Joe Biden’s chilling warning that Vladimir Putin’s ‘not joking’ about using nuclear weapons, predicts ‘Armageddon’ if nuke used
U.S. President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons is the biggest such threat since the Cuban Missile Crisis, as Russia’s military leadership faced a rare domestic public backlash over the war in Ukraine.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine’s forces were swiftly recapturing more territory especially in the south of the country as Putin’s seven-month invasion unravels.
Biden said the United States was “trying to figure out” Putin’s off-ramp from the war, warning that the Russian leader was “not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons, because his military is, you might say, is significantly underperforming”.
“For the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, we have a direct threat to the use of nuclear weapons, if in fact things continue down the path they’d been going,” Biden told Democratic donors in New York on Thursday.
“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis,” he said.
In the 1962 crisis, the United States under President John Kennedy and Soviet Union under its leader, Nikita Khrushchev, came close to the use of nuclear weapons over the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba.
“I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily (use) a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon,” Biden said.
Putin, who marks his 70th birthday on Friday, has warned he would use all means necessary, including Russia’s nuclear arsenal, to protest Russian soil, which he now says includes four Ukrainian regions he annexed.
In remarks to Australia’s Lowy Institute, Zelenskiy said NATO should launch preventive strikes on Russia to preclude its use of nuclear weapons.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denounced the comments as “an appeal to start yet another world war with unpredictable, monstrous consequences”, according to RIA news agency.
‘WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?’
Russia annexed Ukraine’s Donestk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, representing about 15% of the country, after holding what it called referendums – votes denounced by Kyiv and Western governments as illegal and coercive.
Since Europe’s biggest attempted annexation since World War Two, a Ukrainian counter-offensive has pushed Russian forces into further retreating and regained large parts of the southern Kherson region.
Zelenskiy said in a video address on Thursday that Kyiv’s forces recaptured more than 500 square kilometres (195 square miles) and dozens of settlements in Kherson in October.
“There are successes in the east as well. The day will surely come when we will report on successes in the Zaporizhzhia region (in southeastern Ukraine) as well, in those areas that the occupiers still control,” the president said.
Reuters could not independently verify battlefield accounts.
Ukrainian forces have regain control of thousands of square kilometres (miles) of territory since the beginning of September as the Russian front line has crumbled, first in the northeast, and, since the beginning of this week, also in the south.
In rare but growing public criticism of Russia’s top military officials, Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the Russian-backed administration in Kherson region, said the “generals and ministers” in Moscow failed to understand the problems on the front lines.
There was no immediate comment from Russia’s defence ministry.
Discontent has begun to bubble up among even loyalist state television commentators.
“Please explain to me what the general staff’s genius idea is now?” Vladimir Solovyov, one of the most prominent Russian talk show hosts, said on his livestream channel.
“Do you think time is on our side? They have hugely increased their amount of weapons,” he said of Ukrainian forces.
“But what have you done in that time?”
‘ADVANCING IN BROAD SWEEP’
In the northeastern Kharkiv region where Ukrainian forces regained a large swathe of territory in September, the bodies of 534 civilians including 19 children were found after Russian troops left, police official Serhiy Bolvinov told a briefing.
The total included 447 bodies found in Izium. He also said that investigators had found evidence of 22 “torture rooms”. There was no immediate comment from Russia.
On Thursday, a regional governor said a missile demolished an apartment block and killed seven people in the city of Zaporizhzhia in the southern region of the same name, which Russia says it has annexed.
Eduard, a 49-year-old man who survived the attack, said he was woken at around 5 a.m. by a strong explosion. “The room filled with smoke and dust. I jumped up to go see what had happened,” he said.
In an online address to new security and energy co-operation forum the European Political Community, Zelenskiy accused Russia of targeting the same spot twice to kill responders.
“In Zaporizhzhia, after the first rocket strike today, when people came to pick apart the rubble, Russia conducted a second rocket strike. Absolute vileness, absolute evil.”
