Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Doctors Strangelove everywhere

by Jerome a Paris Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 03:36:34 AM EST

Pre-emptive nuclear strike a key option, Nato told

Calling for root-and-branch reform of Nato and a new pact drawing the US, Nato and the European Union together in a "grand strategy" to tackle the challenges of an increasingly brutal world, the former armed forces chiefs from the US, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands insist that a "first strike" nuclear option remains an "indispensable instrument" since there is "simply no realistic prospect of a nuclear-free world".

(...)

"The risk of further [nuclear] proliferation is imminent and, with it, the danger that nuclear war fighting, albeit limited in scope, might become possible," the authors argued in the 150-page blueprint for urgent reform of western military strategy and structures. "The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction."

Words simply fail me. Who exactly do we need first use against?


Display:
They're only weapons of mass destruction if the heathen wogs use them.

To summarise the article: if we don't turn the West™ into a coherent Imperial machine the lesser races will take over and pollute our bodily fluids.

I am so tired of this dumb-ass shit: apply more of what got us into this position to get us out of it. Fucking tunnel visioned, unimaginative, dishonest and hypocritical nonsense.

Bring on the Freedom Agenda.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 04:06:59 AM EST
This is about one thing, and one thing only.

Iran.

Having learned from the Israeli destruction of the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak, the Iranians have taken the step of locating most of their facilities well beneath the surface. Further, they've located many of them beneth civilian centers.

The Israelis (military) remain convinced that they can take out these facilities with conventional weapons, but the US has been working for several years to conduct conventional tests to simulate the effect of a low yield nuclear weapon on geological formations similiar to the conditions at Iranian facilities.

The name of this program is Divine Strake, officaly it has been cancelled due to intense public opposition in Nevada, and later in Indiana when news leaked of an intended test in that state.  In the latter case, the test was to occur in a limestone quarry in the southern part of the state.  Although the test consisted of multiple tons of conventional high yield explosives, the  yield being appromiately 0.5 kiloton, roughly in the same range as nuclear artillery deployed by the US in Europe during the Cold War. (It may have taken the Soviets 15 minutes to take Berlin, but a nuclear counterforce option could have annihlated a Soviet tank division crossing through the Fulda Gap.)

The point of nuclear weapons is that by raising the stakes of conflict to unacceptable levels, they help ensure peace.  That's MAD doctrine, mutually assured destruction, however a second doctrine called NUTs, nuclear utilization theory (no I am not making this up), argues for the development of subkiliton weapons to fill the gap between the blockbusters of the Second World War and Thermonuclear Armageddeon.

Would you like to play a game? (Y/N)  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 05:31:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And Iran is about one thing and one thing only: oil.

Iran has nothing to do with security or proliferation or any of the otherf nonsense. Iran is another oil grab by Washington and the Saudis.

Peace with Iran is the worst possible outcome, because the oil keeps flowing, a hostile-ish state entrenches itself in one of the most useful positions on the game board, and it decreases the financial leverage of both the Saudis and the Washington Oil cabal.

War would push up prices, constrict supplies, enhance the stability of the rather wobbly Saudi regimes (at least they believe it would - whether it would actually do that is a different issue), and increase the possibility of a sympathetic new government (qv 'puppet') in Iran.

Threatening a nuclear first strike seems harsh, but it's all part of the same campaign of political pressure.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 07:08:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not just about Iran. It's also about Russia. New Napoleonic call to burn Moscow, unless it comes to fold.
by vladimir on Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 at 11:07:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, i've been getting rather out of hand lately, "albeit limited in scope," so perhaps...

Is it possible that Grenada has forgotten the lesson administered by the US?  Would they broach a "limited" first strike against Wall St, to neutralize this silly talk of a recession?  I'll bet the real threat is from the eastern Nato countries themselves, what with this warfare of carbon tax on imports.  

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 04:08:51 AM EST
Well, Jerome, if we all in the Nuclear Weapon powers preventatively nuke ourselves in a First Strike -- as the doctrine of preventative Nuclear First Strike against Weapons of Mass Destruction logically requires that we must -- then all those dirty proliferators will no longer have any motive to build any Weapons of Mass Destruction to deter us. Proliferation problem solved!

Self-aimed Nuclear First Strike to destroy our Nuclear First Strike capability! It's the selfless and responsible mass geno-suicide strategy implemented for the good of the world.

