By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
At no point since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945, has humanity been closer to the unthinkable. All the safeguards of the Cold War era, which categorized the nuclear bomb as “a weapon of last resort”, have been scrapped.
Vladimir Putin’s statement on February 21st, 2022 was a response to US threats to use nuclear weapons on a preemptive basis against Russia, despite Joe Biden “reassurance” that the US would not be resorting to “A first strike” nuclear attack against an enemy of America:
“Let me [Putin] explain that U.S. strategic planning documents contain the possibility of a so-called preemptive strike against enemy missile systems. And who is the main enemy for the U.S. and NATO? We know that too. It’s Russia. In NATO documents, our country is officially and directly declared the main threat to North Atlantic security. And Ukraine will serve as a forward springboard for the strike.” (Putin Speech, February 21, 2022, emphasis added)
Last July 2021, the Biden administration launched its 2021 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) to be completed and formally announced in 2022. The 2021 NPR is to include what is described as a “nuclear declaratory policy of the United States”.
It is unlikely that the 2021 NPR will repeal the nuclear options of the Obama and Bush administrations which are largely predicated on the notion of preemptive nuclear war raised in President Putin’s speech.
The underlying US nuclear doctrine consists in portraying nuclear weapons as a means of “self defense” rather than a “weapon of mass destruction”.
Moreover, there are powerful financial interests behind the NPR which are tied into the $1.3 trillion nuclear weapons program initiated under President Obama.
Although the Ukraine conflict has so-far been limited to conventional weapons coupled with “economic warfare”, the use of a large array of sophisticated WMDs including nuclear weapons is on the drawing board of the Pentagon.
According to the Federation of American Scientists, the total number of nuclear warheads Worldwide is of the order of 13,000. Russia and the United States “each have around 4,000 warheads in their military stockpiles”.
The Dangers of Nuclear War are Real
Under Joe Biden, public funds allocated to nuclear weapons are slated to increase to 2 trillion by 2030 allegedly as a means to safeguarding peace and national security at taxpayers expense. (How many schools and hospitals could you finance with 2 trillion dollars?):
The United States maintains an arsenal of about 1,700 strategic nuclear warheads deployed on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and at strategic bomber bases. There are an additional estimated 100 non-strategic, or tactical, nuclear weapons at bomber bases in five European countries and about 2,000 nuclear warheads in storage. [see our analysis of B61-11 and B61-12 below]
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in May 2021 that the United States will spend a total of $634 billion over the next 10 years to sustain and modernize its nuclear arsenal, … Over the next 30 years, the total sustainment and modernization costs of U.S. nuclear forces could reach $2 trillion. (Arms Control)
In this article, I will first focus on the Post Cold War shift in US Nuclear Doctrine, followed by a brief review of the history of nuclear weapons going back to the Manhattan Project initiated in 1939 with the participation of both Canada and the United Kingdom.
A Note on the History of US-Russia Relations
From a historical standpoint the US and its Allies have been threatening Russia for more than 104 years starting during WWI with the deployment of US and Allied Forces against Soviet Russia on January 12, 1918 (in support of Russia’s Imperial Army).
The 1918 US-UK Allied invasion of Russia is a landmark in Russian History, often mistakenly portrayed as being part of a Civil War.
It lasted for more than two years involving the deployment of more than 200,000 troops of which 11,000 were from the US, 59,000 from the UK. Japan which was an Ally of Britain and America during World War I dispatched 70,000 troops.
The Threat of Nuclear War
The US threat of nuclear war against Russia was formulated more than 76 years ago in September 1945, when the US and the Soviet Union were allies. It consisted in a “World War III Blueprint” of nuclear war against the USSR, targeting 66 cities with more than 200 atomic bombs. This diabolical project under the Manhattan Project was instrumental in triggering the Cold War and the nuclear arms race. (See analysis below).
1918-1920: The first US and allied forces led war against Soviet Russia with more than 10 countries sending troops to fight alongside the White Imperial Russian army. This happened exactly two months after the October Revolution, on January 12, 1918, and it lasted until the early 2020s.
The Manhattan Project initiated in 1939, with the participation of the UK and Canada.
Operation Barbarossa, June 1941. Nazi Invasion of the Soviet Union. Standard Oil of New Jersey was selling oil to Nazi Germany.