Russia says it does not deliberately target civilians. source
Biden’s statement on nuclear ‘Armageddon’ risk brings back recollections of ‘60s in Jacksonville
President Joe Biden said the risk of nuclear ‘Armageddon’ is at highest level it’s been in 60 years
If you are under 50, you may not know about fallout shelters and nuclear bomb threats.
President Joe Biden said Thursday night that the risk of nuclear “Armageddon” is at the highest level it’s been in 60 years.
Military experts are saying there is no new intelligence about the threat, but the president’s statement does open up concerns.
News4JAX on Friday spoke with local authorities and others about Jacksonville and civil defense and what, if anything, can be done to protect you.
Members of the United Service Organizations were downtown on Friday — not for any military reason but to prepare for a half-marathon on Saturday. But this shows how Jacksonville is a big military town, and because of that, a possible target in the event of an attack.
It’s something Jacksonville took very seriously during the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 1960s.
An old clip of “Duck and Cover” is how many remember the nuclear era. It might seem comical now, but during its day, it was a very real concern. News4JAX on Friday talked with Terry Terrell about that.
“I don’t think that really anything you do to protect yourself from radiation fallout,” Terrell said. “I remember seeing videos where they would do the air raid, or the bomb thing, and you see the kids get under their desks and everything. But it would never help.”
Those who are younger have a whole different take.
“Well, if there is a nuclear event, we’re probably screwed, right?” said one person named Larry, who had never heard of a fallout shelter or anything of that nature.
In the ‘60s in Jacksonville, the old Prudential building was a nuclear fallout shelter, and that’s where people were told to go in the case of a nuclear event, but now you don’t see these shelters anymore.
A film was shot in the ‘60s shot by WJXT and produced by the old Jacksonville civil defense department, which no longer exists. It showed how those shelters were stocked and prepared for an emergency. This was a film that was actually used nationwide for training. This was during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Air raid shelter signs were once commonplace — not anymore. Air raid sirens are no longer tested, and in the event of a nuclear emergency, information would come locally from the emergency operations center.
News4JAX reached out for comment and received a statement from the Jacksonville Fire and Department.
“The Emergency Preparedness Division plans and prepares for all types of disasters and emergencies while maintaining a constant posture of readiness for events that could impact our community. JaxReady.com has information to help residents ready their households for emergencies, including instructions for sheltering in place and reacting to a major terrorism or hazardous material incident. source
Biden’s chilling ‘Armageddon’ warning sharpens the stakes with Putin
Biden: Nuclear ‘Armageddon’ risk highest since ’62 crisis
- President Joe Biden said Thursday that the risk of nuclear “Armageddon” is at the highest level since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, as Russian officials speak of the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons after suffering massive setbacks in the eight-month invasion of Ukraine.
- Speaking at a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “a guy I know fairly well” and the Russian leader was “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.”
President Joe Biden said Thursday that the risk of nuclear “Armageddon” is at the highest level since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, as Russian officials speak of the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons after suffering massive setbacks in the eight-month invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking at a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “a guy I know fairly well” and the Russian leader was “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.”
U.S. officials for months have warned of the prospect that Russia could use weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine as it has faced a series of strategic setbacks on the battlefield, though Biden’s remarks marked the starkest warnings yet issued by the U.S. government about the nuclear stakes.
It was not immediately clear whether Biden was referring to any new assessment of Russian intentions. As recently as this week, though, U.S. officials have said they have seen no change to Russia’s nuclear forces that would require a change in the alert posture of U.S. nuclear forces.
“We have not seen any reason to adjust our own strategic nuclear posture, nor do we have indication that Russia is preparing to imminently use nuclear weapons,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.
The 13-day showdown in 1962 that followed the U.S. discovery of the Soviet Union’s secret deployment of nuclear weapons to Cuba is regarded by experts as the closest the world has ever come to nuclear annihilation. The crisis during President John F. Kennedy’s administration sparked a renewed focus on arms control on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
“I don’t think there is any such a thing as the ability to easily use a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon,” Biden said.
