by Eric Zuesse
The U.S. government’s plan to conquer Russia is based upon a belief in, and the fundamental plan to establish, “Nuclear Primacy” against Russia — an American ability to win a nuclear war against, and so conquer, Russia.
This concept became respectable in U.S. academic and governmental policymaking circles when virtually simultaneously in 2006 a short-form and a long-form version of an article endorsing the concept, which the article’s two co-authors there named “nuclear primacy,” were published respectively in the world’s two most influential journals of international affairs, Foreign Affairs from the Council on Foreign Relations, and International Security from Harvard. (CFR got the more popular short version, titled “The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy”, and Harvard got the more scholarly long version, which was titled “The End of MAD?”.)
This article claimed that the central geostrategic concept during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Mutually Assured Destruction or “MAD” — in which there is no such thing as the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. conquering the other, because the first of the two to attack will itself also be destroyed by the surviving nuclear forces of the one responding to that attack — will soon be merely past history (like the Soviet Union itself already is); and, so, as the short form of the article said, “nuclear primacy remains a goal of the United States”; and, as the long form said, “the United States now stands on the cusp of nuclear primacy.” In other words: arms-control or no, the U.S. should, and soon will, be able to grab Russia (the largest land-mass of any country, and also the one richest in natural resources).
Neither version of this article mentioned the key reason why nuclear victory is exceedingly dangerous even under the most favorable conditions, which reason is the concept (and the likely reality in the event of nuclear war between the two superpowers) “nuclear winter” — the scientific studies showing that a resulting sudden sharp cooling of the atmosphere after all those enormous explosions would produce a global die-off. America’s aristocracy and its vassal-aristocracies controlling the U.S.-allied nations (billionaires, centi-millionaires, and their top agents in both the public and private sectors) are buying and building deep-underground nuclear shelters for themselves, but they wouldn’t be able to stay underground and survive on stored feedstuffs forever. (As for everybody else, those other people are not involved in geostrategic decisionmaking, and so are being ignored.) However, many of America’s (and associated) elite are paying those bomb-shelter expenses, but none of the West’s elite are condemning the path toward nuclear war that their governments are on. So: buying or building nuclear-war shelters is more acceptable to them than is stopping America’s planned conquest of Russia. The higher priority is to conquer Russia.
A far less influential scholarly journal, China Policy, published later in 2006 a critical article arguing against nuclear supremacy, but that article has had no impact upon policymaking. Its title was “The Fallacy of Nuclear Primacy” and it argued that, “American nuclear supremacy removes the root source of stability from the nuclear equation: mutual vulnerability.” It presented a moral argument: “U.S. leaders might try to exploit its nuclear superiority … by actually launching a cold-blooded nuclear attack against its nuclear rival in the midst of an intense crisis. The professors discount significantly the power of the nuclear taboo to restrain U.S. leaders from crossing the fateful threshold. If crisis circumstances grow dire enough, the temptation to try to disarm their nuclear adversaries through a nuclear first-strike may be too strong to resist, they argue.” The concept of “nuclear winter” wasn’t even so much as just mentioned (much less dealt with) in this article, just as it was ignored in the two that it was arguing against.
The co-authors of (both versions of) the article that had proposed and endorsed nuclear primacy, then published in 2007 (this one also in International Security), a response to that critical article. This reply’s title was “U.S. Nuclear Primacy and the Future of the Chinese Deterrent”. But it had no more impact than did the obscure article it was arguing against.
Thus, nuclear primacy has become U.S. policy, and MAD no longer is U.S. policy (though it remains Russian policy). The U.S. government is planning to take over Russia (basically, to install a puppet-regime there). That’s the reality.
Central to the nuclear-primacy concept is that of what’s variously called a “Ballistic Missile Defense” (BMD) or “Anti Ballistic Missile” (ABM) system: a system to disable or knock out Russia’s retaliatory nuclear weapons so that a U.S. blitz nuclear attack won’t be able to be met by any nuclear counter-attack.