Also, it exploits our current strategic advantage before our enemies can close the mineshaft gap!  Just look at the Big Board!

...Cue Vera Lynn

by SKapusniak on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 04:14:16 AM EST
Gemeinschaft?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 05:05:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a reference to Dr Strangelove, of course.
The bomb explodes, and, according to the Soviet ambassador, life on Earth's surface will be extinct in ten months due to the Doomsday Machine. Dr. Strangelove recommends to the President that a group of about 200,000 people be relocated deep in a mine shaft, where the nuclear fallout cannot reach them, so that the USA can be repopulated afterwards. Because of space limitations, Strangelove suggests a gender ratio of "ten females to each male," with the women selected for their sexual characteristics, and the men selected on the basis of their physical strength, intellectual capabilities and their importance in business and the government. General Turgidson rants that the Soviets will likely create an even better bunker than the US, and argues that America "must not allow a mine shaft gap."
by Gag Halfrunt on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 12:56:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Recently, at a class of Japanese, we had to practise sentences of the pattern "According to..., * * *". When I was asked to make up a sentence, I came up with

ブッシュ大統領によると
イランはひどいそうです。
- According to president Bush, Iran is terrifying.

Surely, I can not tell what classmates were thinking, but relative silence felt like I was the first to come up with a negative (= unreasonable to believe) example. Someone later gave a sentence about UFO stories on the internet.

Yet, this is what "infallible" TV channels have to broadcast often.

(It helped me that the words for "president", "terrifying" and even "Iran" somehow came up in the material for that class.)

by das monde on Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 at 04:28:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can we get out of NATO already?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 04:30:27 AM EST
Seconded.  Just wait, because it's going to get worse.  Better dust off my draft card now, I suppose.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 04:52:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, you can't get out of NATO. You're NATO. You have nukes.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 05:13:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't kid yourself.

Look at what the French are doing in the Persian Gulf.  France under Sarkozy is building an indepedent "European" (France is Europe?) option against the Iranians and threats to the flow of oil from the region.  That's why France has taken options to develop a military presence in Dubai. It allows two things.

The French have the option of carrying out an air strike against Iranian nuke facilities if the US withdraws from the Gulf in 2009.  And if allows France a say on what comes in and out of the Straights of Hormuz, i.e. Saudi oil from Ras Tanura.

And if you really want to be disturbed consider that Sarkozy offered Germany French nukes, and not ny nukes, but the top of the line.  A nuclear submarine, the single most desired option of the nuclear triad, allowing the holder to retain a second strike option even if their homeland has been annihlated, thereby creating a balance of terror.

It's nearly impossible to take them out, becuase they are 1)mobile and 2) able to hide beneath the waves.

Sarkozy is trying, or at least tried, to break the German-American aggreement reached in 1968, when the Germans were assured US protection in exchange for remaining in NATO.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 05:41:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarko is trying to do such thing, he just wants to show how big a penis he has.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 06:49:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chirac was the one who threatened to engage in a nuclear first strike against Iran in the case that they were nearing an operational weapon.

Don't confuse the actions of the the French head of state for the personal proclivities of Monsieur Sarkozy.

This is a problem that relates to France's role in the world, not the Sarkozy government alone.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 07:05:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy is trying, or at least tried, to break the German-American aggreement reached in 1968, when the Germans were assured US protection in exchange for remaining in NATO.

Is that really a bad thing?

by generic on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 11:30:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Potentially very.

Uneasy allies is much superior to heavily armed foes.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 11:47:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As opposed to the make-believe members, France and Britain, with their make-believe nukes?  Come on.  Let's not pretend as though this is a US-only gig.  The US government is the biggest problem, but Europe isn't exactly lining up non-psychos to balance it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 06:37:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm talking about Spain. I know the insane [see diary] lot in North West Europe are not going to leave any time soon.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 06:54:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but only because Spain's too busy ripping off dopey Brits buying condos to build the nukes.  You just need to focus a bit. ;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 07:01:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain has the capacity to be a second tier power player.  It has an impressive military capacity, including aircraft carriers (1 in operation, another coming online soon), which provides it the ability to project power where there is ocean.

And if they really wanted it, Spain could have operational nukes in less than a year due to the civilian nuclear industry.  Up until the late 1980's Spain had a passive nuclear weapons program.