“This is something that we are attuned to, taking very seriously, and communicating directly with Russia about, including the kind of decisive responses the United States would have if they went down that dark road,” Sullivan said.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said earlier Thursday that Putin understood that the “world will never forgive” a Russian nuclear strike.
“He understands that after the use of nuclear weapons he would be unable any more to preserve, so to speak, his life, and I’m confident of that,” Zelenskyy said.
Biden’s comments came during a private fundraiser for Democratic Senate candidates at the Manhattan home of James and Kathryn Murdoch. He tends to be more unguarded — often speaking with just rough notes — in such settings, which are open only to a handful of reporters without cameras or recording devices. source
AVOIDING NUCLEAR ARMAGEDDON
THE NUCLEAR NATIONS MUST START MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE ON CURBING NUCLEAR ARMS RACE AND ELIMINATE NUCLEAR ARSENALS BY 2045
I. General assessment of the level of nuclear confrontation and the situation in the nuclear arms control sphere
The overall assessment of the developments in these two interwoven domains is rather negative:
- the level of nuclear confrontation during last several years has sharply increased;
- the process in the nuclear arms control area has actually stalled, being characterized by unilateral withdrawal of the USA from the bilateral INF Treaty with Russia and the multilateral Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Plan known as the Iranian Nuclear Deal, a clear-cut statement of the USA not to ratify the multilateral Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and Washington’s intention to resume nuclear testing at Nevada desert and to install two types of low-yield nuclear weapons on strategic offensive arms delivery systems.
The present-day nuclear arms control process may be described by the following features:
1) retaining of nuclear strategy of the first-use or the first-strike of nuclear weapons by many nuclear nations; 2) watering down the functional features between offensive and defensive nuclear arms; 3) lowering down the threshold of using of nuclear weapons – both strategic and tactical, including the low-yield nuclear warheads; 4) seeking nuclear arms supremacy over other nuclear nations; 5) substantial increase in nuclear arms spending, including the percentage of spending on nuclear weapons in relation to overall military budgets; 6) wrong interpretation of the “strategic stability” terminology in the nuclear arms sphere; 7) neglecting the principle of equality and equal security in nuclear arms control; 8) lack of joint approach of the P-5 nations or the de jure nuclear powers towards nuclear arms control steps, and all nine nuclear-weapon states – both de jure and de facto – have assumed a negative stance on the existing Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty. As of April 6, 2020, only 81 states have signed the Treaty and 36 have ratified it. But that is not enough, because it will enter into force if totally 50 countries will ratify it.
If such eight features are not reconsidered and still remain in force, the sound, practical, constructive and mutually beneficial nuclear arms control process will be impossible to attain for many years to come.
No doubt that the nuclear arms race that the world community has inherited from the last century, will be complemented by two new arms races, namely in missile defense and in outer space.
II. The situation is complicated by the fact that there are 13 unresolved issues in arms control between the USA and Russia:
1) U.S. negative stance on the New START extension for the next five years; 2) U.S. still has positive view to Tactical Nuclear Weapons’ Employment still stored outside the continental USA for nearly 70 years; 3) U.S. desire to deploy the new INF-related nuclear missiles in Europe and Asia; 4) U.S. intention to use a low-yield nuclear weapons having the yield of less than 5 kiloton; 5) U.S. use of Heavy Strategic Bombers near Russia, the People’s Republic of China, Iran and North Korea in the framework of the frequent air-patrol missions; 6) U.S./NATO Operation “Baltic Air Policing” conducted 24h/365 days over three Baltic nations (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia), plus Poland involving Dual Capable Aircraft from all three Western nuclear nations; 7) retaining by the USA the First-Nuclear-Strike or First-Nuclear-Use clause, as well other directives such as “launch-on-warning”, “launch-prior-to-launch”, “escalation to de-escalation” reflected in the 2018 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, and plus existing “nuclear sharing agreements” between the USA and many NATO countries; 8) U.S. refusal to proliferate the INCSEA or Incidents-At-Sea-Prevention-Agreements to SSBN/SSN sailing under water near Russian territory – with the aim to avoid collisions between them; (9) U.S. lack of desire to show the Russian inspectors some U.S. strategic nuclear arms delivery systems fitted in words for non-nuclear missions; 10) U.S. unlimited missile defense interceptors versus Russian strategic nuclear arms; 11) the USA has BMDS sites in Europe and Asia fitted with MK-41 that can load nuclear-tipped Ground-launched Cruise Missiles and Hypersonic Vehicles; 12) no U.S. desire to accept a proposal on moratorium for the INF-related missile in Europe and Asia-Pacific Region; and finally, 13) U.S. refusal to repeat once more the famous Presidents Reagan-Gorbachev’s saying that: “Nuclear war cannot be fought, because it cannot be won.”