As “The End of MAD?” put it: “Russia has approximately 3,500 strategic nuclear warheads today, but if the United States struck before Russian forces were alerted, Russia would be lucky if a half-dozen warheads survived.”
In other words: America’s establishment aren’t necessarily hoping to protect all of the U.S. population from a counter-attack, but are willing to sacrifice perhaps a few million Americans here and there, in order to achieve the intended result: conquest of Russia.
That article then says that a BMD-ABM system wouldn’t necessarily indicate America’s determination to pursue nuclear primacy against Russia, because it could instead be intended purely and authentically defensively, to protect against nuclear attack from Iran, North Korea or some other country. However: “Other U.S. nuclear programs are hard to explain with any mission other than a nuclear first strike on a major power adversary. For example, the decision to upgrade the fuse of many SLBM warheads (the W76s) to permit ground bursts makes sense only if the mission is destroying hundreds of hardened silos. One might argue that ground bursts could be useful for a variety of other missions, such as destroying North Korean WMD bunkers or remote cave complexes housing terrorist leaders. The United States, however, already has a large number of highly accurate, similar-yield warheads that would be ideal for these purposes.” The article even notes that: “Other analysts have noted that the current U.S. nuclear force looks surprisingly like an arsenal designed for a nuclear first strike against Russia or China.” And, “A group of RAND analysts agrees: ‘What the planned force appears best suited to provide beyond the needs of traditional deterrence is a preemptive counterforce capability against Russia and China. Otherwise, the numbers and the operating procedures simply do not add up.’” So: the co-authors here are claiming to be merely giving a name, “nuclear primacy,” to America’s existing strategic military policy — not to be inventing or creating it. They are, above all, saying that this is the reality now in U.S. policy-making circles; that MAD no longer is.
And their article has, indeed, described the guiding strategic-planning objective not only of the George W. Bush Administration, but also of Barack Obama’s — as will now be documented.
U.S. President Obama has always been saying that the reason why America is installing anti-ballistic missiles (“ABM”s, otherwise known as ballistic-missile defense or “BMD”) in Romania, Poland, and other nations that border (or are near to) Russia, is in order to protect Europe against Iranian missiles that might be aimed against Europe. He says that this is purely defensive, not aggressive, and that what it’s defending from is Iran, not Russia — so, Russia has no reason for complaint about it.
But then, Obama reached his nuclear deal with Iran; and this deal ended, for at least ten years, any realistic possibility that Iran would develop any nuclear-weapons capability — Obama himself emphasized that this was the case; he wasn’t denying it.
So: Obama’s claimed reason for installing ABMs in Europe was now, quite simply, gone. (Not that it had been credible anyway, since Iran didn’t have any nuclear weapons. It was merely a pretext, not honestly a reason.)
Here is how Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, stated the matter, at that time, during the meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, on 22 October 2015:
The use of the threat of a nuclear missile attack from Iran as an excuse, as we know, has destroyed the fundamental basis of modern international security – the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The United States has unilaterally seceded from the treaty. Incidentally, today we have resolved the Iranian issue and there is no threat from Iran and never has been, just as we said.
The thing that seemed to have led our American partners to build an anti-missile defence system is gone. It would be reasonable to expect work to develop the US anti-missile defence system to come to an end as well. [But] What is actually happening? Nothing of the kind, or actually the opposite – everything continues.
Recently the United States conducted the first test of the anti-missile defence system in Europe. What does this mean? It means we were right when we argued with our American partners. They were simply trying yet again to mislead us and the whole world. To put it plainly, they were lying. It was not about the hypothetical Iranian threat, which never existed. It was about an attempt to destroy the strategic balance, to change the balance of forces in their favour not only to dominate, but to have the opportunity to dictate their will to all: to their geopolitical competition and, I believe, to their allies as well. This is a very dangerous scenario, harmful to all, including, in my opinion, to the United States.
The nuclear deterrent lost its value. Some probably even had the illusion that victory of one party in a world conflict was again possible – without irreversible, unacceptable, as experts say, consequences for the winner, if there ever is one.
