Saturday, January 07, 2017

Election Reflections 2016: Incoming Trump Administration Confirms Renewed Nuclear Arms Race (Dec. 26, 2016)
United States policy threatens global war with Russia and China

Dec 26, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump in a twitter post raised the specter of an escalation in the nuclear arms race which could result in a catastrophic war with the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, among other states.

During the course of the primary and run-off elections in the United States, the notion was promoted by the corporate and government-controlled media that a Trump presidency would have as one of its major objectives the lessening of tensions with Moscow.

President Barack Obama spent several billion dollars in efforts to destabilize and overthrow the government of Ukraine.

Since the coup nearly three years ago, the situation has created a divided state where the U.S. utilized the internal resistance to a fascist-installed regime in Kiev, the objections to Washington’s policy from Russian President Vladimir Putin and the federation of Crimea with Moscow, to impose draconian sanctions. These measures by the Obama administration along with the imperialist-backed war against Syria, has aggravated relations between Russia and the U.S.

Trump in his tweet indicates that his administration will remain committed to the total war strategy of the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The president-elect on December 22 said “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”

This statement should be viewed within the context of Trump’s appointments of militarists such as Generals Michael T. Flynn and James “Mad Dog” Mattis. Both of these former Pentagon officials were instrumental in the U.S. wars against Afghanistan and Iraq which have created an untenable situation throughout Central Asia and areas spanning the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. Flynn will be the National Security Advisor in the White House while Mattis is slated to serve as Pentagon chief holding the Secretary of Defense portfolio.

A recent article in Fortune magazine responded to the latest Trump utterances by saying: “On Friday morning, however, Trump himself clarified what he meant in a phone call with Morning Joe talk-show host Mika Brzezinski—whose announcement of the news took on a somewhat bizarre tone due to the fact that she and co-host Joe Scarborough were wearing their pajamas in front of a roaring fire. Brzezinski said that when he was asked about the tweet during their off-air phone conversation, Trump said: ‘Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.’”

Russia, China and the Threat of Global War

Russian President Putin had no other choice but to respond to such a provocative comment through an interview with journalists on December 23. Some news reports suggest that Trump was responding to a presentation made by Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu on December 22 which reviewed the status of military readiness and the modernization of Moscow’s nuclear deterrents.

Putin placed blame on the U.S. for reigniting the nuclear arms race as early as 2002 when under the administration of the-then President George W. Bush, Jr., the Americans failed to extend the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABMT) signed by Washington and the Soviet Union under the leaderships of President Richard M. Nixon and his counterpart Leonid Brezhnev. Russian President Putin told the media on December 23 that: “When one party unilaterally withdrew from the treaty and said it was going to create an anti-nuclear umbrella, the other party has to either create a similar umbrella – the necessity of which we are not sure about considering its questionable efficiency – or create effective ways to overcome this anti-ballistic missile system and improve its strike capabilities.” (, Dec. 23)

A New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was signed in 2010 between President Barack Obama and then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The agreement called for the reduction in the deployment of nuclear warheads over the subsequent years. This framework of limiting deployments continues through February 2018.

Aggregate limits in the agreement includes: “700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments; 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments (each such heavy bomber is counted as one warhead toward this limit); and 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.” (

Putin indicated that the modernization of Russia’s nuclear arsenal is in line with the framework of agreements signed in 2010. However, the Russian leader noted that the U.S. has its own modernization program even under Obama pointing out that: “In Turkey, in Britain, in the Netherlands a replacement of American tactical nuclear weapons is underway. I hope that your program audiences and internet users know about that.”

The People’s Republic of China’s Global Times in an editorial published on December 25 appeared to be seeking to diffuse the alarm surrounding the statements of the Russian and soon to be U.S. leaders claiming that Beijing’s nuclear capability is geared towards deterrence as the contemporary programs of both Washington and Moscow. The Viewpoint article did make reference to Trump’s statements during the presidential campaign suggesting that both Japan and South Korea, two regional rivals of the PRC, develop their own nuclear capability.

The Global Times emphasized that: “Some observers are concerned about the impacts Trump’s nuclear ambitions may exert on U.S.’ East Asian allies, Japan and South Korea. There are always voices in Japan and South Korea calling for their countries to be nuclear states, and it is apparent that the U.S. efforts to enhance its nuclear capability may exert some effects on the two countries. However, it should be noted that, unlike the U.S., which is a first tier nuclear state, Japan and South Korea are just second or even third tier states that have an advantage in nuclear development. Washington and its East Asian allies are not closely related in terms of nuclear ambition, and thus, Trump’s and Putin’s remarks will exert only limited effects on Japan and South Korea.”

The U.S. Was the First and Only State to Use Nuclear Weapons

What is often not mentioned by the Western press is the fact that it was the U.S. at the conclusion of World War II which used the first Atomic weapons against Japan at Nagasaki and Hiroshima on August 6 and 9, 1945. The bombings were designed to assert U.S. military dominance internationally since discussions were underway for a surrender of Japan to U.S. forces. At the time of the attack on the second city of Nagasaki, the Soviet Red Army had already intervened in Manchuria, China, under Japanese occupation since 1931, in an effort to bring about a speedy end to the war.

Since the conclusion of WWII, there has been a nuclear arms race transforming the technology from fission to fusion creating the Hydrogen bombs which can be placed on inter-continental missiles threatening the entire globe. In later years the Soviet Union, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, the former apartheid regime in South Africa, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Britain and France have developed these weapons. There are nuclear weapons sharing states allied with imperialism which include Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey and Italy.

During the 1970s, the U.S. began to utilize weaponized Depleted Uranium (DU) in an effort to launch this material on missiles capable of penetrating Soviet-made armored vehicles. U-235 was deployed in the Iraq war beginning in 2001. Reports of the usage of these weapons continued during the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 along with the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.

Additional reports surfaced related to the utilization of DU weapons during the bombing campaign initiated by the Pentagon and NATO against Libya in 2011. This air campaign against the North African state was critical in the overthrow of the government of Col. Muammar Gaddafi leading to his brutal assassination on October 20 of the same year.

Also the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons reported in October noting: “The U.S. has finally confirmed that it has fired DU ammunition in Syria, after it had earlier stated that the weapons would not be used. U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) has acknowledged that DU was fired on two dates – the 18 and 23 November 2015. Between the strikes on the two dates, 5,100 rounds of 30mm DU ammunition were used by A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. This equates to 1,524kg of DU. CENTCOM said that the ammunition was selected because of the ‘nature of the targets’.” (

Consequently, the statements by Trump during late December have grave implications for world peace and security. The antiwar and peace movements across Europe and North America must mobilize to build a campaign to roll back these threats.

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