In the absence of American hegemony, do you really think that Madrid is going to sit by while the global economic order is ripped to shreds by the rise of a nonliberal hegemon. (See China, see always Imperial Germany in the last century.)

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 07:10:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even if the US remains the hegemon it doesn't look like there will be much liberal left about it.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 07:19:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As if there's a lot that's liberal about it now, or anything liberal to look forward to?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 07:27:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then I don't know what MfM's point is, unless it is that if we're going to have an illiberal hegemon, it's best if it is white and English-speaking.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 07:30:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think his point would be that a Chinese hegemon would be worse than an American one.  I don't think either is desirable.

But, no, there's nothing liberal about American hegemony right now; there was little that was liberal about it, as BooMan has pointed out, under Bill Clinton (who gets a pass because of the sickeningly low bar set by Junior); and there'll be nothing liberal about it when St McCain or Her Majesty win the White House in November.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 07:43:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No.

I'm saying that US hegemony while highly imperfect is at least cloaked in the capitalist system rather than naked imperialism.

I doubt that the Chinese will be so obliging.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 08:21:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's naked imperialism.  The Bush administration trying to whip us into a frenzy over a country with all the economic might of Connecticut is psychotic.  And while I could entertain the argument that Americans at least get to hold their government accountable (unlike the Chinese), it seems to me that they...don't.

Neither form of hegemony is good.  We need a multi-polar world.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 08:45:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, really it's not.

And anyone with an inkling of understanding of what European imperialism was like in the Belgian Congo or German Southwest Africa would understand why that's an extremely inappropriate thing to say.

The problem with conflating the two, is it obscures the line between them, and makes it possible to slip from economic dominantion to the something more naked without seeing it coming.

Remember that in Iraq, the main course of civilian casualties has been intercine fighting, not something directly attributable to occupying US forces.

The last time we had mulitpolarity, we got the Second World War, because it's an unstable system that encourages states to pass the buck on deterring agressors to other great powers.

Economic autarky and withdraw to the American continent is an option for the United States if faced with Chinese agression, it is not for European states that are far more depedent on resource imports and are exposed to the east and south on land fronts that allow a nation to attack without being forced to transport their forces across large stretches of water.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 09:26:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Never heard of Divide and Conquer?
by generic on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 11:39:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And let's not pretend that there are circumstances in which the premptive use of nuclear weapons is justified.

I'll be honest, I have not problem with a preemptive nuclear attack on North Korean facilities if it becomes clear that they intend to put nuclear warheads that match the missiles they sell on the open market.  

Imagine a world in which warring African states or even rebel groups have access to nuclear weapons through the world market. Or private military groups like Blackwater.

Nuclear weapons must not be allowed to become an object of sale on the world market.  If they do they will be used.

And once that taboo is broken, you aren't going to put the genie back in the bottle.  Think about chemical weapons, you had prohibitions against their use in international law prior to the first World War, but once they were used on the battlfield their use multiplied.

Imagine the Iran-Iraq war with counterforce nuclear strikes by the Iraqis against Iranian forces massed in the Fao peninsula.  The Iraqis did use chemical weapons.

And remember that nuclear weapons (and the capacity to deliver them to your adversaries homeland) give possesor states a veto on foreign intervention on their territory.

There's one state that would find that incredibly desirable: Saudi Arabia.

All it would take is the possession of a small nuclear force on the order of the Israeli arsenal in order to prevent intervention.  And if Saudi falls to Sunni extremism in the way Iran fell to Khomeini in 1979?  

Would the US, Britain, or France place their cities on the line to defend the Israeli state against a genocidal attack launched by extremist intent on establishing a regional Caliphate?

What happens if the Israelis destroy Mecca? If they turn the Plain of Arafat, all the holy sites rendered radioactive wastelands?  Do you suppose that would end well for Europe or the United States?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 07:03:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And let's not pretend that there are circumstances in which the premptive use of nuclear weapons is justified.

I don't recall saying there were such circumstances.  I'm opposed to preemption, period, but you seem to be making an argument for it on North Korea.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 07:57:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am.

Just because it's an option, need not mean that it be exercised.  

What I do believe is that it's extremely dangerous for the North Koreans to do for nuclear weapons what they've done for missiles.

