As nuclear weapons stockpiles worldwide rise and countries upgrade their warheads and missiles there is an unprecedented need to de-escalate tensions and prevent nuclear Armageddon.
Upon reading such a statement, one might regard it as self-evident. But the important thing is that it wasn’t you or me, but the Deputy Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, General John E. Hyten, who formulated it, expressing simultaneously the hope that cooler minds will prevail. He made those statements during a speech at one of Washington’s most important think tanks, the Brooking Institution.
General Hyten’s speech is important for three reasons. The first is that the general is the second-ranked American active duty military officer, in command of an arsenal capable of wiping out life on our planet. He knows all too well what he’s talking about.
Second, because neither American politicians nor the military have made such statements for a quarter of a century, since they felt as all-powerful Gods, after the fall of the Soviet regime. We are in the position of Rome after the destruction of Carthage, as the Republican ideologue Charles Krautthammer put it.
And third because we have a lot of new evidence that confirms how close we came to nuclear war under Trump. Even on 3 January this year, just four days before his departure from the White House, the proposal of unleashing a war against Iran, which would probably develop into a nuclear one, was examined in a meeting in the White House. The “mad” Christian evangelist Zionist vice-President Pence was for launching the war, while the more pragmatist Pompeo was against. Not because he did not want such a war, but because he feared that it was already too late and that such an attack against Teheran would backfire and become a boomerang for “Death International” (Pence, Pompeo, Bannon, Netanyahu and Trump himself among others).
General Hyten recalled that “we never fought with the Soviet Union” and added: “Our purpose is to never go to war with China and Russia” because doing so “would destroy the world and the global economy. It’s going to be bad for everyone and we need to ensure we don’t take that road.’
Let us remind you at this point that a large American TV channel (which, like all of them is finally controlled by the global oligarchy of financial capital) was pressing Secretary of State Blinken months ago to commit to a military response if China threatened Taiwan.
This confirms that support for Biden and his policies from the Great American and global financial capital (as well as from the majority of American Jewish leaders), it is not unconditional and does not extend to the entirety of Biden’s politics. After all, the American capitalist class began funding Biden only after Sanders’ defeat, and it took two meetings of the top American capitalists, according to the Financial Times, for them to be persuaded to support the election result.
But the General also said something else quite unprecedented. He attributed the modernisation of the entire Russian nuclear arsenal to Moscow’s concerns about the intentions and plans of the US, even if only indirectly. Nevertheless, clearly he criticised his country’s policy after the “end” of the Cold War. He even admitted, also indirectly but clearly, that the West has underestimated the probability of Russia fully re-acquiring the status of a nuclear superpower.
Hyten on China
The general, although adding that progress has been made in improving US-Russian relations, also stressed that we are far from total stability, while no progress has been made in the field of American-Chinese relations.
The general expressed particular concern about the unprecedented rapid development of the Chinese military nuclear programme and the rapid construction of hundreds of nuclear missile launch silos by China. He added that “there is no limit to what China can put in these silos. With Russia we are limited to 1,550 nuclear warheads each (as a result of the US-Russian arms control agreements)… with China there is no such limit … and one has to wonder why they are building this huge, huge nuclear capability?”. He also complained about bureaucracy preventing the rapid implementation of the US nuclear modernisation programme.
Hoping to help the querulous general at this point to answer this riddle that concerns him, let us also risk, even if we do not have the information and analysis of the North American state, of its agencies and institutes, the assumption that the Chinese probably did not like Mr. Trump’s games with North Korea and his threat to make this country disappear, when he spoke from the podium of the UN General Assembly, in 2017. They obviously realised that if this threat was directed at Korea, it was also directed at themselves. We assume the whole Cold-War climate that the Americans have since developed against China must not have helped matters.
If the Biden administration has taken serious steps to deescalate the Cold War with Russia and to avert Israel from launching an attack on Iran, it has been very “timid” regarding China, probably because of the heavy pressure it receives from important sectors of the establishment and out of fear it will be accused from the Trumpian Far Right. A great problem is that all those shifts in policy are not formulated clearly and are not discussed clearly. Often the political debate is completely irrelevant (*)
The statements of the deputy commander-in-chief of the American armed forces should not be considered as accidental. They are certainly a signal by the US military itself to the US establishment and also to Moscow and Beijing. The US Armed Forces declare that way their support for the current US President’s policy of stopping or reversing the most dangerous trends of the policies of his predecessor, affecting world security. General Hyten is the official representative of the military pillar of the American “Deep State”, not to be confused with “Deep World Finance”, and as such he seems to be sending a double message: on the one hand to those Western players who insist on unconditional escalation with China and, on the other, to Beijing, to the effect that it must cooperate to de-escalate a dangerous tension.
Impossible to continue Cold Wars without major disasters
But the general’s remarks about both China and Russia bring us to the most pivotal question of all.
It is simply impossible to deal with any of the unprecedented dangers the human species is facing today, as a result of the productive forces and the technologies it has developed after 1945, without global cooperation and in a Cold War environment. There is even no possibility to exclude hot war permanently if you insist on cold wars. After all, as Brzezinski once put it, weapons are the symptom, not the cause.