III. New U.S. Nuclear Strategy: short analysis
President Donald Trump’s new national nuclear strategy enacted named as the 2018 NPR or Nuclear Posture Review contained much more reason to use nuclear arms in a first strike. The vagueness of some provisions implying a clear freedom of action in the use of nuclear missile weapons, says about the irresponsible approach of the American Administration to its use – almost at any time, and anywhere in the world.
The military and political core of the new U.S. nuclear strategy is the possibility of the initiative use of nuclear weapons in the first strike against almost any state in the world, including those that will use against the United States even general-purpose forces involved in any, even on a small scale and with minimal consequences. The list of grounds for the use of nuclear weapons also includes an attack using conventional weapons against nuclear forces, their control facilities and missile warning systems of the United States and its allies.
The 2018 NPR differs from the 2010 NPR stamped by President Barack Obama: in all it has 14 reasons for using nuclear weapons, while the latter had six reasons.
The 2018 NPR mentioned the following grounds for using nuclear weapons: the emergence and build-up of nuclear and non-nuclear strategic threats, including the threat of chemical, biological and cyber weapons, as well as the significant use of strategic non-nuclear weapons. It was stated that nuclear weapons could be used in the event of a nuclear attack on the United States, its allies and partners and in case of occurrence of new enemies of the United States, changes in policies and doctrine of these enemies, create new alliances among the opponents and the further spread of nuclear weapons and even the technological surprises in other states. The possibility of using nuclear weapons was not ruled out in the event of damage to American nuclear forces. In the introductory part to the 2018 NPR there was also a wording that allows the American President to use nuclear weapons in the event of a change in the geopolitical situation.
All these postulates indicate the expansion of the range of circumstances and reasons that can cause the order of the U.S. President to use nuclear weapons in the first strike. In this context, it should be recalled that in 2018, for the first time in more than forty years, the American Congress drew attention to the real possibility of the President of the USA to issue his own and final order to use nuclear weapons against any state in the world without authorization from the supreme legislative body and without declaring war on such a state.
President Donald Trump ignored this decision of Congress, which believed that such an order can be brought by the head of state to the country’s nuclear missile forces within 3-5 minutes, which can actually use nuclear weapons in the next 4-12 minutes. During his election campaign ten former nuclear launch officers who once manned missile silos and held the keys to execute a launch order signed a letter saying Donald Trump should not “have his finger on the button” because of his temperament.
The 2018 NPR clearly stated that Washington will not abandon the postulate of the use of nuclear weapons in the first strike and will not support proposals to lower the level of combat readiness of national nuclear forces, but will keep in force the agreement of the mid-90s reached with Russia according to its initiative on mutual de-targeting of strategic nuclear missiles on each other’s territory.
Donald Trump’s NPR calls for the use of NW in the event of multilateral potential risks and threats – six grounds clearly stated and eight deliberately vaguely formulated.
Namely, in the first batch of six grounds there are the following reasons for using nuclear weapons: 1) to deter potential adversaries from nuclear and non-nuclear attack of any scale and under any conditions on p.20; 2) to respond to any non-nuclear strategic attack on p.21; 3) to protect its allies and partners from nuclear and non-nuclear attack on p.21; 4) if attack is launched vs nuclear forces of the U.S. allies on p. 21; 5) to respond to any attack vs the USA, its allied or partner civilian population and infrastructure on p. 21; and 6) to use low-yield nuclear weapons as a credible deterrence against regional aggression on p. 54. They have been clearly formulated.