Put them on the market for the highest bidder.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 08:23:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll answer by saying this:  Find me the North Koreans selling nukes on the market, and I'll get behind taking out their nuclear capacity.  But, personally, I'm mindful of the fact that this is the kind of thing the Bush administration was telling me before it invaded Iraq.  And it's the kind of thing Hillary Clinton was telling me when she was being questioned about the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment on Iran (before the NIE blew her triangulating garbage out of the water).  It's going to be difficult to convince me that the North Koreans are actually doing this, because surely they know they'd get caught, and because I have no reason -- not one -- to believe a God-damned word these people tell me.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 08:42:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The North Koreans have no problem selling missiles to many, many states.

In 2002, the Spanish ship SS Navarra, stopped a North Korean freighter of the coast of Somalia with 43 Scud missiles bound for Yemen.

They have no concern for the impact of their proliferation of missile technology, and only want to generate cold, hard cash that the can't in any other way.

For the love of all that it holy, they smuggle narcotics into developed countries using diplomatic pouches, and sell it to local dealers.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 09:30:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ManfromMiddletown:
In 2002, the Spanish ship SS Navarra, stopped a North Korean freighter of the coast of Somalia with 43 Scud missiles bound for Yemen.
And then the US told them to let the ship go on its merry way.


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 09:32:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.

Because Yemen is offically an ally, and it wasn't the smoking gun that the Bush White House was hoping for.

Now missiles are not particularly useful without a nasty payload, and high explosive isn't that nasty.  Biological weapons are hard to disperse.  Chemical weapons have a similiar problem, and do nothing to undermine enemy infrastructures, having use in being a terror weapon or against enemy forces.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 11:51:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or maybe because the US had authorised the deal beforehand, which would mean North Korea, while evil, still serves US policy.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 12:02:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
His point is well taken if you accept his premise.  I simply don't accept the premise that the North Koreans have the cajones to sell nukes.  We'd undoubtedly find out about it, and the result is easy enough to figure: No more North Korea.

In my view, it's all fear-mongering.  And, as I said, I don't believe a word any of these hawks tell me.  It's just sad that this nonsense has polluted our side of the aisle.  The Bush Doctrine has got to go, and it's absolutely shameful that Democrats are reinforcing it.  (This, more than anything else, is why I'm going to have real trouble showing up on November 4th.)  But, as Bill Maher once said, Americans would eat paint if you spent enough money on advertising.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 01:55:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now China might have something to say about the Existence of North Korea - or have we all forgotten the Korean War?

Ignoring that - the bravado about punishing North Korea for selling Nukes is simply that - unless one is willing to risk the quite likely possibility that if they have nukes to sell, they have made a certain amount of effort to safe keep nukes for a second strike.

As Sibel Edmonds as point out - forget about N. Korea when it comes to selling nuclear secrets. Pay attention to a country far closer to home - the United States.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 02:04:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Missiles are a whole different beast from nukes.

And their narcotics smuggling wouldn't be an issue if we weren't so concerned about policing other people's drug use.  We could bankrupt them on that front at a moment's notice by ending just one of our many stupid wars, but I'm in the minority on that sort of thing, unfortunately, while the majority seems content to do the same things over and over expecting different results.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 10:06:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What? North Korea is interfering with Europe and the US's monopoly on arms trade to evil dictatorships?

How dare they!

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 10:22:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey Drew, how did that recount finish in NH ? Sorry to pollute this thread, but I couldn't get to you on the other one - it sank down the priority list.
by vladimir on Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 at 11:14:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Better yet, can we get Nato out of here???  Out in the northwest Atlantic would be fine!

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 06:25:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well , it worked for sixty years - the big powers were never at war with each other. I would say that having a credible nuclear deterrent guarantees peace on your territory ( not including terrorist attacks though ) .  
by cavver on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 04:39:58 AM EST
You could argue, though, that any number of proxy wars were fought during the Cold War. The inhabitants of the countries wherein such wars were fought might be less than impressed with the restraint shown by the superpowers.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 05:01:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some might argue that the stability came from the eventual commitment to retaliatory, rather than first strikes.

