Yesterday the United States officially introduced their new Nuclear Doctrine. Tomorrow, on April 8, 2010, the long-awaited START III Treaty between Russia and the US is about to be signed in Prague, Czech Republic. On April 12-13 Pres. Obama will host the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C. In other words, we can see a massive American anti-nuclear advance.
If we scrutinize the US policy for the last 100 years, we can hardly find a single evidence of sacrificial contribution of the American elites in favor of other nations or mankind as a whole. Can we presume that the political mindset of the US ruling class has changed since Pres. Obama took office last year? In case somebody still believes in it, we are just asking why for example the US is wasting enormous funds for the military preparation. Their expenses are far exceeding those of all other countries of the world summed up. Why does Washington militarize the Outer Space, enhance the deployment of non-nuclear strategic weapons, develop ABM shield and refit the most powerful strategic nuclear submarines of the ‘Ohio’ class to carry cruise missiles instead of ballistic? There are so many ‘whys’ and their sequence serves little to proof American peaceful intentions.
Let’s look at the kernel of the US military and political strategy of the last years.
2002. Nuclear Posture Review Commission issues a report concluding that:
– New Russia is no longer a serious nuclear threat to the United States;
– American strategic nuclear arsenal cannot be already considered as an effective leverage for the security of the United States, it cannot protect America from the terrorist threat and put pressure on the ‘rouge states’;
– The maintenance of strategic nuclear forces is so costly that does not meet criterion ‘cost-effectiveness’.
After impassioned debates on the Nuclear Posture Review it was decided to cut spending on nuclear forces and redirect them onto development of the conventional weapons of the next generation. To calm down those who still see nuclear threat looming from China and Russia, the USA opted for withdrawal from the ABM Treaty 1972 and deployment of global system of the strategic Anti-Ballistic Missile shield.
2003. Pres. Bush (Jr.) approves ‘Prompt Global Strike’ concept and the US officially withdraw from ABM (1972). According to this concept a new Air Force Global Strike Command was created in 2009 at the Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. 450 strategic nuclear launching pads were refit into high-accuracy weapons equipped with conventional warheads. Since 2003 four major ‘Ohio’-class submarines are being reequipped to carry cruise missiles. 24 ‘Trident-2’s are replaced by 160 ‘new Trident’s, conventional high-accuracy warheads. At the same time the R&D to create new generation of strategic cruise missiles (range 6000 km, speed up to 6-fold sound velocity) was started. In addition the ABM program proposes to build 1400 strategic sites around the globe.
The concept of ‘Prompt Global Strike’ stipulates the delivery of massive concentrated blow of several thousand high-precision warheads on the key elements of the infrastructure of the target nation within 2-4 hours in order to eliminate them totally and force the state to capitulate.
2009. The ‘Prompt Global Strike’ concept, an idée-fixe of the Bush administration is handed over to Barack Obama. New Washington pragmatics came to a rational conclusion: ‘why do we need to waste enormous sums on weapons which we cannot apply?’ Yugoslavia and Iraq ‘problems’ were solved with the conventional forces. The crucial role in both operations was played by high-accuracy cruise missiles and air-bombs.
The successful implementation of the ‘Prompt Global Strike’ concept will allow the US to become a Global Unilateral Dictator, perfectly protected by ABM shield from possible revenge strikes of China and Russia.
And ultimately 2010. In order to make the described program cheaper, Obama administration has started a ‘pigeon’ anti-nuclear campaign. Essentially the so called ‘New Nuclear Doctrine’ serves to the same US National Security Strategy or, in other words, Policy of Comprehensive Impunity. The USA are quickly accelerating the military expenses, turning NATO into the planetary gendarme and at the same time are planning ‘combat test exercise’ on Iranian territory to check the implementation of the ‘Prompt Global Strike’. While sweetly talking about the ‘world without nuclear weapons’.
Leonid Ivashov is a Four-star General (rtd), former Joint Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. He is currently a vice-President of the Russian Academy of Geopolitical Studies and holds Ph.D. in History.
The article was published in Russian at Strategic Culture Foundation web-site on April 7, 2010.
Translation: Oriental Review.