Can The Impending Collapse Of Russiagate Halt The Slide Toward A Nuclear 1914?

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In the period preceding the World War I how many Europeans suspected that their lives would soon be forever changed – and, for millions of them, ended?

 

Who in the years, say, 1910 to 1913, could have imagined that the decades of peace, progress, and civilization in which they had grown up, and which seemingly would continue indefinitely, instead would soon descend into a horror of industrial-scale slaughter, revolution, and brutal ideologies?

The answer is, probably very few, just as few people today care much about the details of international and security affairs. Normal folk have better things to do with their lives.

To be sure, in that bygone era of smug jingosim, there was always the entertainment aspect that “our” side had forced “theirs” to back down in some exotic locale, as in the Fashoda incident (1898) or the Moroccan crises (1906, 1911). Even the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 seemed less a harbinger of the cataclysm to come than local dustups on the edge of the continent where the general peace had not been disturbed even by the much more disruptive Crimean or Franco-Prussian wars.

Besides, no doubt level-headed statesmen were in charge in the various capitals, ensuring that things wouldn’t get out of hand.

Until they did.

A notable exception to the prevailing mood of business-as-usual, nothing-to-see-here-folks was Pyotr Durnovo, whose remarkable February 1914 memorandum to Tsar Nicholas II laid out not only what the great powers would do in the approaching general war but the behavior of the minor countries as well. Moreover, he anticipated that in the event of defeat, Russia, destabilized by unchecked socialist “agitation” amid wartime hardships, would “be flung into hopeless anarchy, the issue of which cannot be foreseen.” Germany, likewise, was “destined to suffer, in case of defeat, no lesser social upheavals” and “take a purely revolutionary path” of a nationalist hue.

When the great powers blundered into war in August 1914, each confident of its ability speedily to dispatch its rivals, the price (adding in the toll from the 1939-1945 rematch) was upwards of 70 million lives. But the cost of a comparable mistake today might be literally incalculable – if there’s anyone left to do the tally.

During the first Cold War between the US and the USSR, there was a general sense that a World War III was, in a word, unthinkable. As summed up by Ronald Reagan: “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Then, it was understood that all-out war, however it started, meant massed ICBMs over the North Pole and the “end of civilization as we know it.”

Not anymore. What was unthinkable in the old Cold War has become all-too-thinkable in the new one between the US and Russia. As described by veteran arms control inspector Scott Ritter, in analyzing a draft of the 2018 US Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), the US threshold for the use of nuclear weapons has become dangerously low:

‘The 2018 NPR has a vision of nuclear conflict that goes far beyond the traditional imagery of mass missile launches. While ICBMs and manned bombers will be maintained on a day-to-day alert, the tip of the nuclear spear is now what the NPR calls “supplemental” nuclear forces – dual-use aircraft such as the F-35 fighter armed with B-61 gravity bombs capable of delivering a low-yield nuclear payload, a new generation of nuclear-tipped submarine-launched cruise missiles, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles tipped with a new generation of low-yield nuclear warheads. The danger inherent with the integration of these kinds of tactical nuclear weapons into an overall strategy of deterrence is that it fundamentally lowers the threshold for their use. […]

‘Noting that the United States has never adopted a “no first use” policy, the 2018 NPR states that “it remains the policy of the United States to retain some ambiguity regarding the precise circumstances that might lead to a US nuclear response.” In this regard, the NPR states that America could employ nuclear weapons under “extreme circumstances that could include significant non-nuclear strategic attacks.” … The issue of “non-nuclear strategic attack technologies” as a potential precursor for nuclear war is a new factor that previously did not exist in American policy. The United States has long held that chemical and biological weapons represent a strategic threat for which America’s nuclear deterrence capability serves as a viable counter. But the threat from cyber attacks is different. If for no other reason than the potential for miscalculation and error in terms of attribution and intent, the nexus of cyber and nuclear weapons should be disconcerting for everyone. […] 