The first strike doctrine gave us the Cuban Missile Crisis. MAD (which is a retaliation doctrine) gave us more stability.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 05:45:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't know where.

don't know when....

classics never die...and people represented in classics neither.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 06:31:55 AM EST
Sometimes it seems we are never going to be able to stop one country or a bloc of them from threatening others and scaring the pants off the rest of us in the process. A few days ago Russian media carried what the chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces, Army General Yuri Baluyevsky, told a conference in Moscow:




Мы ни на кого не собираемся нападать, но считаем необходимым, чтобы все наши партнеры четко понимали и ни у кого не было сомнения в том, что для защиты суверенитета и территориаль-
ной целостности России и ее союзников будут применены Вооруженные силы, в том числе и превентивно, и в том числе с использованием ядерного оружия, в случаях оговоренных доктринальными документами России.
We are not about to attack anybody, but we consider it essential for all our partners to understand clearly and for no doubt to be in anybody's mind that in order to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia and its allies, the armed forces will be deployed both preemptively and with nuclear arms in cases specified in Russia's doctrine.
Военная сила может быть и должна быть применена для демонстрации решимости высшего руководства страны отстаивать ее интересы, и как крайняя мера, массированно - тогда, когда окажутся неэффективными все остальные средства. Military might can and must be used to demonstrate decisiveness of the country's highest leadership to defend the country's interests, and as a last resort, massively when all other means have proven ineffective.

The decision by the US to build missile interception installations in the Czech Republic and Poland was an incredibly stupid move. As the Americans discuss this and the status of US forces assigned to the installations in both countries, Russia, both the leaders and ordinary Russians, are watching the developments with concern. Why Washington had to provoke this unfortunate state of affairs is hard to understand. Russia had repeatedly signaled readiness to collaborate with the United States, and Washington should have turned over a new leaf in international relations with Russia at its side.

by Anthony Williamson on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 06:41:13 AM EST
an increasingly brutal world

The world is more peaceful now than it has ever been.
Heard about the 20th century? Anyone?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 06:48:59 AM EST
I can think of people in at least two countries who might not agree with you.

And we're still only eight years in. There's still plenty of time to beat last century's record.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 07:20:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find this a stunning admission of fear on the part of the so-called elites. As long as Western military power was seen as invincible, this simply wasn't an issue. Now that the fundamental helplessness of conventional forces (of whatever provenance) has been demonstrated, the superannuated savants can think of nothing better to do than trumpet to the world that the West has only one recourse remaining to it (and one that - whatever doctrine says - the West will always be more reluctant to use than conventional forces).

This admission, together with the reduced incentive from the abandonment of MAD ("If you don't blow me away, I won't... aw hell, maybe I will at that.") may well end up promoting proliferation than otherwise.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 07:09:47 AM EST
Pre-emptive nuclear strike a key option, Nato told | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited
The authors - General John Shalikashvili, the former chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff and Nato's ex-supreme commander in Europe, General Klaus Naumann, Germany's former top soldier and ex-chairman of Nato's military committee, General Henk van den Breemen, a former Dutch chief of staff, Admiral Jacques Lanxade, a former French chief of staff, and Lord Inge, field marshal and ex-chief of the general staff and the defence staff in the UK - paint an alarming picture.........

The key threats are:

· Political fanaticism and religious fundamentalism.            

What about military fundamentalism?

Will there be an European politician to tell the military it's not their business to set out policies?

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)

by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 08:57:05 AM EST
Great discussion, guys, but there is a gigantic hole in it, and Elco B has touched on it.

Language.

MfM, you sound like me thirty years ago.

Sorry if that sounds patronizing, but there it is.
Your entire analysis could have come from a neocon geostrategic briefing paper. You make their most passionately held point--we need the Empire to manage the unruly nations, and the choice is ours or "theirs"--"them" being anyone else who might assert power.

The Generals speak the language of "military" think, in which the basic assumption is that diplomacy is powerless. Perhaps this blindness is caused by the fact that by the time the military option is exercised, the diplomatic one HAS failed. But, in general, (!!) there are few groups with less useful, more dangerous qualifications to make policy than the generals. Read my diary in which I remember Dr. Hansen, who wanted to nuke Red China as a humanitarian obligation.

http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2007/9/8/53024/82110

His logic was a lot like the logic that emerges above, and he was wrong. Had diplomacy failed, (or been absent from the discussion) he might have been proven right.

That said, you may well be right this time--and for the same reason. This sort of blindness creates a situation in which the game played becomes a very special type of game- a negative sum game in which if one player initiates the game, all must play. Think arms race.