February 1945: The Yalta Conference The meeting of Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin.
“Operation Unthinkable”: A Secret attack plan against the Soviet Union formulated by Winston Churchill in the immediate wake of the Yalta conference. It was scrapped in June 1945.
April 12, 1945: The Potsdam Conference. President Harry Truman and Prime Minster Winston Churchill approve the atomic bombing of Japan.
September 15, 1945: A World War III Scenario formulated by the US War Department: A plan to bomb 66 cities of the Soviet Union with 204 atomic bombs, when the US and USSR were allies. The Secret plan (declassified) formulated during WWII, released less than two weeks after the official end of WWII on September 2, 1945
1949: The Soviet Union announces the testing of its nuclear bomb.
Post Cold War Doctrine: “Preemptive Nuclear War”
The Doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) of the Cold War Era no longer prevails. It was replaced at the outset of the George W. Bush Administration with the Doctrine of Preemptive Nuclear War, namely the use of nuclear weapons as a means of “self-defense” against both nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states.
In early 2002, the text of George W. Bush’s Nuclear Posture Review had already been leaked, several months prior to the release of the September 2002 National Security Strategy (NSS) which defined, “Preemption” as:
“the anticipatory use of force in the face of an imminent attack”.
Namely as an act of war on the grounds of self-defense
The MAD doctrine was scrapped. The 2001 Nuclear Posture Review not only redefined the use of nuclear weapons, so-called tactical nuclear weapons or bunker buster bombs (mini-nukes) could henceforth be used in the conventional war theater without the authorization of the Commander in Chief, namely the President of the United States..
Seven countries were identified in the 2001 NPR (adopted in 2002) as potential targets for a preemptive nuclear attack
Discussing “requirements for nuclear strike capabilities,” the report lists Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, and Syria as “among the countries that could be involved in immediate, potential, or unexpected contingencies.” …
Three of these countries (Iraq, Libya and Syria) have since then been the object of US-led wars. The 2002 NPR also confirmed continued nuclear war preparations against China and Russia.
“The Bush review also indicates that the United States should be prepared to use nuclear weapons against China, citing “the combination of China’s still developing strategic objectives and its ongoing modernization of its nuclear and non-nuclear forces.”
“Finally, although the review repeats Bush administration assertions that Russia is no longer an enemy, it says the United States must be prepared for nuclear contingencies with Russia and notes that, if “U.S. relations with Russia significantly worsen in the future, the U.S. may need to revise its nuclear force levels and posture.” Ultimately, the review concludes that nuclear conflict with Russia is “plausible” but “not expected.” ( Arms Control) emphasis added.
Nuclear war against both China and Russia are contemplated
Russia is tagged as “Plausible” but “Not Expected”. That was back in 2002.
A Nuclear War Cannot be Won?
We recall Reagan’s historic statement: “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. The only value in our two nations possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used.”
Nonetheless, there are voices within the US establishment that “a nuclear war is winnable”.
Flashback to World War II: “Operation Barbarossa”
“Stalin and his entourage’s growing suspicions, that the Anglo-American powers hoped the Nazi-Soviet War would last for years, were based on well-founded concerns. This desire had already been expressed in part by Harry S. Truman, future US president, hours after the Wehrmacht had invaded the Soviet Union.
Truman, then a US Senator, said he wanted to see the Soviets and Germans “kill as many as possible” between themselves, an attitude which the New York Times later called “a firm policy”. The Times had previously published Truman’s remarks on 24 June 1941, and as a result his views would most likely not have escaped the Soviets’ attention. (Shane Quinn, Global Research, March 2022)
Trading with the Enemy legislation (1917) officially implemented following America’s entry into World War II did not prevent Standard Oil of New Jersey from selling oil to Nazi Germany. This despite the Senate 1942 investigation of US Standard Oil.
While direct US oil shipments were curtailed, Standard Oil would sell US oil through third countries. US oil was shipped to occupied France through Switzerland, and from France it was shipped to Germany:
“… for the duration of the Second World War, Standard Oil, under deals Teagle had overseen, continued to supply Nazi Germany with oil. The shipments went through Spain, Vichy France’s colonies in the West Indies, and Switzerland.”
Without those oil shipments instrumented by Standard Oil and the Rockefellers, Nazi Germany would not have been able to implement its military agenda. Without fuel, the Third Reich’s eastern front under Operation Barbarossa would most probably not have taken place, saving millions of lives. The Western front including the military occupation of France, Belgium and The Netherlands would no doubt also have been affected.
“Operation Unthinkable”: A World War III Scenario Formulated During World War II
During his mandate as Prime Minister (1940-45), Churchill had supported the Manhattan Project. He was a protagonist of nuclear war against the Soviet Union, which had been contemplated under the Manhattan project as early as 1942, when the US and the Soviet Union were allies against Nazi Germany.
A Blueprint for a Third World War using nuclear weapons against 66 major urban areas of the Soviet Union was officially formulated on September 15, 1945 by the US War Department (see section below).
The Potsdam Conference
“[British] PM [Churchill] and I ate alone. Discussed Manhattan (it is a success). Decided to tell Stalin about it. Stalin had told PM [Churchill] of telegram from Jap emperor asking for peace. Stalin also read his answer to me. It was satisfactory. Believe Japs will fold up before Russia comes in. I am sure they will when Manhattan appears over their homeland. I shall inform Stalin about it at an opportune time. (Truman Diary, July 17, 1945, emphasis added)
What this statement from Truman’s Diary confirms is that Japan would “fold up” and surrender to the US “before Russia comes in”. Ultimately this was the objective of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
While Stalin was casually informed by Truman regarding the Manhattan Project in July 1945, sources suggest that the Soviet Union was aware of the Manhattan Project as early as 1942. Did Truman tell Stalin that the atom bomb was intended for Japan?
“We met at 11.00am. today.[ That is, Stalin, Churchill and the US president].
But I had a most important session [without Stalin?] with Lord Mountbatten and General Marshall [US joint Chiefs of Staff] before that. [This meeting was not part of the official agenda] We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. It may be the fire destruction prophesied in the Euphrates Valley era, after Noah and his fabulous ark. Anyway, we think we have found the way to cause a disintegration of the atom. An experiment in the New Mexico desert was startling – to put it mildly. Thirteen pounds of the explosive caused a crater six hundred feet deep and twelve hundred feet in diameter, knocked over a steel tower a half mile away, and knocked men down ten thousand yards away. The explosion was visible for more than two hundred miles and audible for forty miles and more.
This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10th.I have told the secretary of war, Mr Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop this terrible bomb on the old capital or the new. He and I are in accord. The target will be a purely military one and we will issue a warning statement asking the Japs to surrender and save lives. I’m sure they will not do that, but we will have given them the chance. It is certainly a good thing for the world that Hitler’s crowd or Stalin’s did not discover this atomic bomb. It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful.” (Truman’s Diary, Potsdam meeting on July 18, 1945)
The discussion on the Manhattan Project does not appear in the official minutes of the meetings.
The Infamous “WW III Blueprint” to Wage a Nuclear Attack against the Soviet Union (September 15, 1945)
Barely two weeks after the official end of World War II (September 2, 1945), the US War Department issued a directive (September 15, 1945) to “Erase the Soviet Union off the Map” (66 cities with 204 atomic bombs), when the US and USSR were allies, confirmed by declassified documents. (For further details see Chossudovsky, 2017)
According to a secret (declassified) document dated September 15, 1945, “the Pentagon had envisaged blowing up the Soviet Union with a coordinated nuclear attack directed against major urban areas.
All major cities of the Soviet Union were included in the list of 66 “strategic” targets. The irony is that this plan was released by the War Department prior to onset of the Cold War.
The Cold War Era
The Nuclear Arms Race was the direct result of America’s September 1945 plan to “blow up the Soviet Union”, formulated by the US War Department.
The Soviet Union tested its first nuclear bomb in 1949. Without the Manhattan Project and the War Department’s September 15, 1945 “World War III Blueprint”, the Arms Race would not have occurred.
