weapon of last resort”, have been scrapped.
Vladimir Putin’s statement on February 21st, 2022 was a response to US threats to use nuclear weapons on a preemptive basis against Russia, despite Joe Biden’s “reassurance” that the US would not be resorting to “A first strike” nuclear attack against an enemy of America:
“Let me [Putin] explain that U.S. strategic planning documents contain the possibility of a so-called preemptive strike against enemy missile systems. And who is the main enemy for the U.S. and NATO? We know that too. It’s Russia. In NATO documents, our country is officially and directly declared the main threat to North Atlantic security. And Ukraine will serve as a forward springboard for the strike.” (Putin Speech, February 21, 2022, emphasis added)
Last July 2021, the Biden administration launched its 2021 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) to be completed and formally announced in 2022. The 2021 NPR is to include what is described as a “nuclear declaratory policy of the United States”.
It is unlikely that the 2021 NPR will repeal the nuclear options of the Obama and Bush administrations which are largely predicated on the notion of preemptive nuclear war raised in President Putin’s speech.
The underlying US nuclear doctrine consists in portraying nuclear weapons as a means of “self defense” rather than as a “weapon of mass destruction”.
Moreover, there are powerful financial interests behind the NPR which are tied into the $1.3 trillion nuclear weapons program initiated under President Obama.
Although the Ukraine conflict has so-far been limited to conventional weapons coupled with “economic warfare”, the use of a large array of sophisticated WMDs including nuclear weapons is on the drawing board of the Pentagon.
According to the Federation of American Scientists, the total number of nuclear warheads Worldwide is of the order of 13,000. Russia and the United States “each have around 4,000 warheads in their military stockpiles”.
The Dangers of Nuclear War are Real. Profit Driven. Two Trillion Dollars
Under Joe Biden, public funds allocated to nuclear weapons are slated to increase to 2 trillion by 2030 allegedly as a means to safeguarding peace and national security at taxpayers expense. (How many schools and hospitals could you finance with 2 trillion dollars?):
The United States maintains an arsenal of about 1,700 strategic nuclear warheads deployed on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and at strategic bomber bases. There are an additional estimated 100 non-strategic, or tactical, nuclear weapons at bomber bases in five European countries and about 2,000 nuclear warheads in storage. [see our analysis of B61-11 and B61-12 below]
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in May 2021 that the United States will spend a total of $634 billion over the next 10 years to sustain and modernize its nuclear arsenal. (Arms Control)
In this article, I will first focus on the Post Cold War shift in US Nuclear Doctrine, followed by a brief review of the history of nuclear weapons going back to the Manhattan Project initiated in 1939 with the participation of both Canada and the United Kingdom.