This whole discussion deletes that most central human ability-to talk it over and find compromise, common ground, or at least a non-fatal strategy. The US today?

John Bolton:
"I don't do carrots."

More than once I have pointed out that because of this, and the loss of the Empire's other sources of power, the US is in danger of breaking the nuclear taboo.

As a grad student, I found myself traveling ever deeper into the land of the expert, which predisposes "expert think". When I discovered that I was becoming an expert, and therefore losing a broader picture, my education began a different path. I'm grateful for that discovery.
Good (or at least functional) policy is the province of generalists. Policy makers employ experts, and hopefully know when to gently put them back in their box. With luck, someone will be smart enough to put these guys away.

Eisenhower was the exception in the world of the military- he held onto the broader view. I don't know how, but it's a good thing.
 

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 02:22:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Leaders must become generalists:  have a big view!  Each in its proper place.  Superb specialists who are myopic do not even deserve to be advisors.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 06:29:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or one needs to be able to sort their advice without mercy.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Fri Jan 25th, 2008 at 06:20:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Words simply fail me. Who exactly do we need first use against?"

I can't believe I've got to say this to a bunch of economic wonks like the ET crowd; ah well.

According to your own reporting, the Ponzi world economy is tanking, NO?  The ultrawealthy read ET too ... they aren't all Paris Hiltons.  The ultrawealthy will STAY ultrawealthy ... NO MATTER WHAT!  What's the best way for this to occur? (Do I really have to type this?)

First, fear.  Scare the crap out of people ... ordinary people ... so they don't see who is screwing them and how bad.  If that doesn't work, Plan B ...

Second, pick a country, any country.  Bomb the crap out of them.  Now THAT'S a distraction that always works.

Who's the enemy?  Doesn't matter!  

The REAL enemy?  Why, you and me, of course.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 01:44:48 PM EST
They want to prevent the use of WMD by emphasising NATO's first strike doctrine? And counter the decline of the nation state by reducing member state's control over their armed forces?......impressive
by generic on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 06:03:13 PM EST
Aint it great when generals play policy?

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Fri Jan 25th, 2008 at 06:18:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You asked:


Who exactly do we need first use against?

The Russian newspaper Izvestia has the answer to your question today in a lead article quoting the president of the Russian Academy of Geopolitical Problems, General Leonid Ivashov, who is quoted as saying the US and NATO are preparing the ground for a nuclear strike against objectionable countries.

Ivashov says:




Я лично знаю почти всех подписантов этого доклада и уверен, что идея его составления и предания огласке принадлежит не им, а "ястребиному крылу" американской администрации.I am personally acquainted with almost all the signatories of this manifesto and I am convinced that the idea to write it and make it public was not theirs but that of a `hawk faction' in the American administration.
Скорее всего, этих авторитетных военачальников использовали для подготовки прецедента применения Соединенными Штатами первыми ядерного оружия против стран, отказывающихся подчиниться их гегемонии, и прежде всего против Ирана. Поскольку удержать эти государства в послушании и подчинении обычными средствами не удается, в очередной раз ставится вопрос об их обуздании путем применения тактического ядерного оружия". These authoritative military leaders were most likely used to prepare a precedent for the United States to be first to employ nuclear weapons against countries refusing to submit to its hegemony, and above all against Iran. Inasmuch as keeping those countries obedient and submissive by the usual means isn't working, the question about reining them in by using tactical nuclear weapons is asked yet again.

Ivashov says that neither Russia, nor China and not anyone else is prepared to give a nuclear response to a nuclear strike by the United States against some country it doesn't like. He says the US and its allies know that and are betting on getting off scot free if they use nuclear weapons first.

He says:



Вот для подготовки общественного мнения к такому развитию событий с превентивным применением США ядерного оружия первыми и используется доклад авторитетных генералов пяти стран-участниц НАТО. Therefore, the manifesto by authoritative generals of five NATO member countries is to prepare public opinion for that development of events, with pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons by the United States first.

That is probably correct.

Izvestia

by Anthony Williamson on Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 at 02:03:29 PM EST
My blood just froze.  That's scarey, realistic shit, given the neocons are in a corner.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 at 03:06:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plausible.

All the old levers of power have pretty much broken off in their hands.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Fri Jan 25th, 2008 at 06:32:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]