Nov. 2, 2022
Mutually Assured Destruction
Up until I had achieved the ripe old age of six, many of the wooden utility poles along the peaceful, tree-lined streets of my small Ontario town were fitted with loud speakers. Every Wednesday at noon those loudspeakers would awaken with a shrill siren demanding that everyone 'duck and cover', an action we were taught would save us from the immediate blast effects of a nuclear weapon. A Russian nuclear weapon. (LINK),
To me these sirens, the repeated 'safety drills' and all the fear they represented were normal. In the classroom we would watch sepia-coloured, 16mm film, exposed in Nagasaki and Hiroshima in the days and weeks following the nuclear destruction of those cities by America. From the day I was born the threat of nuclear annihilation was part of life, and as the Cuban missile crisis came to its head in the fall of 1962, instant vaporization seemed all but assured.
So when the drills finally came to an end and the loudspeakers were removed sometime in 1965, my world was thrown into confusion. Certainly there was relief from the constant reminders of life-ending danger but that feeling of impending doom had become part of my consciousness, and it has shaped the way I have looked at life since that time.
Our safety drills and the sirens came to an end because of an 'understanding' between the Soviet Union and the United States, the only nuclear nations at that time. Known as 'Mutually Assured Destruction', it was the understanding that since both nations had similar nuclear weapons capabilities, an attack by one nation on the other would lead to an automatic launch of the other guy's missiles leading to the total destruction of both nations, and probably the world. Throughout my lifetime, this understanding has maintained an outward peace between the two superpowers and only briefly through the past six decades has the spectre of nuclear weapons raised its ugly head.
Those were halcyon days, and they came to an end on the 27th of October 2022 when the United States Department of Defense announced its change of posture on the use of nuclear weapons. America, realizing that her position on the world stage has become unsustainable, announced that she will again be the first to drop atomic bombs.
Twilight of The Empire
Much has changed in the world since the fall of the Soviet Union and not the least of which being the loss of an American 'enemy' so necessary for the leveraging of western geopolitical machinations and the support of arms makers. To make up for the absence of a near-peer competitor, America has been 'campaigning' around the world, although loath to use the word publicly for fear of sounding like an Empire. These past thirty years have seen the U.S. focus political and military energies on multiple, smaller targets which maintain her Allies security and which in turn ensures her Allies continue to accept the U.S. dollar. As profitable as these actions may have been over time, focusing on middling actions have removed from her ability to confront a near-peer enemy. (LINK),
Part of this weakness is the fact that all of the American 'old guard' have retired, died or been removed from their posts, leading to conditions today where the once almighty U.S. military has forgotten how devastating, expensive and complex a real war can be. Yet in spite of this amnesia there is one memory which remains constant; the need for the United States to be dominant in all domains below, upon and beyond the Earth.
Until recently that need was grudgingly acknowledged around the world, and so it was not necessary to verbalize the concept in polite company. Just using U.S. dollars as the only international trade currency was enough of a reminder. Up until recently there were no challengers to American supremacy worthy of explaining the concept to, nor were there any nations capable of removing the U.S. dollar as a reminder of their financial and often cultural subjugation.
The U.S. began to lose their vaunted position on the world stage in 1971 when President Richard Nixon completely removed the U.S. dollar from the gold standard. Global markets were floored by the chaos this now 'fiat' American trade dollar had on their own currency's stability and valuation. Global uncertainty in U.S. sustainability boiled up in many nations, even with an American shift to a 'petro-dollar' in 1974 as an effort to peg the U.S. dollar to 'something' for stability.
Today that loss of confidence is evident in new trade and banking agreements being developed between 'uncooperative' countries who are ditching the U.S. dollar in favour of Chinese yuan and Russian roubles. Even the powerful Middle Eastern families responsible for creating the 'petrol-dollar' in the first place have indicated their desire to abandon their creation for a more stable trade currency. These moves are disastrous for the United States and will eventually lead to financial and political isolation, yet by their own admissions the Americans are not up to meeting the mounting challenges this situation presents.
Financially the U.S. has found itself without a tether and its reliance on oil and global 'free-trade', which has buoyed its economy for decades, has become its worst enemy. All the financial rewards America reaped with a strong industrial base during and after WW2 were given over to 'other nations' so that a few dollars might be saved in the manufacturing of civilian and in some cases critical military commodities. Now, after so many years of not producing anything of benefit to the country as a whole, America is deep in debt to these 'other nations' plus the banks which have facilitated the transfer of wealth, and she must continue to compile more debt just to keep the now staple and necessary goods flowing.
She can no longer afford this dependence upon her creditors who are increasingly disillusioned by America's 'weaponizing' of the U.S. dollar through sanctions, and devaluing it through reckless printing. So the time approaches, if indeed it is not already here, when the decision must be made by America to shit or get off the pot; Either America address her indebtedness, which is not feasible, or she must militarily reinstate global acceptance of the U.S. fiat dollar.
Unfortunately all the old guard are gone. Militarily the United States navy is no longer the worlds largest, being surpassed by China two years ago, and the discrepancy in tonnage and technology continues to widen. Russian electronic warfare and supersonic missile technology has far outpaced developments by the United States, plus both Russia and China have their own satellite and global positioning systems which rival and possibly exceed American assets.
