The Ever-Widening War
Paul Craig Roberts
It was obvious from the beginning that the Kremlin’s “limited military operation” would result in an ever-widening war leading to a nuclear confrontation, and there is no doubt that the conflict has continued to widen.
The latest development brings us closer to the use of nuclear weapons. The F-16s, which Biden said would never be given to Ukraine, have now been given, as I said would happen. Moreover, they are being given in a recklessly gratuitous form. The first shipment of F-16s are aircraft that have modifications that allow them to be armed with nuclear weapons.
To understand how reckless this is, the Kremlin has no alternative to considering that the aircraft might be used to deliver tactical nuclear weapons on Russian troop concentrations. To ignore this possibility would be to risk disaster.
As I said would happen, this latest provocation is a substantial war-widener. The Kremlin is now considering attacks on the European air bases from which the F-16s will be operating. In other words, Putin is now being deprived of the pretense that the conflict is limited.
Gilbert Doctorow sees the situation as I do and regrets “our dismal progression on the way to Armageddon.” https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2023/06/19/tactical-nuclear-weapons-latest-news-from-russia/
I have been unable to come up with any intelligent reason for Putin to permit a war that should have ended quickly before the West could become involved to drag on for 16 months with no end in sight. It seems that Putin expects the West to come to its senses before it is too late. If so, it shows the success of American propaganda over the decades so that even today despite all the evidence Putin thinks that somewhere in the West there is a basic goodness that will assert itself in the West before the fatal step is taken.
The West’s lack of realization is even worse. During the 20th century Cold War the United States government and those of the NATO countries worked with the Soviet government to defuse tensions and to slow down and to halt the nuclear arms race. The Cuban Missile Crisis, provoked by the positioning of US nuclear missiles in Turkey on Russia’s border and by the CIA/Joint Chiefs effort to overthrow Castro, brought realization to Washington and Moscow that Armageddon came near. The deescalation process begun by Kennedy and Khrushchev was renewed under Nixon, for which the CIA punished him with “Watergate,” a hoax like “Russiagate,” and removed him from office. But the process of deescalation continued. Even the Committee on the Present Danger, of which I was a member, supported reduced tensions with the Soviets.
In 1963 there was the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The Outer Space Treaty that prevented the orbiting of nuclear weapons followed. Then the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In the 1970s there were SALT 1 and SALT 2, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. In the 1980s there was the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. In 1991 the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks were concluded that limited conventional arms deployment in Europe. And other agreements since.
Today these accomplishments, which reduced tensions and the likelihood of nuclear war, are abandoned ruins. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the neoconservatives saw a chance for hegemony and regarded the accomplishments that put a leash on Armageddon as hindrances to the exercise of American power. Washington’s insanity of unleashing nuclear war has brought NATO to Russia’s border, has resulted in the overthrow of governments of former Soviet territories and their use against Russia as in the case of Ukraine, and in a variety of provocative actions and war propaganda against Russia and her president. The level of war propaganda against Russia today is as high as the propaganda against Germany and Japan during World War II.
Not satisfied with turning Russia into an enemy, Washington has done the same with China and Iran.
This is madness. It can only end in the destruction of civilization.