Only by completing the efforts that the Biden administration is actually making with Russia, China and Iran (and only by responding naturally), by renouncing any kind of Cold War, if not the competition itself and the strife for domination, as the main real principles of organisation of the international system and human societies and civilisation, would we be probably able to make the 21century the first and not the last century of human History.
We’re certainly a long way from that point, and doubt that even if Biden wants abolish Cold Wars, he cannot do so based only on the support of a faction of financial capital (we mean here, but without any degree of certainty – and we could be wrong, J. P. Morgan and the Rockefellers). Only if a strong US and global mass movement develops, carrying an “excess of higher human consciousness”, only if the leaders of China, Russia and Europe also respond to the Biden overtures, can there be a probability that the still timid overtures of the “reform wing ” of US and global capitalism will lead to the reversal of present trends in geopolitics, ecology and economics that, continuing, will lead very quickly (for objective reasons, not least because of the acceleration of man-made climate change) to global disasters.
“USSR-II” or a Weimar Republic with nukes?
As for those who are in a hurry to make their wishes come true, considering that the US can follow the example of the USSR and collapse so simply and painlessly, we have two remarks to observe.
Firstly, there is not only the example of the USSR (and by the way the USSR did not just “collapse”. In reality it was a fraction of its leading nomenclatura which took the state and it subordinated it to the collective West, after it had ensured the other part of the nomenclatura would be incapable of projecting any serious resistance).
There is also the example of inter-war Germany. A system under pressure rarely collapses. As a rule it develops either reformist or war tendencies. This is what happened with capitalism in the inter-war period. It produced Roosevelt, but also Hitler. The latter even relied mainly on fraud. He emerged as a socialist and as a friend to Soviet Russia (somehow as Trump emerged as a friend to Moscow), occupied all of Europe and then launched the attack on the USSR.
Second, one of the major strategic errors of the global left in the 20th century was the blatant underestimation by the German Communist Party (the strongest CP outside USSR itself) of any differences between Nazis and all other forces and, also, of the radical character of the Nazis. At that time the CP treated even German Social-democrats as “Social-Fascists). The result of this policy was the rise of Hitler to power and the 2nd World War. In two words, the West is most probably in decline, but it still has the means to take all Mankind with it, and there is no way to predict with certainty in what direction it will develop in an environment of ever-increasing pressures. (**)
The US military is trying to prevent nuclear war!
We were finishing this article when the truly outrageous news came with the revelations οf the unprecedented steps taken by the US military to prevent President Trump from launching an attack on China, including their contact with their Chinese counterparts to assure them that they would not carry out orders for such an attack if given. The revelations were indirectly but clearly confirmed by the chief of US General Mike Milley.
There could be no clearer indication of the enormous global instability being fomented by the “civil war” inside the top echelons of the powers dominating the West. There is no more important strategic mistake under present conditions than to explain all that by the instability of President Trump. On the contrary, the appearance of Trump is the reflection of the underlying instability of the system. We must interpret what Trump is doing not so much as the product of his own temperament, but as the result of the forces influencing him.
These developments seem to confirm the hypothesis that we have set forth in a multitude of our articles over many years (published in defenddemocracy.press and unitedworldint.com) regarding the severity and the conflicts among the real bosses of our world, but also on the character of the forces that collide. See for example:
(*) For example in the US they are still accusing Trump of being something like an agent of Putin, while his behavior is corresponding more to the behavior of a Netanyahu’s agent! But nobody there can imply that Israel or the Jews may have such an influence on US Politics. It is forbidden. The whole political debate in the USA and all the West continues to be surrealistic and this situation provides with a systematic advantage the forces of the Trumpian Far Right which use irrationalism as a political weapon.
(**) The German “mistake” was the ultra-leftist mistake of the Communist movement in the ‘30s. This movement also committed a huge symmetrical “right wing” error when it stopped the radicalism of the Spanish revolution and obliged the people of Spain to submit itself to the politics of “Western Democracies”. The result was the crushing of the Spanish Revolution by Franco, which gave the green light to Hitler to occupy all Europe, before attacking the USSR. The root of both “ultra-leftist” and “rightist” errors was the same. The belief that somehow the deep crisis of intra-war capitalism could be solved without leading to a war with the USSR. But the only possibility for this to happen was if the German and the Spanish Left pushed for a deep, radical and socialist change in their countries, which was a perfectly realistic goal at that time and the only way to avert WWII.
If we move to the present situation, one should not underestimate the danger the forces around the sui generis international War Far Right (Trump, Bannon, Pompeo, Evangelicals, Netanyahu, European Far Right etc. etc.) represent for mankind. But, at the same time, we should not trust Biden with the capacity of handling this problem. Only a huge international coalition of radical intellectuals and popular classes of the West and of the nations of the East and of the South, obliged to resist western imperialism, would be able in the long run to overcome the enormous crisis which is in front and not behind us!
This article first appeared in Defend Democracy Press.