Feb 12, 2021
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Uncle Sam is eager for a limited nuclear war

Uncle Sam is eager for a limited nuclear war

Photo: DPA / Global Look Press

In Washington, “enthusiastically” and “publicly” discuss concepts that allow the use of nuclear weapons. This was stated by the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Ryabkov

“We categorically reject the concept of a limited nuclear war. We strongly disagree with attempts to attribute to us some ideas in the spirit of escalation for de-escalation. We believe that those who are engaged in this are themselves moving towards the introduction of such ideas into their military planning, “he said at a briefing at the Rossiya Segodnya news agency.

According to him, the lack of readiness of Western colleagues to confirm the formula GorbachevReagan 1985 “There can be no winners in a nuclear war and it should never be unleashed,” heightens doubts about where the Pentagon’s military thought is headed and whether the US is planning a limited nuclear conflict.

Recall that in early February, the head of the US Strategic Command, Admiral Charles Richard in an article for the official publication of the United States Naval Institute wrote about the existence of a real possibility of a rapid escalation of a regional crisis with Russia or China “into a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons, if, in their opinion, in the event of a defeat with the use of conventional weapons, a threat to the political system arises or the state.

Moscow has no illusions about the possibility of breakthroughs in relations with the new US administration, but sees signals of Washington’s openness to launch a new stage of the strategic dialogue and hopes that the START extension will become “the beginning of further interaction in this direction,” Ryabkov said. At the same time, he stressed that there will be no unilateral concessions on the issue of arms control from Russia.

The high-ranking diplomat also doubts that the conclusion of an agreement, which could further replace START, is possible without a dialogue on the topic of missile defense (ABM). However, he noted, for a long time in the United States, regardless of the party affiliation of the country’s leadership, there is a growing unwillingness and unwillingness to deal with this issue.

“We must seriously deal with the issue of missile defense, without this, arms control will be a big question. The same applies to space, ”the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister is convinced.

The diplomat does not see any prospects for restoring the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) in its previous form. Russia drew for itself conclusions from the actions of the United States, which preceded the unilateral rupture of this document.

“For many years we have been putting forward claims to the Americans on the three largest blocks of issues about how they are fulfilling, or rather, not fulfilling the INF Treaty, but we did not slam the door and did not break the agreement. This prehistory, in my opinion, excludes the restoration of the treaty as such, but the problem remains, ”he said.

The deputy foreign minister said that in order to avoid a new missile crisis in Europe, in order to avoid the appearance there or in the Asia-Pacific region of American-made medium-range means, which could sharply destabilize the situation, Moscow is proposing counter-moratoriums on the deployment of such systems. The corresponding verification measures were proposed by the Russian president.

“We do not meet with a response from NATO. They continue to chant each other in a circle, convincing them that Russia cannot be trusted. The responsibility for the possible consequences of a further sharp deterioration of the situation in Europe will fall entirely on NATO, on the United States and its allies in Europe, which, for the sake of their own ideology, their own rejection of modern Russia, pursuing an independent foreign policy course and not inclined to bend under pressure, are ready to let the slope of sensible proposals that benefit European security, ”said Sergei Ryabkov.

The inability to negotiate between Western countries was also demonstrated by the situation with the Open Skies Treaty (OON). The West refused to guarantee Russia that the information received via the DON will not be transferred to countries that do not participate in it.

“There is time to rethink this situation. If the United States, as part of a review of its foreign policy priorities, as part of an analysis of the legacy of the Trump administration, comes to the conclusion that an alternative path is possible here, and signals that Washington is ready, in one form or another, to start moving towards a return to the Don, then we too, probably, a certain correction of the earlier decision to launch internal procedures is also possible, ”the diplomat explained.

At the same time, he stressed that concessions from Russia on this issue should not be expected, and NATO, Washington and Brussels should “understand very well” and draw appropriate conclusions.

Chief Research Fellow, Institute of the USA and Canada, Vladimir Vasiliev drew attention to the fact that speaking about the Gorbachev-Reagan formula and the Americans’ unwillingness to confirm it, one must distinguish between a nuclear war and a war with the use of nuclear weapons.

