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Thursday, February 8, 2018

ERIC ZUESSE -- A new nuclear arms race is upon us

A new nuclear arms race is upon us
“…they have expressed a readiness to go nuclear first in a conflict with Russia or others that had not yet crossed the nuclear Rubicon.”
February 8, 2018, 03:45


The US Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), a key nuclear strategy document that was issued on February 2nd by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, seems to have benefited from last-minute changes that had been made to it. But it’s still extremely dangerous for the entire world, as will be fully explained here.
One key issue on which a change was made was whether the US would lower the threshold for introducing nuclear weapons into a conflict.
Princeton scholar Bruce Blair somehow saw an earlier draft of the NPR, and he headlined, in the normally neoconservative — but not this time; instead they published his warning against Trump’s going too far into neoconservatism — Washington Post, on January 13th, headlined “A new Trump administration plan makes nuclear war likelier; and Blair managed to report, in that neoconservative medium, that the then-draft NPR included the passage:
“The United States would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies, and partners. Extreme circumstances could include significant non-nuclear strategic attacks. Significant non-nuclear strategic attacks include, but are not limited to, attacks on the US, allied, or partner civilian population or infrastructure.”
Blair criticized this:
Alarmingly, the wizards have uprooted the nuclear taboo and deluded themselves into believing that nuclear weapons are far more usable than previous presidents held. In a single ill-conceived stroke, they have expressed a readiness to go nuclear first in a conflict with Russia or others that had not yet crossed the nuclear Rubicon.
This is needless because the United States possesses ample conventional strength to repulse Russian aggression, and reckless because all it accomplishes is increasing the risk of blundering into a nuclear war.
The tech-journalist Jessica Conditt, on January 31st, two days prior to the NPR’s public release, picked up on Professor Blair’s article (without noting, however, where she had obtained her information on it) and wrote:

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