We are often told that Vladimir Putin wants to reconstitute the borders of the old Soviet Union, and that China’s leader Xi Jinping wants to dominate the East China sea. But what if both leaders want to make war on the U.S. mainland itself? Would there we be a way to know?
And if Putin and Jinping did want to make war, aren’t their wishes irrelevant given that we have nuclear weapons?
“Physicians for Civil Defense” writes: “For prevention it [The U.S.] has depended on the concept of nuclear deterrence. This depends on the enemy being rational, concerned about its own survival and identifiable….”
Now assuming that Putin and Xi Jinping fit these criteria, would they not dismiss the idea, if it crossed their mind, of attacking the U.S.?
After all, a first strike on American nuclear weapons would have to be very effective, and a missile defense would have to hit almost all the incoming US warheads. Plus the U.S. has submarines. So why worry?
First of all, we have to notice that despite our nuclear weapons, we have been at war, or people who ally with us have been at war. Think Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Ukraine. We did not use nuclear weapons in these conflicts for several reasons. And as for China, as one Chinese official pointed out, would we want to lose Los Angeles in order to protect Taiwan?
We could not effectively take out Russian and Chinese nuclear weapons by a surprise attack. But the converse might be true because the U.S. nuclear arsenal is now no bigger than it was under President Harry Truman (the first president to use the just-invented atomic bomb). That is because Obama has reduced it from 3000 to 1500, giving the Russians numerical superiority. Obama wants to reduce our nuclear arsenal still further, to 1000 warheads. He has even asked the Defense Department to explore reducing it to 300 warheads.
(He has also reduced U.S. army strength to 1940-level numbers, and slashed the Navy to the size it was in 1917).
Colonel General Leonid Ivashov is quoted in Pravda as saying that the U.S. has “not upgraded one single ballistic missile, and they do not build new ones either.” He then bragged of Russia’s nuclear advantage.
And what is Russia doing on its end of the nuclear see-saw? They have recently come out with new giant ballistic missile submarines, new long-range nuclear cruise missiles and are working on a quieter submarine that will also have nuclear-capable missiles.
Suppose we tried to find all those Russian missiles and target them. (China, which has a defensive treaty with Russia, has tripled its warheads during Obama’s tenure, but let us stay simple).
1. Russia has a 400-square mile underground complex in the Ural mountains, as well as dozens of smaller complexes in other places.
2. China claims to have 3,000 miles of military underground tunnels, and our government confirms this. Tunnels can be packed with missiles, assuming that is the purpose, and U.S. ships could not defend against an overwhelming salvo that could be launched.
3. Russia is reviving trains that move intercontinental ballistic missiles around, which makes it harder for Americans to target them.
Russia protects its cities too: in 2012, Russian TV reported that 5,000 new bomb shelters were completed in Moscow. Infrastructure and weapons are also protected, for instance Russia’s Yamantau Mountain is thought to harbor underground nuclear missile and warhead factories. Yamantau is one of several super-hardened underground sites which may, indeed, give Russia a virtually unassailable military-industrial base in the event of global war.
But surely much of Russia’s population would be above ground? Well for those who did not make it to a shelter, there is the S-400 defense system, which can shoot down ballistic missiles hundreds of miles away.
During the cold war, anti-war types told us that in the event of a nuclear war “The living would envy the dead”, but Marshal Sokolovskii’s classic work, Soviet Military Strategy, says that “Society itself must be ready to “stand up” under a “massive nuclear assault by the enemy, with minimum losses,”
A skeptic might say, that was Soviet policy. The Soviet Union is over. It could not be the policy of the new Russia, could it?
And there is the followup question. Even if the Russians could defeat us, would they want to?
Jeff Nyquist, who has a website about such questions, says this:
I asked what was motivating the Russian leaders.
My Ukrainian associate replied, “When I would argue with Dugin’s followers on the Internet in 1998, they would barrage me with emails that said, ‘Nuclear death to America.’ In those days they were a tiny unimportant sect. Now they are the most influential ideologists in Russia.”
After reading this, I (the blogger) looked up Aleksandr Dugin. This man has said he hopes for: a “genuine, true, radically revolutionary and consistent, fascist fascism” in Russia. This sounds totally incomprehensible to most of us – isn’t Fascism a discredited ideology? Even conservatives who speak at American universities are called by their opponents “fascists”. Who could possibly still believe in Fascism?
Russia has embarked on a large anti-American propaganda campaign: Globally, “Russia Today” claims an audience of some 600 million. The Kremlin’s latest propaganda effort—dubbed “Sputnik”—has opened at least 29 new media offices across Central and Western Europe, and is even setting up shop in Latin America. In Russia, meanwhile, anti-American and anti-NATO propaganda follows a pre-war pattern of “preparing the public’s mind” for war. The Americans are blamed for the fighting in Donbas (Ukraine). America is blamed for attempting to destroy Russia. The propaganda works: “His boat [Putin’s] has been lifted by the rising tide of insane hatred for America and Ukraine sweeping Russia.” (see sources – American Thinker link).