He called Obama there a “liar,” and that’s a blatantly truthful characterization of the situation. But Putin missed there saying what’s even more basic for an understanding of what Obama was doing in this matter — and which makes that “lie” from Obama particularly heinous: Putin missed saying that an anti-missile system can be at least as important as an aggressive weapon as it is as a defensive one, because if a first-strike attacker wants to eliminate the defender’s ability to strike back from the attacker’s first-strike attack, then an anti-missile system is the weapon to do that, by eliminating the defender’s missiles before those strike-back missiles can reach their targets. It nullifies the other side’s defense — and to do this is enormously aggressive; it strips the victim’s retaliation. The whole distinction between offensive and defensive can thus be pure propaganda, nothing having to do actually with aggressive and defensive. Whether the use will be defensive, or instead offensive, won’t be known until the system is in actual battlefield use. Only the propaganda is clear; the weapon’s use is not.
So, Putin understated the heinousness, and the danger to Russians, that was actually involved in Obama’s tricks. All that Putin did was to vaguely suggest an aggressive possibility: “It was about an attempt to destroy the strategic balance, to change the balance of forces in their favour not only to dominate, but to have the opportunity to dictate their will to all.” Most people don’t relate to such abstractions as “strategic balance.”
Obama and other agents of the U.S. aristocracy know that their public have been trained for decades, to hate, fear, and despise, Russians, and especially the Russian government, as if it were the Soviet Union, and as if its Warsaw Pact and communism still existed and Russia hadn’t ended its hostility to the U.S. in 1991 (though the U.S. continued its hostility to Russia — that rump remaining country from the former communist empire — and during Obama’s second term the hostility soared). So, for example, at the conservative website Breitbart, when that statement quoted here from Putin was posted as part of an honestly written and presented article titled “Vladimir Putin: U.S. Missile Defense System Threatens Russia”, almost none of the reader-comments indicated any ability or inclination of the readers to sympathize with the plight for Russians that Putin had just expressed. Instead, to the extent that the comments there were relevant, they were generally hostile, such as:
“Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he has concerns that the U.S. ballistic missile defense system threatens Russia’s nuclear capability.”
Vlad, its supposed to, its called defense. The only way it could harm your nukes is if they were shot down…………….after you launched them!
How can a defense system threaten anything? Like Obama would attack Russia. That is laughable.
Most people’s minds are straight-jacketed in bigotries of various sorts, preconceptions such as that a “missile defense” system, and a “Defense” Department, can’t be aggressive — even extremely aggressive and war-mongering. The first thought that comes to mind about anything that’s ‘defensive’ is that something else must be ‘aggressive’ or ‘offensive’, and that whatever is ‘defensive’ (such as an ABM) is therefore good and even necessary. That’s thinking, and receiving the term “defense,” like thinking just one move ahead in a chess-game, but this is the mental limit for most people, and every propagandist (such as the people who professionally design propaganda or PR slogans and campaigns) do precisely what Obama and the rest of the aristocracy and their agents do in order to deceive their gulls: they phrase things for one-move-ahead-limit thinkers, like that. The cardinal rule in the deception-professions is therefore, first, to find people with the desired prejudices, and then to play them as that, with one-move-ahead-limit sales-pitches, which are directed to precisely those prejudices. This report at the Breitbart site was instead presenting a high-quality news-report, to a low-quality audience, and so the reader-comments it generated were few, and generally hostile.
Obama is a master at deception. Another good example of this was 26 March 2012, during Obama’s campaign for re-election, when he confidentially told Dmitry Medvedev, “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it’s important for him [the incoming President Putin] to give me space. … This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.” Obama was privately communicating to Putin (through Medvedev) that Obama was pushing the ABM installations only so as not to be politically vulnerable to charges from the knee-jerk Russia-haters, Republicans, and that Obama’s fakery regarding the supposed ABM-target’s being Iran was only in order to appeal to yet another Republican bigotry (against Iran), and so Obama was intending to back away from supporting the ABM system during his second term.
