Washington Post article: The risk of nuclear conflict is escalating
Wolfsthal: The risk of a nuclear war remains very real, and refusing to engage in it in all its forms must be the lowest option Biden can adopt.
In 1985, former US President Ronald Reagan and former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev issued a statement that put an end to the Cold War between their two countries. In that statement there was a statement emphasizing that “a nuclear war cannot be won and should never be fought.”
John Wolfsthal, advisor to current US President Joe Biden when he was Vice President Barack Obama, says, commenting on that phrase that he started with Article Published in The Washington Post, Reagan and Gorbachev have already followed suit, reducing their countries’ arsenals of weapons and banning the most dangerous.
Nearly 40 years later, the potential for nuclear conflict between the United States and Russia, and increasingly between the United States and China, is dangerously high. Unless concrete steps are taken – according to Wolfsthal – to defuse tension and reduce dependence on nuclear weapons, the United States could end up entangled in a nuclear war that it should not fight, he says.
Tensions over Ukraine or Taiwan may quickly spiral out of control without producing certain results. Last week, Russia made “faint” threats to deploy more operational nuclear weapons in and around Ukraine.
Worse yet, the United States, Russia and China are all urging to modernize or enhance their nuclear and missile capabilities, as do Britain, India, Pakistan and North Korea, according to Wolfsthal, who is currently a senior advisor at Global Zero, an initiative that aims to: disposal of nuclear weapons.
It was natural that the international community welcomed the statement issued on January 3 by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France – and adopted for the first time the “historic” statement of Reagan and Gorbachev dated in 1985.
But despite their stated rejection of nuclear war, the United States and Russia are daily training for such a war, and both countries are investing heavily in nuclear weapons.
The Washington Post article notes that the United States has been keeping high-value Russian and Chinese military targets in mind, and American leaders believe their destruction will have “positive” results. Russia is doing the same with American targets and others in Europe.
And John Wolfsthal notes that the administration of President Joe Biden is about to publish a report on the review of the nuclear situation, which sets out its policies in this regard. Yet the claim that Washington opposes nuclear war as it seeks to spend more than $1.3 trillion over the next three decades modernizing its nuclear arsenal is damaging to America’s credibility.
The author of the article concludes that the risk of a nuclear war remains very real, and that refusing to engage in it in all its forms should be the lowest option that Biden can adopt. Failure to do so will only exacerbate the current arms race between the United States, Russia and China.