‘Even more disturbing is the notion that a cyber intrusion such as the one perpetrated against the Democratic National Committee and attributed to Russia could serve as a trigger for nuclear war. This is not as far-fetched as it sounds. The DNC event has been characterized by influential American politicians, such as the Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, as “an act of war.” Moreover, former vice president Joe Biden hinted that, in the aftermath of the DNC breach, the United States was launching a retaliatory cyberattack of its own, targeting Russia. The possibility of a tit-for-tat exchange of cyberattacks that escalates into a nuclear conflict would previously have been dismissed out of hand; today, thanks to the 2018 NPR, it has entered the realm of the possible.’

The idea that a first-strike Schlieffen Plan could knock out the Russians (and no doubt similar contingencies are in place for China) at the outset of hostilities reflects a dangerous illusion of predictability. Truth may be the first casualty of war, but “the plan” is inevitably the second. That’s because war planners generally don’t consult the enemy, who – annoyingly for the planners – also gets a vote.

Recently US Secretary of State James Mattis declared that “great power competition – not terrorism – is now the primary focus of US national security,” specifying Russia and China as nations seeking to “create a world consistent with their authoritarian models, pursuing veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic and security decisions.” At least we can drop the pretense that US policy has been to fight jihad terrorism, not to use it as a policy tool in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, Syria, and elsewhere. And of course Washington never, ever meddles in “other nations’ economic, diplomatic and security decisions” . . .

There is much anticipation that release of a House Intelligence Committee memo “naming names” of those in the FBI and elsewhere inside and outside of government to thwart the election of Donald Trump and cripple his administration with a phony Russian “collusion” probe will be a silver bullet that upturns the Mueller probe and cleans the Augean stables of the Deep State. Even in that unlikely case, the damage is already done. The primary purpose of Russiagate was always to ensure Trump could not reach out to Moscow, as seems to be his sincere desire. Even as the narrative began to boomerang against those who launched it, Trump’s defenders (such as fanatical Russophobe Nikki Haley) are as adamant as his detractors that Russia is and will remain the main enemy: Russia was behind the Steele Dossier, Russia tried to “corner the market” on “the foundational material for nuclear weapons” with the Uranium One deal, etc. Hostility toward Russia is not a means to an end – it is the end.

At this point Trump is fastened to the neocons’ and generals’ axle, and all he can do is spin. Echoing Mattis, in his State of the Union speech Trump lumped “rivals like China and Russia” together with “rogue regimes” and “terrorist groups” as “horrible dangers” to the United States. (Note: The word “horrible” does not appear in the posted text. That evidently was Trump’s adlib.) The recently issued “name and shame” list of prominent Russians is a veritable Who’s Who of government and business, ensuring that there’s no American engagement with anyone within screaming distance of the Kremlin.

To be fair, the Russians and Chinese are making their own war preparations. Russia’s “Kanyon,” a doomsday nuclear torpedo carrying a massive warhead, is designed to obliterate the U.S east and west coasts, rendering them inhabitable for generations. (Wait a minute. Is it any coincidence, Comrade, that the coastal cities are just where the Democrats’ electoral strength is? Talk about “collusion!” Somebody call Bob Mueller!) For its part, China is developing means to eliminate our white elephant carrier groups – handy for pummeling Third World backwaters but useless in a war with a major power – with drone swarms and hypersonic missiles.

Just as in 1914, when Durnovo referred to “presence of abundant combustible material in Europe,” there is any number of global flashpoints that could turn Mattis’s “great power competition” into a major conflagration that probably was not desired by anyone. However, if the worst happens, and the lamps go out again – maybe this time forever – Americans will not again be immune from the consequences as we were in the wars of the 20th century. The remainder of our lives, however brief, might turn out very differently from what we had anticipated. 