However, there are too vague reasons, still not explained by Washington what the USA has in mind, namely: 1) if “operational shortfalls” reduce the effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear forces on p.38; 2) to deny “unexpected challenges” on p.38; 3) in the event of “a geopolitical challenge” that threatens an element of U.S. nuclear forces on p. 40; 4) to respond against “multiple future risks and uncertainties” on p.48; 5) to respond to “new forms of aggression” on p. 21; 6) to respond to “emergence of new adversaries”, expansion of adversary nuclear forces, changes in adversary strategy and doctrine on p.38; 7) to use vs NPT member-states, if they violate it (p.21); and 8) to overcome “technical challenges” or “adversaries’ technological breakthroughs”, and in case of any cyberattacks (p.38).
As has been repeatedly recognized in American military and political documents, in the next ten years, the Pentagon will receive up to US $ 400 billion dollars for strengthening the nuclear missile component, and in the next 30 years – US $ 1.2 trillion at constant prices, or US $ 1.7 trillion adjusted for inflation. No country in the world can spend such enormous amount of money for such weapons of mass destruction.
V. Current Russian nuclear strategy
It is fundamentally important that the Russian nuclear doctrines of 2010 (the previous one) and 2014 (the current one) do not contain provisions on the possibility of using Russian nuclear weapons in regional or local conflicts, which is attributed by some Western researchers. There is no indication of the separate use of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons. The present Russian military doctrine of 2014 annulled all the different opinions on this topic expressed before its adoption by various experts who did not declare an official point of view.
In addition, in the Russian military doctrine of 2014 there is no word about any desire of Moscow to implement the strategy of extended nuclear deterrence or forward-based nuclear deterrence, that is, by placing its own nuclear weapons on the territory of foreign states closer to American territory. Crucially, the updated version of Russia’s 2014 military doctrine lacks language about its desire to deploy strike elements of the global missile defense infrastructure in the territories of foreign countries.
Paragraph 8 of the 2014 military doctrine uses the term “non-nuclear deterrence system”, which referred to a set of foreign policy, military and military-technical measures aimed at preventing aggression against the Russian Federation by “non-nuclear means”. Paragraph 16 of the 2014 Russian military doctrine recognized that nuclear weapons will remain an important factor in preventing the nuclear military conflicts and military conflicts involving conventional weapons in large-scale war and regional warfare. Of fundamental importance is the provision of paragraph 20 of that Russian doctrine which stated that the prevention of a nuclear military conflict, like any other military conflict, is the basis of the military policy of the Russian Federation.
Paragraph 27, which fixes two possibilities for using nuclear weapons by the Russian Federation: in the case of use against it and (or) its allies of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction (i.e., chemical and bacteriological weapons), as well as in the case of aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons, “when the very existence of the state is threatened.”
Thus, the current nuclear doctrine of the Russian Federation in brief can be qualified as the doctrine of “conditional defensive nuclear deterrence”. In contrast, the current American nuclear strategy can be characterized as the doctrine of “unconditional offensive nuclear deterrence”, since it provides for the initiative of the first preventive and pre-emptive nuclear strikes on almost any state of the globe, at any time and under any pretext.
VI. Potential human and environmental damages of using nuclear weapons
Many widely renown scholars and experts believe that even a limited use of nuclear weapons in a regional conflict will bring huge human losses and devastating material and environmental damages to many nations. Those case studies conducted in the last century and today by Western nuclear scientists arrive to the same sad and negative conclusions: any use of nuclear weapons – however limited – will bring an Armageddon scenario to many people.
Only one nuclear bomb dropped on Amsterdam with the population of around one million will sweep completely away this wonderful European city and its surrounding areas in a moment. One nuclear warhead of 500 kiloton delivered to New York or Moscow will kill nearly 5 million people in each case.
