The recent START treaty has been criticized on grounds of being a modest step towards disarmament. This criticism, while correct, is limited.
We must bear in mind the background of increased military budgets and even explicit militarization around the world. Witness for instance the addition of new US military bases in Colombia.
But if you ever wondered how the increased military spending squared with a reduction in the number of nuclear weapons, here is an article that sheds light on the larger strategic game going on.
(by Rick Rozoff)
Selected passages from the article:
- "Washington is forging ahead with a replacement for the nuclear sword and shield – for blackmail and for deterrence – with a non-nuclear model that could upset the previous “balance of terror” arrangement that has been a criminal nightmare for six decades, but for sixty years without a massive missile war. The new sword, or spear, entails plans for conventional first strike weapon systems employing the same triad of land, air and sea components – with space added – and the shield is a worldwide network of interceptor missile deployments, also in all four areas. The Pentagon intends to be able to strike first and with impunity."
- "Any short-range, medium-range and intermediate-range missiles remaining in the targeted country will in theory be destroyed after launching by kinetic, “hit-to-kill” interceptor missiles. Should the missiles so neutralized contain nuclear warheads, the fallout will occur over the country that launches them or over an adjoining body of water or other nation of the U.S.’s choosing."
- The article quotes the US State Department on the Prompt Global Strike system: "The growth of unrivaled U.S. conventional military capabilities has contributed to our ability to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in deterring non-nuclear attacks" and of course clarifying that "New START protects the U.S. ability to develop and deploy a PGS capability"
It is insightful to see how people outside the US perceive the START treaty. Here is a former Joint Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces General Leonid Ivashov quoted in the above article.
“No examples of sacrificial service of the US elites to mankind or the peoples of other countries can be discovered in US history over the past century. Would it be realistic to expect the advent of an African-American president to the White House to change the country’s political philosophy traditionally aimed at achieving global dominance? Those believing that something like that is possible should try to realize why the US – the country with a military budget already greater than those of all other countries of the world combined – continues spending enormous sums of money on preparations for war.”
Specifically in reference to PGS, he detailed that “The Prompt Global Strike concept envisages a concentrated strike using several thousand precision conventional weapons in 2-4 hours that would completely destroy the critical infrastructures of the target country and thus force it to capitulate.
“The Prompt Global Strike concept is meant to sustain the US monopoly in the military sphere and to widen the gap between it and the rest of the world. Combined with the deployment of missile defense supposed to keep the US immune to retaliatory strikes from Russia and China, the Prompt Global Strike initiative is going to turn Washington into a modern era global dictator.
“In essence, the new US nuclear doctrine is an element of the novel US security strategy that would be more adequately described as the strategy of total impunity. The US is boosting its military budget, unleashing NATO as a global gendarme, and planning real-life exercises in Iran to test the efficiency of the Prompt Global Strike initiative in practice. At the same time, Washington is talking about a completely nuclear-free world.”