- Euro-Russian-U.S. Experts Warn of Nuclear War Threat!
A group of high-level military and political leaders from Europe, the U.S., and Russia published an op-ed in the New York Times on Tuesday, warning of the increasing danger of nuclear war, insisting on the urgent “Revamping of Euro-Atlantic Security.” The group of 30, representing the institutional resistance to the British Empire war policies, is co-chaired by former Sen. Sam Nunn, former Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, former German Deputy Foreign Minister (current head of the Munich Security Conference) Wolfgang Ischinger, and former British Defense Secretary Des Browne. It had published in February 2012 the results of their two-year study, calling for an “effective Euro-Atlantic Security Community.” Obviously concerned that things have further deteriorated, they wrote the following (edited) op-ed, more stridently asserting the danger of war:
“Security policies in the Euro-Atlantic region… are dangerously out of date and demand urgent attention…. Cold War-era security concepts and their associated weapons and military postures continue. Large strategic nuclear forces remain deployed on prompt launch, ready to be fired in minutes; thousands of tactical nuclear weapons are still stockpiled in Europe; a decades-old missile defense debate remains stuck in neutral; and new security challenges associated with prompt-strike forces, cybersecurity, and space remain contentious and inadequately addressed…. The alarming asymmetry between military capabilities and a true Euro-Atlantic partnership is dangerous and potentially destabilizing, undermining the trust necessary for cooperative efforts to meet emerging security threats in Europe and across the world….
“[T]oday’s leaders should move decisively and permanently toward a new security strategy, one that considers offensive and defensive military forces, nuclear and conventional weapons, and cybersecurity and space. Thinking together about these issues in an integrated way can lead to transformational change in Euro-Atlantic security and nuclear and conventional force postures from the persistent Cold War shadow of MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION TO MUTUAL SECURITY [emphasis added]. Issues relating to nuclear weapons and missile defense should receive the highest priority in the first five years. It should also be possible to take steps relating to conventional forces, cybersecurity and space during the initial phase.
“Reducing the role of nuclear weapons as an essential part of any nation’s overall security posture — without jeopardizing the security of any of the parties — should be among the core principles guiding this new dialogue. This should include practical steps to increase decision time and crisis stability for leaders, in particular with respect to U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces. Even under the latest nuclear arms treaty, each country will maintain thousands of nuclear warheads on hundreds of ballistic missiles ready for prompt launch and capable of hitting their targets in less than 30 minutes. This status increases the risk that a decision to use ballistic missiles will be made in haste based on false warning, as well as the risk of an accidental or unauthorized missile launch….
“While there is much more at stake here than guns versus butter, in the area of nuclear weapons alone, the potential price tag is breathtaking. The United States is poised to embark on programs to build new nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines and strategic bombers at a cost of more than $400 billion, and to extend the life of nuclear weapons deployed in Europe at a cost of $10 billion. Russia reportedly plans to spend 1.9 trillion rubles, or $61 billion, over the next decade to modernize its strategic nuclear forces, while the United Kingdom estimates the cost of Trident replacement at £25 billion, or $38 billion….
“There is an historic and fleeting opportunity to act. There is no more important security issue for leaders to address.”