Comments

IntercoursetheEU ebworthen Fri, 02/02/2018 - 23:16 Permalink

Yes, art of the deal. Russia has a shitload of resource rich surface area and less people to keep an eye on things. The population density comparison is astounding. Tempting target. "Hey, nice place ya got here", may be equally balanced by a race of people who come out of the womb playing chess.

Trump will run up the Russian tab high enough on MAGA oriented defense just before we all get fried. Reason prevails among oligarchs.

In reply to by ebworthen

Pandelis IntercoursetheEU Fri, 02/02/2018 - 23:33 Permalink

(((they))) have been punished by God, and they killed Jesus Christ.  Don't expect them to change now .... it is too many of them, the nature of scorpion is in their DNA (the scorpion and the frog story).

 

The prophecy is that people will walk half an hour before they see someone else whom they would call brother.

 

in his words Oppenheimer "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."  Look at his face and conclude yourself with what you are dealing with:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb13ynu3Iac

In reply to by IntercoursetheEU

Tarzan stizazz Sat, 02/03/2018 - 05:09 Permalink

The collapse of Russiagate will usher in phase three, the collapse of the Market.

They will not give up, there are elite pedophiles on the line.  If Trump is not stopped, only God knows what secrets he may reveal.

It's obvious as hell they are scared to death of this man, and non of it makes sense, until you start thinking wicked bad stuff being hidden!

"In a day" all our "wealth", dollars, will vanish in a market crash, and America's nakedness will be revealed, as the world rightfully blames us for their losses, and turns against us!

I believe Truth always bubbles back to the top, eventually, and we're at that stage again, where wickedness gets exposed.  I also believe each of these cycles have progressively gotten worse, as wickedness has sharpened their tools of deceit.  Thus the chaff builds over longer periods, and when fire finally arrives.......

The Great Whore, the wolf who hide in sheep's skin, the People's enemy, will trigger Sampsonada - if we go, we'll take the world with us.  A reset to base, a blood bath, is upon us!

In reply to by stizazz

trulz4lulz Gold Pedant Sat, 02/03/2018 - 01:32 Permalink

The American Death Eaters hunger can never be saciated, it's thirsty for blood, never quenched. The Death Eaters become enamored at the thought of gore, misery, torture and inflicting pain for the Master of Chaos, Lord of Illusion, at your expense. Do not reason with a society that lusts for the blood of your children, recognize these time for what they are. 

In reply to by Gold Pedant

house biscuit trulz4lulz Sat, 02/03/2018 - 05:14 Permalink

History is not a blunder of happenstance

The 20th century design was globalization of a fiat-debt system based on unsustainable models of economic growth which in turn requires fueling by near perpetual low level warfare, purported nuclear genies & the politics of fear- all designed to extract your acquiescence

On the other hand, we did obtain concessions for air conditioning, pizza delivery & free porn, so I’m going to call it even

Because shit happenstance 

 

In reply to by trulz4lulz

Pandelis Badsamm Sat, 02/03/2018 - 03:25 Permalink

the fed is just a temporary phenomenon ... sure they will collapse the markets, steal everyone's money but that is normal procedures for them.  Before they were stealing all the coins and many european cities (new to the game) kind of figured out and expelled them from city after city (coins are a real thing either are there or have been stolen).  With central banking they discovered the perpetum machine when is difficult to figure out what is going on with markets, bonds, derivatives etc. etc.  but it is still basically the same game and purpose with the usual suspects running it.  just because is hidden don't expect different results than that of european cities of middle ages/reinassance. it is their casino, heads they win tail you lose, it is fixed.

In the big scheme of things this is nothing compare to what they have done throughout history ... learn the true history it will show you where we are headed.

In reply to by Badsamm

el buitre Pandelis Sun, 02/04/2018 - 07:54 Permalink

The demonization of the clown Fed is a distraction from underlying causes.  The Exchange Stabilization Fund, which is a clandestine part of the Department of the Treasury, along with BIS, give the Fed clowns their marching orders.  The root of the demonic Babylonian Money Magick is fractional reserve banking which gives the elite the right to counterfeit fake money for which the man in the street would go to jail.  Until fractional reserve banking is destroyed, nothing will change.