– Not every war in which nuclear weapons are used is a nuclear war, understood as a total nuclear war. For example, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – is it a nuclear won or a nuclear war?

The United States is now developing various kinds of concepts, the meaning of which is that the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons is lowering, we are talking about low-power charges, which are planned to hit command centers. Simply put, the neutralization of the country’s political and military leadership. And it is possible to achieve victory by hitting these centers pointwise. This is the first situation.

The second is that this formula at one time had a political context and was needed to draw up these agreements. That is, if a statement is made that it is impossible to win a nuclear war, then a system of agreements follows. The formula that Ryabkov is talking about was followed by the INF Treaty, and the reduction of nuclear potentials, and START-2, and in the development of START-3. Our attempts to flirt with the Trump administration about their extension rested on confirming this (Geneva – ed. ) statement. However, these attempts were rejected by Trump, apparently, the United States believed that they could win the war with the use of nuclear weapons.

Since the line between high-yield conventional weapons and low-yield nuclear charges is now blurring, this also imposes obligations on the parties not to use nuclear weapons first or for any purpose, including against non-nuclear countries. Perhaps the United States and its allies believe that the use of low-yield charges can solve strategic goals without resorting to conventional weapons systems, which, as a rule, ends in powerful carpet bombing.

At the moment, START-3 has been extended, but other agreements are not yet very visible. In Europe, medium and short-range missiles with an flight time of 5-10 minutes can be deployed, which can be equipped with nuclear warheads. If earlier it was mainly about strategic nuclear weapons, today the situation is different.

At one time, the Americans, Reagan did not attach much importance to the statement in Geneva. It was a concession to Gorbachev. Upon his return to the United States, Reagan did not emphasize this, saying that, in principle, they had agreed on the reduction of nuclear weapons.

“SP”: – Recently, the United States withdrew from the START Treaty, INF Treaty, Don and many other important treaties, including those related to international security. The new administration started talking about their restoration. How negotiable is the United States? Can they be trusted or will the concept change every time you change administrations?

– This is the freedom of democracy. While the American expert community is large enough and diverse, it is customary in America to discuss these issues widely. Democrats are adherents of the concept of limiting strategic arms, therefore, a revision of the entire legacy began Replacement, only not by the method of taking and throwing everything into the basket, but by resorting to expert judgment.

The Trump administration has been accused of not wanting to work with experts. New Administration Says It Will Listen To Scientists, Brain Trust Representatives etc.who outlined the palette of possibilities. To what extent this will be related to practical steps is difficult to say.

This will be related to the way the military budget is drawn up in America. Today’s military budget has reached a ceiling in the ability to increase military spending. They have stalled at $ 700 billion and there are no prospects for an increase yet. Moreover, the administration is considering options for reducing military spending, even the figure of 10% sounds. This may be due to the financial constraints brought about by the economic crisis. If the restrictions on the Pentagon are serious, they can really return to treaties.

But the situation is connected with the fact that the main adversary is now probably China, not Russia. Therefore, the question is how to involve China in these agreements. And this is the second question. And the formula that the Trump administration has been proposing can be considered. That is, we will conclude agreements, but we will keep in mind the third party.

Perhaps this is the main problem of these agreements: the world is becoming multipolar from the point of view of security and, from my point of view, this is the problem – this is an additional major factor of uncertainty. The Americans, perhaps, are not even very interested in parity with Russia, in particular, in medium and short-range missiles, so they do not need a treaty. They may be more interested in deploying these missiles in Asia than in Europe. From the point of view of geopolitical interests, Asian theater is no less interesting to them than European.

Why doesn’t the USA want to confirm the Gorbachev-Reagan formula that “there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it should never be unleashed”? What are they counting on?

Russia is not ready to make concessions in matters of strategic security and stability. Is the US ready to negotiate on equal terms?

The START Treaty has been extended for 5 years so far, but what are the chances of its further extension and under what conditions?

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