“It is time for the Europeans to step up to the plate and to exert some sense on the Americans”
The Trump administration’s declared scrapping of a crucial arms control treaty is putting the world on notice of a nuclear war, sooner or later.
Any such war is not winnable. It is mutually assured destruction. Yet the arrogant American rulers – some of them at least – seem to be deluded in thinking they can win such a war.
What makes the American position even more execrable is that it is being pushed by people who have never fought a war. Indeed, by people like President Donald Trump and his hawkish national security advisor John Bolton who both dodged military service to their country during the Vietnam War. How’s that for macabre mockery? The world is being pushed to war by a bunch of effete cowards who are clueless about war.
Trump announced last this week that the US was finally pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a move confirmed by Bolton on a follow-up trip to Moscow. That treaty was signed in 1987 by former President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It was a landmark achievement of cooperation and trust between the nuclear superpowers. Both sides removed short and medium-range nuclear missiles from Europe.
With Trump intending to rip up the INF Treaty, as his predecessor GW Bush had done with the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in 2002, Europe is now facing the disastrous prospect of American missiles being reinstalled across its territory as they were in the 1980s. However, a big distinction between then and now is that after years of expansion by NATO, European territory is at an even sharper interface with Russia’s heartland.
When the INF Treaty was implemented three decades ago, the US and Russian nuclear arsenals were seriously dialed back to the strategic level of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) confined on respective landmasses separated by thousands of kilometers. As Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of Natsionalnaya Oborona, told Russia’s Vesti news channel, the ICBMs typically have a flight time of 30 minutes from launch. That time gap would give Russian defense systems time to respond effectively to an incoming strike from the US,