The Trump regime recently issued a major document for expanding and developing its nuclear arsenal, and for widening the conditions under which the U.S. will hurl nuclear bombs at its adversaries. The “Nuclear Posture Review,” written at the Pentagon under the direction of “Defense Secretary” James Mattis, is still in draft form for review by Trump’s White House. But this draft already indicates a willingness to utilize the unimaginable destructive horror of nuclear weapons in response to what U.S. political and military leaders consider to be “threats” from a wide range of circumstances, many of them non-nuclear.
An Intolerable Situation
The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) is a strategic document for the political and military leaders of the U.S. It analyzes developments and changes in the global environment of rivalries among capitalist-imperialist powers, emerging economic and military powers, regional conflicts, and the rise of heavily armed “non-state actors.” It envisions possibilities of confrontations and struggles that arise in many spheres of society that it thinks could pose a threat to U.S. global domination.
As it states, “There now exists an unprecedented range and mix of threats, including major conventional, chemical, biological, nuclear, space, and cyber threats, and violent non-state actors. These developments have produced increased uncertainty and risk.” The NPR threatens a magnitude of destruction a mafia capo could only dream of: U.S. opponents “… must understand that there are no possible benefits from non-nuclear aggression or limited nuclear escalation. Correcting any such misperceptions is now critical to maintain strategic stability in Europe and Asia.”
One of the most significant, and ominous, themes of the NPR is its threat to use nuclear weapons, supposedly in response to non-nuclear threats. This represents an overt departure from a longstanding U.S. policy. The disarmament director at the Arms Control Association said this measure “expands the scenarios under which the United States might use nuclear weapons and therefore increases the risk of nuclear weapon use.”
Specifically, the document states that the “extreme circumstances” that could bring about a nuclear bombing by the U.S. military include “… significant non-nuclear strategic attacks … on U.S. or allied … command and control, or warning and attack assessment capabilities.”
In plain English, the U.S. is giving itself the “right” to use massively destructive nuclear bombs upon states it accuses of making cyber-attacks on its command and communications abilities. The U.S. has already accused both North Korea and Iran of waging “asymmetrical warfare” by launching cyber-attacks against American financial networks and political officials.
The U.S. has, by its own admission, waged and is waging cyber war against both these countries –like the Stuxnet computer worm the U.S. used in a massive assault on Iran’s air defenses, communications systems, and power grid; and has denied a massive assault on key elements of North Korea’s communications systems last fall. And now these international gangsters are claiming their “right” to obliterate with nuclear bombs those it claims attempt to interfere with their computer systems!
Immediate Threats on North Korea
These threats are not abstract possibilities. In 2014 the computer systems of Sony Pictures were broken into. The U.S. accused North Korea of being “centrally involved” in the hack, and said it was treating the episode as a “national security matter.” The FBI made a formal accusation against North Korea, and the National Security Agency supported the FBI’s claim. Jeh Johnson, who was Homeland Security director under Obama, claimed the cyber assault on Sony was “… not just an attack against a company and its employees. It was also an attack on our freedom of expression and way of life.”
More recently, Donald Trump has issued a steady stream of threats against North Korea. He went to the UN and threatened to “totally destroy” the country of 27 million people.
Secretary of Defense H.R. McMaster has said that the possibility of war with North Korea “is increasing every day.”
This is intolerable! These monsters actually have no such right to threaten humanity like this. The NPR document, with all its dry, emotionless language, attempts to create in advance a legitimization for what is in reality utterly illegitimate, and thoroughly criminal. It conceivably could be used against North Korea in a real or fabricated incident like that involving Sony. Carrying through with the threats stated and implied in its every sentence would result in perhaps the greatest crime against humanity these imperialists who run the U.S. have ever committed. It is completely unacceptable.
There is an urgent need for anyone with a heart, a conscience, and a sense of a humanity shared with other people who exist on this planet, to build massive, visible opposition in the streets to U.S. threats against North Korea and Iran. More deeply, there is a great and pressing need to work towards building a movement for revolution that can overturn the system that even considers such horrors, and advance humanity to a world where its creativity and the resources of the planet are put to use in building a world where these horrific weapons of annihilation are remembered only in history books.