In 1976, Sir John Bagot Glubb published 'Fate of Empires' in which he recalled the span of historical empires, from the Assyrians to the British; 11 empires over span of 2,800 years. What he found was the average age of those empires to be 250 years, about 10 generations. In 2026 the United States of America will be 250 years old. (LINK),
Issued October 27 by the United States Department of Defense, this strategy document is composed of a Nuclear Posture Review and a Missile Defense Review, and it has been written for a select audience; speaking loudest to those nations refusing to recognize America's interests.
Specifically the U.S. Department of Defense document makes threats to the DPRK, the Iranian Republic and the Russian Federation, while naming China as America's number one 'competitor' on the world stage; one which will be on par with the United States in a decade, unless their progress can be slowed.
Of North Korea the Defense Department says that, “Our strategy for North Korea recognizes the threat posed by its nuclear, chemical, missile, and conventional capabilities, and in particular the need to make clear to the Kim regime the dire consequences should it use nuclear weapons.
Any nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its Allies and partners is unacceptable and will results in the end of that regime. There is no scenario in which the Kim regime could employ nuclear weapons and survive.”
Outwardly contradictory statements are made about Iranian nuclear weapons and the fact that Iran is not pursuing the technology;
“Iran does not today possess a nuclear weapon and we currently believe it is not pursuing one. However, recent Iranian activities previously constrained by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) are of great concern as they are applicable to a nuclear weapons program. U.S. policy is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”
This sort of paradox, where the authors of military policy see no nuclear threat from Iran but feel it a defense priority, highlights America's commitment to Israel.
In line with these threat assessments and to ensure future support from both her friends and 'competitors', the U.S. military will step-up their global 'campaigning';
“Campaigning – the conduct and sequencing of logically-linked military initiatives aimed at advancing well-defined, strategy-aligned priorities over time.”
“The Department will also campaign day-to-day to gain and sustain military advantages, counter acute forms of our competitor's coercion, and complicate our competitor's military preparations. “
“Campaigning is not business as usual – it is the deliberate effort to synchronize the Department's activities and investments and aggregate focus and resources to shift conditions in our favor. Through campaigning, the Department will focus on the most consequential competitor activities that, if left unaddressed, would endanger our military advantages now and in the future.”
Campaigning requires that America possess an overwhelming strength of arms, but the Department of Defense admits that “...in light of the range of non-nuclear capabilities being developed and fielded by competitors that could inflict strategic-level damage to the United States and its Allies and partners...” it must work hard and fast to achieve such strength, or it must break with convention and employ tactical, and larger nuclear weapons.
Nuclear First Strike Option
Sadly it has chosen the latter as the following excerpt reveals;
“We concluded that nuclear weapons are required to deter not only nuclear attack, but also a narrow range of other high consequence, strategic level attacks. This is a prudent approach given the current security environment and how it could further evolve.
As long as nuclear weapons exist, the fundamental role of nuclear weapons is to deter nuclear attack on the United States, our Allies, and partners. The United States would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its Allies and partners.
The United States will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states that are party to the NPT and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations. For all other states, there remains a narrow range of contingencies in which U.S. nuclear weapons may still play a role in deterring attacks that have strategic effect against the United States or its Allies and partners.
We conducted a thorough review of a broad range of options for nuclear declaratory policy – including both No First Use and Sole Purpose policies – and concluded that those approaches would result in an unacceptable level of risk in light of the range of non-nuclear capabilities being developed and fielded by competitors that could inflict strategic-level damage to the United States and its Allies and partners. Some allies and partners are particularly vulnerable to attacks with non-nuclear means that could produce devastating effects.
Our nuclear deterrent thus undergirds all our national defense priorities, including defending the U.S. homeland, deterring strategic attacks against the United States, our Allies and partners, and deterring regional aggression with emphasis on the PRC and Russia.”
Defending the United States Homeland
Defending the U.S. homeland is an important consideration now that this open declaration of nuclear war has been issued with emphasis on the PRC and Russia. So it is surprising to read that missile defense of North America is not capable of defending against strikes by these very countries.
“For the purpose of this review, homeland missile defense refers to the defense of the 50 states, all U.S. territories and the District of Columbia against missile attacks.
Missile defense systems such as the Ground-based Mid-course Defense (GMD) offer a visible measure of protection for the U.S. population while reassuring Allies and partners that the United States will not be coerced by threats to the homeland from states like North Korea and potentially Iran... Should deterrence fail, missile defenses can help mitigate damage to the homeland and help protect the U.S. population.
The U.S. homeland ballistic missile defense architecture centres on the FMD system, consisting of interceptors emplaced in Alaska and California, a network of space-based and terrestrial-based sensors, and an integrated C2 system. Together these U.S. homeland defense capabilities provide the means to address ballistic missile threats from stakes like North Korea and Iran.
GMD is neither intended for, nor capable of, defeating the large and sophisticated ICBM, air or sea launched ballistic missile threats from Russia and the PRC. The United States relies on strategic deterrence to address those threats.”
Or is it an invitation?