- Emphasis mine:
- Professor Stephen Cohen: Obama Can’t Hide from His Responsibility for World War III
Tuesday night, during his weekly appearance on the John Batchelor radio show, New York University’s Prof. Stephen Cohen placed responsibility for the growing war danger directly in President Obama’s lap. He said that Obama can’t hide from the Pentagon decision to build up US military forces in eastern Europe, announced by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter yesterday. Cohen said:
“This is his decision…We knew it was possible when NATO talked about it at the summit in Wales [in Sept. 2014]; now it’s happened. NATO has resolved — that means, the White House — to quadruple its military power around Russia.”
“What we now have, is a moment when the new cold war has become much hotter, due to a decision taken in Washington…It makes the new cold war more militarized and makes it more dangerous than the preceding cold war, because [then] we didn’t have our military power on Russia’s borders.”
Cohen went on to describe how, in the early 1990’s, the US declared the danger of nuclear war over when it wasn’t. Russia was out of the arms race, but the US continued, particularly with its missile defense programs and withdrawal from the ABM Treaty in 2002. The US claimed that this was to counter Iran, but everybody knew, Cohen said, that it was aimed at Russia. So, Russia responded by beginning to rebuild its nuclear capabilities, an effort which continues at a high priority today.
“The decision to fortify NATO borders now makes clear that Russia will rely on its very large arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons…It’s written into their official doctrine that ‘we reserve the right to use our nuclear weapons if the existence of the Russian state is threatened by overwhelming conventional forces.’ NATO may now be compiling on Russia’s borders overwhelming conventional forces.”
This danger is heightened, Cohen pointed out later in the interview, by the US B61-12 nuclear bomb modernization, a bomb designed to be more “usable,” a word that had been banned from the nuclear lexicon by Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s but has been brought back by Obama.
“To say this is dangerous is to understate the situation. It was all predictable yet Washington has gone ahead anyway. Once Washington implements this quadrupling of its forces, we are in a much more dangerous situation in terms of possible nuclear confrontation than we ever were during the Cold War. Obama can’t hide from this anymore. The buck stopped there. He signed off on this. It is an enormous escalation of the Cold war in the direction of hot war.”