On June 19, 2019 Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) announced a provision he proposed banning the production of low-yield nuclear weapons passed the House the same day as a part of an appropriations package. The provision prohibits the research, development, production and deployment of low-yield nuclear warheads for submarine-launched ballistic missiles. In his introduction it was stated that so-called low-yield nuclear weapons have the potential to lower the threshold for using nuclear weapons and increase the risk of entering the U.S. into nuclear war.
In 2018 and 2019, he also introduced and reintroduced the Hold the LYNE Act – or Low-Yield Nuclear Explosive Act, which would prohibit the research, development, production and deployment of low-yield nuclear warheads for submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
In his words, “Low-yield nuclear bombs would yield horrific results. With the power to kill at least 80,000 people, these bombs could drag the U.S. and our allies into a devastating nuclear conflict. … A low-yield bomb simply puts us at risk for all-out nuclear Armageddon. I’m grateful this provision was included in this year’s Defense appropriations bill, so we can stop low-yield nuclear weapons from creating a high-risk situation”.
In that Act it was mentioned that a new low-yield nuclear weapon to be carried on a ballistic missile submarine “risks lowering the threshold for nuclear use and increasing the chance of miscalculation that could escalate into all-out nuclear exchange” and “when launched, such a low-yield nuclear warhead would be indistinguishable to an adversary from the high-yield W76 and W88 submarine launched warheads.”
The Act also warned that: the ballistic missile submarines of the United States have never carried low-yield nuclear warheads, and setting a historical precedent could undermine the unique and paramount role of ballistic-missile submarines as the assured, survivable second-strike capability of the United States to deter large-scale nuclear war. The Act concluded that the USA should reject policies that increase the likelihood of nuclear war and weaken national security, including investments in low-yield nuclear weapons.
Despite such opposition, a new nuclear warhead designed and produced during the Donald Trump Administration, has been deployed aboard a nuclear submarine of SSBN-class, the Pentagon confirmed at the end of 2019. The deployment of the W 76-2, a low-yield variant of the nuclear warhead traditionally used on the Trident SLBM, was first reported January 29, 2020 by the Federation of American Scientists. The first submarine to move out with the new weapon was the USS Tennessee (SSBN-734), deploying from Kings Bay Submarine Base in the state of Georgia at the end of 2019, FAS reported.
The creation of a low-yield submarine launched warhead was one of two new designs called for in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review. The warhead is designed to be smaller than the weapon detonated at Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II. The design is a modification of the W76-1 warhead for the Navy’s Trident ballistic missile that allowed the National Nuclear Security Administration to quickly turn around the design and production in roughly a year.
Opponents of the weapon question whether that doctrine is realistic, and also argue that no nuclear system can truly be non-strategic. Specific to the W76-2, members of the nonproliferation community have raised concerns that having a low-yield and high-yield warhead launched on the same SSBN creates a situation where an adversary doesn’t know which system is being used and therefore reacts as if the larger warhead has been launched.
Asked about the reported deployment of a new low-yield nuclear missile on Tennessee SSBN, a Pentagon spokesman stated that it is U.S. policy to neither “confirm nor deny” the presence of nuclear weapons abroad any naval vessel and declined to comment on the specific details of the FAS report what kind of naval platform was involved. However, in his statement, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood confirmed that the Navy has fielded the weapon that has been mentioned.
Such deployment “strengthens deterrence and provides the United States a prompt, more survivable low-yield strategic weapon; supports our commitment to extended deterrence; and demonstrates to potential adversaries that there is no advantage to limited nuclear employment because the United States can credibly and decisively respond to any threat scenario,” John Rood directly wrote in the statement.
Taking into account his statement one can arrive at the conclusion that any type of the U.S. low-yield nuclear missiles should be considered as a very destabilizing weapon of mass destruction, because it can be used in many cases, and under many circumstances, and anywhere in the world.
There is a danger that any limited employment of nuclear weapons will be converted into a large-scale nuclear confrontation. In the first several hours of an all-out nuclear war 34 million people will die and 57 million will be injured. There will be a huge radioactive contamination of large populated areas and industrial centers. The situation may worsen if nuclear power plants or huge water dams will be destroyed in an exchange of nuclear arms attacks – be them conducted with strategic or tactical nuclear weapons.