Nyquist says this:
The lust for power was, after all, the romance of the mass murderers of history. It was the romance of the Persian kings and of Alexander the Great. It was the romance of Julius Caesar and most of those who succeeded him. Oh yes, history is a dismaying subject, filled with evil deeds done for the sake of power.
The Epoch Times, which is run in New York by Falun Gong – a movement that was getting very popular in China and was then crushed– got hold of the following speech that was given in 2005:
In that speech, the Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian said this
In Chinese history,” noted Chi, “in the replacement of dynasties, the ruthless have always won and the benevolent have always failed.” He further stated, “It is indeed brutal to kill one or two hundred million Americans. But that is the only path that will secure a Chinese century, a century in which the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] leads the world. We, as revolutionary humanitarians, do not want deaths. But if history confronts us with a choice between deaths of Chinese and those of Americans, we’d have to pick the latter, as, for us, it is more important to safeguard the lives of the Chinese people and the life of our Party.
So that seems to be a “it is them or us” argument.
Of course bellicose talk is cheap, but we know that Russian bombers regularly conduct missile strike drills close to U.S. defense installations in California, Alaska, and Guam.
And ABC News broke the story that hackers connected to the Russian government are suspected of inserting malware in computers that control American power plants and water treatment systems.
This malware is capable of crippling U.S. utilities. Such a monstrous act of sabotage would not only be an act of war, it would be a monstrous crime; for the victims would be average people, targeted merely for their nationality. Why would the Russian government do such a thing?
I (the blogger) think the Russians would not be suicidal or crazy to attack us, if they so desired. NATO Gen. Frederick Hodges recently said in a Wall Street Journal Interview: “I believe the Russians are mobilizing right now for a war that they think is going to happen in five or six years.” If he is correct, who is the war supposed to be with?
Why don’t we have a missile defense remotely comparable to the Russian S400?
Consider: A microphone that was supposed to be off but luckily was not picked up this conversation between Obama and President Medvedev.
Obama: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it’s important for him (Vladimir Putin) to give me space…This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”
Medvedev: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”
This is the kind of president we have. Putin even called him comrade.
The Wall Street Journal recently showed an image of a billboard that has been erected in Crimea, which Russia invaded a short time ago. The billboard had a portrait of Stalin. Stalin was responsible for tens of millions of deaths. So why do the Russians, who are hopefully both post-Communist and also anti-Nazi, put up a billboard honoring a man who allied with the Nazis and then invaded Poland, and who was responsible for so much suffering? Just to intimidate some Crimeans?
Personally, I look around me at the generation of young people, and many live in a bubble. For instance, Christina Hoff Summers, a conservative who argues with leftist feminists. says this: “I have never stopped going to campuses, and I’ve been going to law schools. But I have rarely faced protests. I used to face vigorous debate, and the young women would come ready to argue–and that was fine, that’s what I was there for. But this [the hostility] is different, and it only started happening this year.” In her last appearances on campus, law enforcement had to be present.
Former leftists like David Horowitz (now a conservative) also need bodyguards when they speak on campuses. College policies such as Speech codes and trigger warnings are supposed to protect sensitive students from hateful or disturbing points of view. If these students get distraught from being exposed to opinions they disagree with, will they cope with facing much greater threats?
I have a relative in Israel who admits she lives in a bubble. By choice she does not read the Israeli media, so she doesn’t spend much time thinking of the coming ISIS empire on Israel’s borders, the inevitable Iranian nuclear breakout, and the remarkable divisions in Israeli society itself. So her life is pleasant. But at least she knows she is in a bubble. In our case, in the USA, the Tsunami is approaching. We are oblivious.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/feminist-enemy-number-one_952624.html# (on Christina Hoff Sommers)
http://www.wsj.com/articles/countering-putins-information-weapons-of-war-1429052323 (by Ed Royce)
Civil Defense Perspectives – March 2015 – Physicians for Civil Defense
Doctors For Disaster Preparedness Newsletter – March 2015
Oliver North’s Freedom Alliance – various mailings that arrived in my mailbox
The Aleksandr Dugan quote is from his 1997 article “Fascism – Borderless and Red”.
Some additional notes:
a) The book Dupes (by Paul Kengor) has a quote by Stalin on why a war between Nazi Germany and the West would be a good thing – it would help spread “world revolution”. If and when a conflict started, he said, it would be “indispensable to prolong the war as long as possible.” So he allied his country with Nazi Germany, and both invaded Poland.
b) Nuclear weapons are indeed fearsome, but Physicians for Civil Defense claims that with some minimal precautions (which we are not taking), millions of people could be saved, as long as they were a sufficient distance from Ground Zero.