This Is No ‘New Cold War’; It’s Far Worse Than That
- This Is No ‘New Cold War’; It’s Far Worse Than That
by ERIC ZUESSE | 03.11.2016, http://www.strategic-culture.org/
Here is the reason why we are currently even closer to a civilization-ending nuclear war than was the case during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962:
During the Cold War, the two sides agreed that any war between the capitalist side and the communist side would escalate to nuclear war between the US and the USSR and constitute Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D.). Therefore, because of this mutual acceptance of M.A.D., hot war did not develop during that entire period, from 1945 till the Soviet Union dissolved and ended its military alliance the Warsaw Pact, both of which ended in 1991. Throughout that 45-year period, called «the Cold War», there was no hot war between the two nuclear superpowers, because both sides believed that any hot war would end in M.A.D. — mutual annihilation, and the end of civilization.
It would end that way because any hot war between the two sides would terminate either in one side surrendering to the other, or else in at least one of the two sides (presumably to be started by the one that’s on the brink of defeat in the traditional hot war) nuclear-attacking the other (as being its only alternative to defeat). In other words, M.A.D. recognized and accepted the fact that for a nuclear power to attack a nuclear power with non-nuclear weaponry will almost certainly provoke a nuclear war at the moment when one of the two is losing (or about to lose) the conventional conflict to the other. Nuclear weapons are weapons of last resort, but they exist in order to prevent defeat. That is what they exist for. If Japan had had deliverable nuclear weapons, then the end of World War II would have been considerably delayed. Japan would have lost because it had no allies, but the end of WW II would have been very different than it was.
Only M.A.D. avoided the Cold War becoming a hot war.
But M.A.D. is not just a physical reality but equally importantly a mutually-shared belief-system, a belief-system that becomes no longer operative if one of the two sides switches to believe that a way exists actually to win a nuclear war — in other words, to believe that conquest of a nuclear power by another nuclear power is a real possibility. During the years prior to 2006, there was an increasing though unspoken belief at the top of the US aristocracy (the people who control the US government — or at least have controlled it since 1981), that the United States would be able to win a nuclear war against Russia; and, suddenly, in 2006, the belief was published, and virtually no one who possessed power or influence challenged it; and, from that time forward, M.A.D. was ended on the American side, and nuclear weapons became, in the US, strategized within a new framework (called «nuclear primacy»,) — the framework of nuclear weapons as constituting the ultimate weapons of conquest by the US government.