The USA and UK—Australia’s “dangerous allies” in the words of the late Malcolm Fraser—have suddenly escalated their preparations for a showdown with Russia and China. The question is: will Australia go along with this insanity?
Two top national security officials of the Obama Administration have just declared war, in effect, against Russia. Director of National Intelligence Gen. James Clapper and Defence Secretary Ashton Carter have both issued high-profile statements during the past fortnight, focusing on Russia as the “mortal enemy” of the United States.
In a 31 January interview with WTOP radio in Washington, DC, Clapper ranked the threat from Russia far above the threat coming from the Islamic State. He termed Russia’s recent advances in its nuclear weapons a “mortal threat” to the United States, whereas ISIS poses no such threat, and listed the greatest threats to the United States as a newly aggressive Russia, a belligerent nuclear-armed North Korea, Iran’s proxy warfare capabilities, and Chinese espionage.
Such explicit targeting of nation-states as declared “enemies” of the United States has not been heard in Washington since George W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil” rant in his January 2002 State of the Union address. What’s more, Gen. Clapper’s remarks, delivered in preparation for his release of the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment in upcoming Congressional testimony, comes at a time when the United States is directly engaged in combat in the Iraq-Syria theatre, where Russian military forces are also engaged. While the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State John Kerry are attempting to engage with Russia in a peace initiative and, at minimum, “deconfliction” negotiations to avert direct military clashes, Clapper is pushing confrontation.
Dr Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies, history, and politics at New York University and Princeton University, accuses Barack Obama of personally provoking WWIII.
US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter backed up Clapper when he addressed the Economic Club of Washington on 2 February to preview the final Obama Administration defence budget, which can only be described as a budget for fighting World War III.
In that speech, Carter also declared that Russia and China pose the two top challenges for American defence planners, followed by North Korea, Iran, and then the Islamic State. “We will deter our most advanced competitors,” Carter told the Washington audience. “We will prepare for our high-end enemy”, he said, calling Russia and China “our most stressing competitors”. The Defence Department has “elevated their importance in our defence planning and budgeting.”
In particular, Carter announced that the Obama Administration’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget would dramatically increase funding of the European Reassurance Initiative, which entails deployment of increased US military personnel and equipment into Europe, from US$789 million in 2016 to US$3.4 billion in 2017. Carter claimed that the added funding will “let us rapidly form a highly-capable combined-arms ground force that can respond theatre-wide if necessary.” Translated into common language, the United States will be boosting its military presence in Eastern Europe, including the Baltic states, permanently stationing US “boots” and military hardware along the border of Russia. This is the equivalent of Russia deploying military equipment and personnel into Mexico or Canada.
Carter also announced that the USA would dramatically increase spending on modernisation of the nuclear triad—ground-, air- and sea-based nuclear weapons platforms; all told, a pledge to spend US$1 trillion on thermonuclear weapons and delivery-system modernisation in the coming decade. Even a significant portion of the increase in spending against ISIS to $7.5 billion will be allocated to producing 45,000 guided bombs and rockets—some of which will undoubtedly be part of the expanded arsenal of weapons deployed to the “Russian front”.
For its part, the UK has just announced it is sending 1,600 troops to Jordan for a war game exercise designed to prepare for a military operation, not against ISIS but against Russia in eastern Europe. British black propaganda escalated dramatically on 3 February when BBC 2 aired a docudrama called “World War Three: Inside the War Room”—a live war game scenario involving leading British political figures responding in real time to a Russian nuclear attack.
In a 9 February interview with NYC radio host John Batchelor, New York University Russia specialist Dr Stephen Cohen accused Barack Obama, of whom he was previously supportive, of personally provoking World War III. Cohen warned: “The New Cold War has become much hotter, due to a decision taken in Washington. This will make the New Cold War more militarised and makes it more dangerous than the preceding Cold War, because we didn’t have our military power on Russia’s borders. … To say it is dangerous is to understate the situation.” Cohen concluded, “Once Washington completes this quadrupling of forces, we are in a much more dangerous situation, in terms of possible nuclear conflict. Obama can’t hide from this anymore. The buck stops there. He signed off on this enormous escalation of the Cold War in the direction of hot war.” (Emphasis added.)
If the world is to turn away from the brink of a nuclear war that will annihilate humanity, the onus is on the people of Australia, the USA and UK to reject this madness and embrace an alternative to the present Anglo-American-dominated global order characterised by permanent war. The CEC’s March 2015 international conference “The World Land-Bridge: Peace on Earth, Good Will towards All Men” <http://cecaust.com.au/2015conference/> analysed, in depth, both this strategic danger as well as the positive, optimistic alternative represented by the alliance of BRICS nations—Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa—which are not our enemies, but as the growing economic powers in the world are committed to a new, just international order in which nations collaborate on economic development, such as China’s amazing “One Belt, One Road” Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road vision, as the basis for lasting peace.