22 Feb, 2020
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper played himself in a drill at the US Strategic Command HQ in Nebraska, which featured a bizarre scenario of America nuking Russia in response to its own nuclear strike against a ‘NATO ally’.
US military exercises simulating various crises are not that uncommon, yet, out of all plausible scenarios, this particular drill apparently simulated a highly unrealistic one. The classified exercise conducted at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha on Thursday focused on an imaginary nuclear conflict between the US and Russia in Europe.
According to the drill scenario, Moscow somehow decided to use a low-yield nuclear weapon against a site “on the NATO territory” somewhere in Europe, a senior Pentagon official confirmed to journalists on condition of anonymity. The fact that Europe is Russia’s biggest trading partner and Moscow would never wish to have a full-blown conflict on its doorstep requiring the use of nuclear weapons apparently never bothered the US military.
Instead, the exercise conveniently used America’s traditional boogeyman as a target for “simulated responding with a nuclear weapon.” The officials did not reveal what exact type of nuclear weapon was used and what particular site in Russia the US military decided to strike as part of the drills, limiting itself to describing this response as “limited.”
The Thursday drill might actually not be the weirdest one the Pentagon has staged. A book ‘The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War’ by American journalist and author, Fred Kaplan, describes an even more eyebrow-raising exercise conducted during the Obama-era when the US military decided to nuke Belarus in response to Russia’s attack. One is left to wonder if they remembered that Belarus is actually another independent state even though it is Moscow’s close ally.
The latest drill comes as the Trump administration seeks approval from Congress for its 2021 Fiscal Year budget request, which includes a whopping $44 billion reserved for maintaining America’s nuclear arsenal and buying new nuclear weapons.
The Pentagon’s wild games might look even more disturbing in the light of the fact that America has just recently deployed “low-yield” nuclear missiles on its submarines in the name of deterrence. Yet, the move appears to be more of another step toward nuclear apocalypse on the part of the US, particularly since its latest nuclear doctrine adopted in 2018 permits the use of nuclear weapons in quite a wide range of situations.
Unlike the American one, which allows the US military to treat almost any use of military force against them as a reason to deploy nukes, the Russian doctrine says Moscow can only do that in the case of foreign aggression involving the use of weapons of mass destruction or if the very existence of the nation is at stake.
Washington is really playing with fire, Peter Kuznick, the director of the American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute, believes. The situation on the world stage is as “precarious” as never before, he told RT. And yet, the US military stubbornly continues to play out a twisted scenario that is nothing but a countdown to doomsday.
“Over the years, they simulated this kind of a limited nuclear war. What usually happens is that it escalates out of control. There is almost no scenario in which a limited nuclear war ends after each side shoots off one nuclear weapon. A much more likely scenario is that it continues to escalate and then we are all finished.”
Kuznick explained that the US and Russia together possess 93 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons. And, yet, America’s President Donald Trump still welcomes a potential nuclear arms race. The analyst called such an approach “insanity” and said that we already “have enough nuclear arms to trigger a nuclear winter and wipe out all the life on the planet.”