By Dave Lindorff
There is a lot of talk lately in the liberal media about how President Trump and his Neocon advisors John Bolton (National Security Advisor) and Mike Pompeo (Secretary of State) along with his acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, are moving the country and the world dangerously closer to a catastrophic global nuclear war with the administration decision to terminate the Reagan-era treaty banning intermediate range nuclear missiles.
It is true that the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, concluded by President Ronald Reagan and Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, did greatly reduce the chances of nuclear war by removing US missiles from Europe and Asia that had the ability to strike the Soviet Union in minutes. It’s also true that with the INF gone, Russia will, as it is already doing, inevitably develop countermeasures, such as designing and deploying fleets of quick-launch, virtually unstoppable hypersonic cruise missiles that could head towards the US before attacked, assuring the destruction of the United States in response to any first strike.
What is not true is the notion that it is just Trump who has pushed the nuclear doomsday clock closer to midnight.
President Obama advanced that clock’s minute hand more than Trump back in 2014 — and set the stage for a termination of the INF — with his deceptive and outrageously costly program to “refurbish and upgrade” of the US nuclear arsenal.
Continued by President Trump, Nobel Peace Laureate Obama’s 10-year, $1.3-trillion program began moving the country in entirely the wrong direction, expanding instead of reducing the US nuclear stockpile. As nuclear strategists surely instantly understood, the US program is actually represents an abandonment of the Mutually Assured Destruction stand-off which, by making nuclear war unthinkable, has successfully prevented any nuclear bombs from being used in war for almost 75 years. Instead, the new US nuclear program moves this country towards a policy of making the use of nukes “thinkable.”
What Obama did, specifically, was to approve the development of the B61-12, a“small” nuclear bomb that can have its power dialed up or down anywhere from 0.3 kilotons to 340 kilotons, with the largest setting being an explosion some 15 times more powerful than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.
While the new bomb was given the same appellation as a US weapon first produced in 1968, which itself was a version of a bomb called the TX-61 first deployed in 1963, and while it has a hyphenated number 12 placed after the B61 to suggest it is simply the 12th iteration of the weapon, knowledgeable nuclear strategy planning critics say it’s actually a new weapon, and that the name given to it is intended to deceive Americans.
For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to: