‘US nuclear modernization: New arms race’

‘US nuclear modernization: New arms race’
The US, addicted economically to military spending, is greasing the gears of the military-industrial complex as well as provoking Russia, says Bruce Gagnon, from the Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

The US needs to modernize its nuclear arsenal to maintain strategic superiority over its rivals, according to a senior Air Force and Navy officers.

“Our nuclear deterrent is nearing a crossroads. We are now at a point where we must concurrently recapitalize each component of our nuclear deterrent: the nuclear weapons themselves, the triad of strategic delivery platforms, the indication-and-warning systems to support our decision processes, the command-and-control networks that connect the president to our field forces, and our dual-capable tactical aircraft that can be equipped with nonstrategic nuclear weapons.” Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva said.

The Pentagon is planning to upgrade all three parts of its nuclear triad: air, sea, and land-based over the next 30 years at an estimated cost of $1 trillion.

RT: The US wants nuclear superiority over Russia but does not want a new Cold War. Do you think there is a contradiction there?

Bruce Gagnon: Absolutely. Nuclear superiority over Russia and China and everyone else on the planet that the US decides is an enemy. Ultimately, the US’ economy is addicted to military spending; weapons’ production is number one industrial export product in this country. In many communities across this nation it is the only job in town, so to speak. Increasingly America has to continue to turn on new weapon systems to keep this addiction to militarism humming.

At the same time, it is an escalation and provocation aimed at Russia and Europe. Especially as NATO expands into Eastern Europe, moves missile defense systems into Romania and Poland, putting missile defense systems on Navy destroyers in the Mediterranean, the Baltic and the Black Sea. We are seeing this incredible expansion of weapon systems of many different kinds moving eastward toward Russia. The US is not only greasing the gears of the military-industrial complex but also provoking Russia.

RT: Why is nuclear superiority over Russia so important when the Trump administration claims to be seeking a closer partnership with Russia?

BG: I think there is a war between the ruling oligarchies in America going on right now in Washington. I call it the mob versus the mafia. Neither of them are good guys. Many peace activists and progressive people across our country are very confused and think they have to pick sides and to support the Democrats who have lately been demonizing Russia in a kind of recycled version of redbaiting. But what we really have to do is be critical of this growing military madness that this country hell-bent, no matter who is in office. So, ultimately I think Trump might want to have good relations with Russia. He said it repeatedly during the campaign. And since I think there is a strong faction - what they call the ‘deep state’ in American politics, the military-industrial complex, Wall Street. Clinton campaign really represented that…

RT: After Donald Trump announced a 10 percent military spending boost, China followed suit saying it would hike spending by seven percent. Are we seeing a new arms race with multiple players?

BG: I think it is happening for sure. And a lot of it has to do with space technology…The US wants control and domination of space. They want to be able to wage war from and through space down to the Earth below. Russia and China have been going to the UN for years begging for a new treaty to ban weapons in space. And the US refuses even to negotiate such a thing because the US wants domination, they want full-spectrum dominance...

‘US is the chief aggressor’

Daniel Shaw, Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the City University of New York, told RT: "The US has always insisted upon in the words of Donald Trump “being at the top” of the nuclear pack. We’ve seen in Democratic and Republican administrations the insistence upon nuclear and military superiority."

According to Shaw, "the US has an arsenal of nuclear warheads that is incomparable and unmatched in the world; Russia is the only even close competition."

"The US needs to invent enemies in order to justify the increases in their spending. They try to present themselves as the chief victims when in fact they are the chief bullies across this world with a military apparatus of bases, installations, and soldiers that stretch across the world," he continued.

In Shaw's view, "the US would have us believe that Russia is the aggressor, when in fact, it is the US is the chief aggressor."

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.