VII. Practical suggestions: seven proposals to contain the nuclear arms race
There are the most immediate steps, and gradual measures to contain the ongoing nuclear arms race.
Amongst them there could be:
1. As the first step to be implemented in 2020: Russia and the USA plus all other nuclear-weapon states have to agree on no first-use or the first-strike of nuclear weapons.
2. The USA should extend the New START for the next five years, and return to the compliance with the INF Treaty (Russian SSC-8 or 9M729 missile is not covered by the former INF Treaty); the USA has to pull back all its TNW from Europe and pledge not to field them and the INF-related nuclear and non-nuclear missiles in Europe and the Asia-Pacific Region.
3. The USA and Russia should set up a proportion between missile defense system (MDS) interceptors & strategic offensive nuclear arms delivery systems, and agree about MDS no-deployment zones. The USA has to dismantle its MDS bases in Romania and Poland, South Korea and Japan.
4. The USA has to ratify the CTBT and pledge not to explode any nuclear devices at Nevada test site. Note: Russia has ratified it in 2000.
5. Russia and the USA have to proliferate the INCSEA accord on the SSBN and SSN while submerged at their respective Navies Training Areas.
6. The USA and NATO as a whole have to cancel «Baltic Air Policing Operation» in the airspace of three Baltic states and Poland where it uses the DCA aircraft.
7. Space-faring nations have to sign the international PAROS or Prevention of Arms Race in Outer Space/NFEWS Treaty or Now-First Employment of Weapons in Space Treaty.
If such arrangements will be impossible to implement as a package deal, at least one first step has to be examined with due attention: to reach a commitment of all P-5 on no-first nuclear strike against each other. It will constitute the real action to avoid an all-out nuclear war that has become highly likely in the present-day tense and hostile military and political environment.
All these measures can also be debated at the suggested the P-5 Summit on arms control if it is arranged later this year, presumably in New York city during the next regular UN General Assembly Session. No doubt that such measures will enhance predictability between the P-5 and improve regional and global security, and planetary strategic stability. As for nuclear risks, Moscow is working on a joint statement with the other permanent members of the UN Security Council on the inadmissibility of a nuclear war.
Unfortunately, the United States has failed to respond to Russia’s proposal to repeat once more the well-known Gorbachev-Reagan formula in a bilateral format. In this case Russia will try to make such a reconfirmation in a multilateral format during the upcoming P-5 Summit.
It is very sad that in light of the situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic the 2020 NPT Review Conference has been postponed to a later date, “as soon as the circumstances permit”, but no later than April 2021. Russian stance and priorities in nuclear disarmament have been comprehensively described in the Russian Working Paper submitted to the second Preparatory Committee for the 10th NPT Review Conference. It stipulates a consensus-based incremental approach that implies consistent work on creating the right conditions that help the global community to continue down the path toward nuclear disarmament. Moscow still believes that complete elimination of nuclear weapons is only possible within comprehensive and complete disarmament and under conditions of equal and indivisible security for all, including nuclear states, in accordance with the NPT.
My personal view is that a nuclear-free world can be built by 2045 – by a centenary of the tragic use of nuclear bombs versus Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Or earlier than by 2045, if there is a world-wide consensus.
And the final brush: the highly virulent COVID-19 pandemic has brought so far too many innocent victims amongst almost all countries all over the world, and caused tremendous economic and financial losses needed to fight this horrible decease. At the beginning of April 2020 more than 1 million people have been infected by COVID-19, and more 65 thousand died. Sat the end of May the same year more than 5.5 million people have got this highly virulent disease, and nearly 350 thousand passed away. It is a very sad reality.
But it will be much sadder reality, if any nuclear conflict intentionally or unintentionally will erupt – God forbid! – with much horrible consequences around the globe than the Corona virus per se has done. If you compare such results reached in the first several hours of an all-out nuclear war with figures already mentioned: 34 million people dead and 57 million injured. Or more.
That is why all of us will have to bear it in mind, and to take specific steps to avoid such a gloomy scenario. source