The author is an economist who served as assistant Treasury secretary in the Reagan administration, was associate editor at the Wall Street Journal, and is a former professor at Georgetown University. (Full bio).
Now retired, he is a prolific columnist for his personal site, with a very large following on the internet. He writes frequently about Russia.
After falsely accusing Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Washington unilaterally repudiated the treaty. Thus did the US military/security complex rid itself of the landmark agreement achieved by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev that defused the Cold War.
The INF Treaty was perhaps the most important of all of the arms control agreements achieved by American 20th century presidents and now abandoned in the 21st century by US neoconservative governments. The treaty removed the threat of Russian missiles against Europe and the threat of European-based US missiles to Russia. The importance of the treaty is due to its reduction of the chance of accidental nuclear war. Warning systems have a history of false alarms. The problem of US missiles on Russia's border is that they leave no time for reflection or contact with Washington when Moscow receives a false alarm. Considering the extreme irresponsibility of US governments since the Clinton regime in elevating tensions with Russia, missiles on Russia's border leaves Russia's leadership with little choice but to push the button when an alarm sounds.
That Washington intends to put missiles on Russia's border and pulled out of the INF Treaty for this sole purpose is now obvious. Only two weeks after Washington pulled out of the treaty, Washington tested a missile whose research and development, not merely deployment, were banned under the treaty. If you think Washington designed and produced a new missile in two weeks you are not intelligent enough to be reading this column. While Washington was accusing Russia, it was Washington who was violating the treaty. Perhaps this additional act of betrayal will teach the Russian leadership that it is stupid and self-destructive to trust Washington about anything. Every country must know by now that agreements with Washington are meaningless.
Surely the Russian government understands that there are only two reasons for Washington to put missiles on Russia's border: (1) to enable Washington to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike that leaves Russia no response time, or (2) to enable Washington to threaten such a strike, thus coercing Russia to Washington's will. Clearly, one or the other of these reasons is of sufficient importance to Washington for Washington to risk a false alarm setting off a nuclear war.
Military analysts can talk all they want about "rational players," but if a demonized and threatened country with hostile missiles on its border receives a warning with near zero response time, counting on it to be a false alarm is no longer rational.
The 1988 treaty achieved by Reagan and Gorbachev eliminated this threat. What purpose is served by resurrecting such a threat? Why is Congress silent? Why is Europe silent? Why is the US and European media silent? Why do Romania and Poland enable this threat by permitting US missiles to be stationed on their territory?
Little doubt the Romanian and Polish governments have been given bagfulls of money by the US military/security complex, which wants the multi-billion dollar contracts to produce the new missiles. Here we see the extreme irresponsibility of small countries. Without the corrupt and idiotic governments of Romania and Poland, Washington could not resurrect a threat that was buried 31 years ago by Reagan and Gorbachev.
Even the American puppet state of occupied Germany has refused to host the missiles. But two insignificant states of no importance in the world are subjecting the entire world to the risk of nuclear war so that a few Romanian and Polish politicians can pocket a few million dollars.
Missiles on Russia's borders that provide no response time are a serious problem for Russia. I keep waiting for Moscow to announce publicly that on the first sign of a missile launching from Romania or Poland, the countries will immediately cease to exist. That might wake up the Romanian and Polish populations to the danger that their corrupt governments are bringing to them.
Why aren't the Romanian and Polish provocations sufficient justification for Russia to pre-emptively occupy both countries? Is it more provocative for Russia to occupy the two countries than it is for the two countries to host US missiles against Russia? Why only consider the former provocative and not the latter?
No one is capable of coming to Romania and Poland's aid even if anyone was so inclined. NATO is a joke. It wouldn't last one day in a battle with Russia. Does anyone think the United States is going to commit suicide for Romania and Poland?
Where are the UN resolutions condemning Romania and Poland for resurrecting the specter of nuclear war by hosting the deployment of US missiles on their borders with Russia? Is the entire world so insouciant that the likely consequences of this act of insanity are not comprehended?
It does seem that human intelligence is not up to the requirements of human survival.