But actually, Obama had had Russia in his gunsights even prior to his coming into office. Two specific objects in focus were Moscow-friendly leaders of nations: Assad of Syria, and Yanukovych of Ukraine. America’s strategy, ever since 24 February 1990, has been to strip Russia of allies and friends — to leave Russia increasingly isolated and surrounded by enemies. When Obama entered the White House on 20 January 2009, there already was a plea in the pipeline from the Syrian government for urgently needed food-aid to address the all-time-record drought there, which had decimated Syrian agriculture. Obama’s Administration never even answered it. Well before the Arab Spring demonstrations in 2011, Obama was hoping for turmoil in Syria and the overthrow of Assad — lots of starving Syrians would be just the thing.
Moreover, the planning for the February 2014 coup to overthrow the Moscow-friendly democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, started in the U.S. State Department by no later than 2011.
So: when Obama told Medvedev and Putin, on 26 March 2012, not to worry about Obama’s intentions toward Russia, he was lying. He wanted his intended victim to be off-guard, unprepared for what was soon to come.
On Obama’s way out the door, he did two things that significantly advanced America’s ABM-BMD threat against Russia.
On 10 December 2016, ‘Defense’ Secretary Ashton Carter stated, burying it in a speech he gave in Bahrain — site of a major U.S. military base — “just this week, we reached an agreement for Qatar to purchase a 5,000-kilometer early-warning radar to enhance its missile defenses,” and he said nothing more about it, as if this announcement weren’t the bombshell it actually was. Alex Gorka headlined about that at Strategic Culture, “US-Qatar Deal Threatens Russia: Reading News Between the Lines” and he explained that this system “is designed to be used as an early warning system against strategic offensive assets – something Iran does not possess.” Near the start of Carter’s speech, Carter had said that he would be talking about “checking Iranian aggression and malign influence, and helping defend our friends and allies,” including Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. Gorka noted, “The announced range of 5,000km (3,100mi) by far exceeds the requirement to counter a missile threat coming from Iran,” and, “[t]here is no other reasonable explanation for the choice, except the fact that the AN/FPS-132 can monitor large chunks of Russian territory,” the objective being “to surround the Russian Federation with BMD sites and neutralize its capability to deliver a retaliatory strike if attacked.”
One of Obama’s last actions as the U.S. President was to sign into law a bill that had been quietly passed in Congress, which included a key change in U.S. law that would enable the government to spend unlimited funds on realizing former President Ronald Reagan’s dream of a space-based ABM system, “Star Wars.” On December 22nd, David Willman of the Los Angeles Times, headlined “Congress scrapped this one word from the law, opening the door to a space arms race”, and he reported that the eliminated word was “limited.” Willman explained that, “The nation’s homeland missile defense system is designed to thwart a small-scale, or ‘limited,’ attack by the likes of North Korea or Iran. As for the threat of a large-scale strike by China or Russia, the prospect of massive U.S. retaliation is supposed to deter both from ever launching missiles.” He noted: “The bill awaits action by President Obama. The White House has not said what he will do.” Willman also noted that on an earlier occasion, “the Obama administration criticized the changes in the Senate bill, saying it ‘strongly objects’ to removing ‘limited’ and to placing anti-missile weaponry in space. The statement stopped short of threatening a veto.” But then, the next day, on December 23rd, Willman bannered, “President Obama signs defense bill that could spur new space-based arms race”. Whereas Obama’s public rhetoric portrayed himself as being the type of person who had deserved to win the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, almost all of his actual decisions in office were the exact opposite — and here was a superb example of that.
Whether Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, will continue with that longstanding (ever since 24 February 1990) plan to conquer Russia, or instead finally end the Cold War on the U.S. side (as it already had ended in 1991 on the U.S.S.R.’s), isn’t yet clear.
This is what happens when what President Eisenhower called “the military-industrial complex” takes over the country, and everything (including the ‘news’ media) serves it, rather than the military-industrial complex’s serving the public.
It fits in with the massive data which indicates that the U.S. government is run by an aristocracy or “oligarchy”, instead of run by people who represent the public — a “democracy.” Obama as President fit right in.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.