monsieur damon is a little on the conservative side with his warhead numbers, i fear

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists warns of “civilization-ending nuclear war”
Andre Damon, WSWS, Jan 24 2020

On Wednesday, Congressman Adam Schiff, speaking from the Senate floor during the second day of the impeachment of Donald Trump, said “the United States aids Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there and we don’t have to fight Russia here.” For most of the Pindo population, the assertion that “we” are fighting Russia will come as a surprise. For years, the media has laughed off the danger of a war between Pindostan and Russia or China as a “conspiracy theory.” But Schiff raised Pindostan fighting Russia not just as a possibility, but as a statement of present fact. Pindostan and Russia each possess over 6,000 nuclear weapons. Just a fraction of these are sufficient to kill billions of people and destroy human society. A war between these two countries, in other words, would be a cataclysmic disaster. And yet, the entire political establishment, from the Democrats with their anti-Russian hysteria, to Trump with his bullying threats against the whole world, are preparing for military conflict on a scale not seen since WW2. On Thursday, the Bulletin of American Scientists, which for more than seven decades has maintained a Doomsday Clock, warned that human civilization is closer to midnight, ie total destruction, than at any other period in history, including the Cuban Missile Crisis at the height of the Cold war. the group said in its annual report:

Civilization-ending nuclear war, whether started by design, blunder or simple miscommunication, is a genuine possibility. Any belief that the threat of nuclear war has been vanquished is a mirage. To say the world is nearer to doomsday today than during the Cold War is to make a profound assertion that demands serious explanation. The international political infrastructure for controlling existential risk is degrading, leaving the world in a situation of high and rising threat. Global leaders are not responding appropriately to reduce this threat level and counteract the hollowing-out of international political institutions, negotiations and agreements that aim to contain it. The result is a heightened and growing risk of disaster.

Last year, Pindostan withdrew from the INF treaty, which prohibited the deployment of land-based missiles, including nuclear missiles, with ranges between 500 km and 5,500 km. Led by Pindostan, the world’s nuclear powers are massively expanding and modernizing their arsenals. In December, Pindostan tested a ballistic missile that would have violated the treaty. These moves are part of Pindo preparations for what Sec Def Esper called “high-intensity conflicts against competitors such as Russia and China.”

The latest missile test came just days after House Demagogs voted for a massive military spending bill that stripped out language limiting the Trump administration’s ability to develop and deploy new nuclear weapons, while handing the president the largest military budget in Pindo history. After withdrawing from the INF treaty in August, the Trump White House is moving rapidly ahead with a $1t plan to expand, “modernize” and miniaturize the Pindo nuclear arsenal, effectively putting Pindo nuclear forces on a hair trigger. The expansion of Pindo nuclear forces is central to the Trump Administration’s refocus on preparation for “great-power conflict” with Russia and China in line with its doctrine, announced in 2018:

Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in Pindo national security.

Elbridge A Colby, one of the principal authors of the National Defense Strategy published by the Pentagon in January, commented in Foreign Affairs:

When future historians look back at the actions of Pindostan in the early twenty-first century, by far the most consequential story will be the way Faschingstein refocused its attention on great-power competition.

It was time to call a spade a spade. The Trump administration, more realistic and blunter than its predecessors, did just that. Henry Kissinger pointed out in the FT in 2018:

Trump may be one of those figures in history who appears from time to time to mark the end of an era and to force it to give up its old pretenses.

The Pentagon has made clear that its overriding concern today is how to effectively defend the likes of Taiwan and the Baltic states against a potential Chinese or Russian attack. It is clear that any such conflict risks escalation into nuclear war. Last year, Colby penned an article in Foreign Affairs titled “If You Want Peace, Prepare for Nuclear War.” The risks of nuclear brinkmanship may be enormous, but so is the pay-off from gaining a nuclear advantage over an opponent. Any future confrontation with Russia or China could go nuclear… In a harder-fought, more uncertain struggle, each combatant may be tempted to reach for the nuclear saber to up the ante and test the other side’s resolve, or even just to keep fighting. Colby writes:

The best way to avoid a nuclear war is to be ready to fight a limited one. … Pindo boxtops must demonstrate that Pindostan is prepared to conduct limited, effective nuclear operations.

All of these policies are mad, and the people advocating them are criminals. But the universality of these plans, the fact that every major power is rearming, makes clear that this is the insanity not of individuals, but of a social class and a social order. It symptomatic of a crisis-ridden capitalist system, which is the root cause of war and attacks on democratic rights. But all over the world, the working class, the only social force capable of stopping the resurgence of capitalist barbarism, is engaged in a wave of strikes and social upheavals. It is urgently necessary for workers entering into struggle against social inequality to take up the fight against imperialist war as a critical and inseparable part of the fight for socialism.

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