Mikhail Gorbachev on Nuclear Madness
Aged-87 and frail hasn’t diminished Gorbachev’s passion for stepping back from the brink of possible nuclear war in pursuit of world peace and stability.
In an October 2018 op-ed, he said “(t)here are still too many nuclear weapons in the world,” urging the drawdown of arsenals, mainly by the US and Russia, the dominant nuclear powers.
Gorbachev slammed what he called the Trump regime’s intent “to release the United States from any obligations, any constraints, and not just regarding nuclear missiles,” adding:
“The United States has (effectively) destroy(ed) the entire system of international treaties and accords that served as the underlying foundation for peace and security following World War II.”
“There will be no winner in a ‘war of all against all’ — particularly if it ends in a nuclear war.”
“And that is a possibility that cannot be ruled out. An unrelenting arms race, international tensions, hostility and universal mistrust, will only increase the risk.”
Gorbachev expressed hope that Russia, the UN, especially Security Council members, and rest of the world community “will take responsible action (f)aced with this dire threat to peace…”
“We must not resign, we must not surrender,” he stressed.
On April 29, the Wall Street Journal published his op-ed, headlined: “The Madness of Nuclear Deterrence,” saying:
“(T)he need (is) urgent…for strategic engagement between the US and Russia. I am also convinced that nuclear deterrence, instead of protecting the world, is keeping it in constant jeopardy,” adding:
“(N)uclear weapons are like a rifle hanging on the wall in a play written and staged by a person unknown. We do not know the playwright’s intent.”
They “could go off because of a technical failure, human error or computer error. The last alarms me the most. Computer systems are now used everywhere. And how many times have (they) failed—in aviation, in industry, in various control systems?”
Countless times in my writing I stressed the ominous possibility of nuclear war by accident or design.
During the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, nuclear war nearly happened. An October 2002 Havana US/Russia/Cuba summit disclosed the close call for the first time.
Devastation was avoided because Soviet submarine Captain Vasily Arkhipov countermanded an order to fire nuclear torpedos when US destroyers attacked Russian submarines near JFK’s “quarantine” line.
Had he obeyed, vast destruction or possible nuclear winter might have followed, humanity and other life forms extinguished worldwide — the ultimate doomsday scenario.
In 1995, Russia nearly launched nuclear-armed missiles in response to a false alarm. Fear was over what turned out to be a Norwegian weather sounding rocket, at first believed to be a possible US nuclear attack.
In May 2000, the Pentagon’s Joint Vision 2020 called for “full spectrum dominance” over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight and win global wars against any adversary, including with nuclear weapons preemptively.
Post-9/11 US national security strategies and nuclear posture reviews by the Bush/Cheney, Obama, and Trump regimes asserted a preemptive first strike nuclear policy.
The policy remains in force, despite no threats posed by any nations against the US, just invented ones to unjustifiably justify spending countless trillions of dollars for militarism and belligerence at the expense of vital homeland needs.
If US nukes are deployed near the Russian and/or Chinese borders, “leaving less time to detect a false alarm, the probability of a mistaken retaliatory launch is bound to rise,” Gorbachev stressed, adding:
“Today, the US and Russia are at a perilous crossroads. They must stop and think. The veterans of the Cold War have spoken. It is now up to our nations’ leaders to act.”
The alternative risks nuclear armageddon, the greatest of all threats to humanity — ignored by US-led Western media instead of stressing the urgency of stepping back from the brink.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”