In reply to by Pandelis

shovelhead Badsamm Sat, 02/03/2018 - 08:35 Permalink

 

"Even more disturbing is the notion that a cyber intrusion such as the one perpetrated against the Democratic National Committee and attributed to Russia could serve as a trigger for nuclear war."

Haha. Of course, we'll never know about that because the DNC refused the FBI access to their servers.

"Because we said it's the Russians...Trumps pals. That's why."

"Well, alrighty then. That's good enough for us."

GTFO.

In reply to by Badsamm

Jumanji1959 HRClinton Fri, 02/02/2018 - 23:29 Permalink

The complete rogues list:
- Lanny Breuer
- Robert Meuller
- Eric Holder
- Loretta Lynch, Rod Rosenstein
- McCabe
- Wray
- Rubenstein
- James Comey

-Hussein Obama

- Hillary Clinton

Lisa Page, Peter Strozok

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Donna Brazile, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff,  Frederica Wilson.

 

GITMO for all + waterboarding daily!!!

In reply to by HRClinton

Jim in MN ebworthen Sat, 02/03/2018 - 00:26 Permalink

Did your comment mean anything?  If you are a nihilist I suppose it does.

But, if you are just hijacking a random Internet thread, now is not the time for that.

We face a crisis of global peace.

Unnoticed and, if noticed, fiercely unloved.

For entire continents are at....peace this evening.

We see, have we the simple courage to look, a 90% drop in post-WWII war deaths.

We see only a few true 'hot wars' (i.e. heavy weapon units laying waste to towns or neighborhoods) tonight.

THIS IS THE BIGGEST UNTOLD STORY OF 2018.

Wonder why the market is up? 

Consider PEACE...the wild card......

Just don't tell the Pope, or Jimmy Carter, or the blessed global 'press'

...they might be out of a job.....the horror.....

In reply to by ebworthen

khnum Fri, 02/02/2018 - 23:13 Permalink

Now that the US has threatened nuclear retaliation for conventional attack Im afraid that a first strike with everything you've got is about the only card its enemies have other than about 1000 sleeper cells in the US.

A Sentinel khnum Fri, 02/02/2018 - 23:44 Permalink

Not picking on you here but first strike is a specific action to achieve a specific goal: the action being essentially a surprise attack which is intended to erase the enemy’s retaliatory capability.

First strike was impossible until Iraq 1. You may remember a cnn video of a cruise missile winding through Baghdad and hitting a tower. 

This was the key: some minutes later a second missile followed the path of the first and entered the crater on side of the building made by the first.

that was extremely significant. It meant that the US had achieved ACTUAL first strike capability because previous targeting tech was weak enough that even multi megaton hydrogen devices couldn’t necessarily take out HARDENED silos.

that Baghdad video on cnn circa 1990, I guarantee, had Russian generals throwing fits. The ussr collapsed very shortly thereafter. I don’t think it was a coincidence.

Clinton let the cat out when he gave the technology to the Chinese (probably for a nominal donation or speaking fee.) 

Since then, antimissile technology has grown more sophisticated and there are more players.

i doubt that anyone in nsc has had the grey matter to analyze this stuff for nearly a decade so if I had to guess, I’d say that it’s probably a roll of the dice who survives a big exchange.

Another anecdote from Kissinger in either his first nuclear war book or maybe the White House years “trilogy” - the fear promulgated by the left (think brezinsky, Sagan, the unilateral disarmament/ice age morons) is far overblown. Survival rates are MUCH higher from blast and nuke fallout related stuff - the question of fried electric networks though- I’ve never read or heard that poo-pooed by a serious analyst.

In reply to by khnum