The September 15, 1945 War Department set the stage for numerous plans to wage World War III against Russia and China:
The Cold War List of 1200 Targeted Cities
This initial 1945 list of sixty-six cities was updated in the course of the Cold War (1956) to include some 1200 cities in the USSR and the Soviet block countries of Eastern Europe (see declassified documents below). The bombs slated for use were more powerful in terms of explosive capacity than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Source: National Security Archive
“According to the 1956 Plan, H-Bombs were to be Used Against Priority “Air Power” Targets in the Soviet Union, China, and Eastern Europe. Major Cities in the Soviet Bloc, Including East Berlin, Were High Priorities in “Systematic Destruction” for Atomic Bombings. (William Burr, U.S. Cold War Nuclear Attack Target List of 1200 Soviet Bloc Cities “From East Germany to China”, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 538, December 2015
Source: National Security Archive
During the Cold War, the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) prevailed, namely that the use of nuclear weapons would result in “the destruction of both the attacker and the defender”.
In the post Cold war era, US nuclear doctrine was redefined. “Offensive” military actions using nuclear warheads are now described as acts of “self-defense”.
Humanitarian Nuclear Warfare under Joe Biden
US-NATO led military Interventions (Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen) which have resulted in millions of civilian casualties are heralded as Humanitarian Wars, as a means to ensuring Peace.
This is also the discourse underlying US-NATO intervention in Ukraine.
“I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace” said George W. Bush
“Humanitarian Nuclear Bombs”
This kind of window dressing of “humanitarian nuclear bombs” is not only embedded into Joe Biden’s foreign policy agenda, it constitutes the mainstay of US military doctrine, namely the so-called Nuclear Posture Review, not to mention the 1.2 trillion nuclear weapons program initiated during the Obama administration.The B61 Mini-nukes Deployed in Western Europe
The latest B61-12 “mini nuke” is slated to be deployed in Western Europe, aimed at Russia and the Middle East (replacing the existing of B61 nuclear bombs).
B-61-12 is portrayed as a “more usable” “low yield” “humanitarian bomb” “‘harmless to civilians”. That’s the ideology. The reality is “Mutual Assured Destruction” (MAD).
The B61-12 has a maximum yield of 50 kilotons which is more than three times that of a Hiroshima bomb (15 kilotons) which resulted in excess of 100,000 deaths in matter of minutes.
If a preemptive attack using a so-called mini nuke were to succeed, targeted against Russia or Iran, this could potentially lead humanity into a WW III scenario. Of course these details are not highlighted in mainstream media reports.
F-15E Eagle Strike Eagle Fighter for the Delivery of the B-61-12
Low Yield Nukes: Humanitarian Warfare Goes Live
And when the characteristics of this “harmless” low yield nuclear bomb are inserted into the military manuals, “humanitarian warfare” goes live: “It’s low yield and safe for civilians, let’s use it” [paraphrase].
The US arsenal of B61 nuclear bombs directed against the Russian Federation are currently under the national command of 5 non-nuclear states (Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey). The command structure pertaining to the B61-12 is yet to be confirmed. The situation with regard to Turkey’s Incirlik base is unclear.
Upholding WMDs as Instruments of Peace is a Dangerous Gimmick
Throughout History, “Mistakes” have Played a Key Role
We are at a Dangerous Crossroads. There is no Real Anti-war Movement in Sight.
Why? Because War is Good for Business!
And the powers of Big Money which are behind US-NATO led wars control both the anti-war movement as well as the media’s coverage of US led wars. That’s nothing new. It goes back to the so-called Soviet-Afghan War (1979-) which was spearheaded by US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Through their “philanthropic” foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, Soros et al) the financial elites have over the years channelled millions of dollars into financing so-called “progressive movements” including the World Social Forum (WSF)
It’s Called “Manufactured Dissent”: Big Money is also behind numerous coups d’état and color revolutions.
Meanwhile, important sectors of the Left including committed anti-war activists have endorsed the Covid mandates without verifying or acknowledging the facts and the history of the so-called pandemic.
It should be understood that the lockdown policies as well as the Covid-19 “Killer Vaccine” are an integral part of the financial elite’s “broader arsenal”. They are instruments of submission and tyranny.
The World Economic Forum’s Great Reset is an integral part of the World War III scenario which consists in establishing through military and non military means an imperial system of “global governance”.
The same powerful financial interests (Rockefeller, Rothschild, BlackRock, Vanguard, et al) which are supportive of the US-NATO military agenda are firmly behind the “Covid Pandemic Op”.
A Third World War Spells the End of Humanity as we Know It.
Is “Peaceful Coexistence” and Diplomacy between Russia and the U.S. an Option?
“War is Good for Business”: Corrupt Governments Uphold the Interests of Big Money