• Hubert Marlin

Does the New Arms Race Jeopardize World Peace?

In 1994, Jacques Attali said: “To protect yourself from a sword, you need a shield. However, building a shield against nuclear weapons has so far proved impossible”. The failure of the Star Wars anti-missile defense project intended to protect the United States against a strategic nuclear strike of intercontinental ballistic missiles and ballistic missiles launched by submarines, clearly proves it. The initiative, made public on March 23, 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, was to combine systems capable of intercepting enemy missiles, from the ground and Earth orbit. In 1987 the American Physics Society concluded that the development of a global missile defense shield was extremely ambitious, not feasible with the technology of the time, and that about ten years of research would be required simply to determine its feasibility. With the dissolution of the USSR and the end of the Cold War, the Clinton administration, if it did not put an end to research in the field, greatly reduced its ambition and renamed the organization Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO). Despite the mixed success of weapons like the American Patriot missiles which aim to intercept and destroy any missile capable of attacking any protected target, it remains no less clear that deterrence remains in the quality of armament and the radius of action of the lethal potential of different nations. A quality that new technologies could increase tenfold at a reasonable price. On August 2, 2019, the United States withdrew from the Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces (IFN), signed with the USSR in 1987, after accusing Moscow, in February of the same year, of violating this treaty by developing the missile 9M729. By prohibiting the use of a whole series of ballistic and land-based cruise missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, the IFN treaty in the late 1980s enabled the elimination of the Russian SS20 ballistic missiles and American Pershing missiles deployed in Europe.

An entire category of weapons capable of carrying a nuclear charge was thus eliminated. What is the situation today with the end of various nuclear proliferation treaties between Russia and the United States, while one of the most important players in international politics, China, which has never taken part in treaties on the intermediate nuclear forces continued to grow apart? Is there a risk that the world will once again become a powder keg at a time when we are well aware that the erosion of the regulatory power of bodies responsible for monitoring foreign policy and even international trade is in a never equaled phase? The last time that international organizations were disintegrating, was on the eve of the world war of 1938 – 1945, when the society of nations ancestor of the United Nations became inefficient; with the most serious violations by the belligerent nation which felt very strong at the time, namely Nazi Germany.

So, it is important to ask the question of whether the end of the legal framework aimed at restricting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, similarly crumpled by the nation which feels very strong, namely the United States, would rather be the end of a world order which until then had consecrated the United States as the sole and undisputed leader.

The 21st century which has just started its 3rd decade is a classic case. No matter what analysts of international politics may say, the status quo is a sight of the mind, because real dynamics of multipolarization of the world order are palpable; the war in Syria having been the major turning point, while the war in Libya after that of Iraq was one too many; because it will have brought a total discredit on the peaceful missions of the policeman of the world and his armed arm, NATO. It is therefore normal that this discredit was accompanied by a deep deterioration of confidence in institutions such as the United Nations which will have proven their limit with the American administrations overriding its resolutions to carry out their bellicose policy. By sacrificing on the altar of their hegemonic ambition their fatal weapon that was the United Nations since 1945, because many always seem to forget that the United Nations is a creation greatly influenced by the real winner of the second world war that is the United States; Uncle Sam, wanting to establish a special regime which puts the United States, for example, above international justice, or even basic WTO rules, is at the same time losing its legitimacy based on its alleged good faith which for a long time was an important means of pressure against its potential adversaries, often perceived as renegades because of Western propaganda. While China and Russia because of their right of Veto, which make impossible any manipulative use of the United Nations against their country, it was logical that the Americans seek to play from now on, in a gray area, where does not exist any law undermining their ambitions to reshape their banner as the saying of Donald Trump states "Make America great again". The situation of lawlessness defended by John Bolton security adviser of the Trump administration which already had inspired the withdrawal of the United States from the ABM treaty in June 2002 under the Bush administration, who finds it absurd to put on the same discussion table, the gendarmes and the thieves, do not bode well for world peace. The present situation if it will favor the unrestricted military development of the United States, the Nations which are its rivals; Russia and China will also be free to compete in the arms race in their own way. While the rules of the game no longer exist, it makes sense to ask the question of who has the chance to win the asymmetrical war that is being waged between the united states and its allies , the last bastion of the Western Empire, and the alternate world composed of China, Russia and their legitimate allies like Iran, Syria or Venezuela? After the end of the IFN treaty, only one bilateral nuclear agreement between Moscow and Washington remains in force: The New Start treaty for the reduction of strategic nuclear weapons, which entered into force on February 5, 2011 for a period of ten years. Its chances of prolongation beyond 2021 are low, in a context where distrust and lapsing of a way of thinking defense is now in order, with bold assassinations by Americans of personalities from sovereign countries like the Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, one can only fear the worst.

Russia and China in the current global context know that peace is the key to their economic progress and the development of their people, and it is likely that if these countries are not attacked head-on, they will not react. But Washington knows that it owes its hegemony to the various so-called world wars that have bloodied the European continent and if the European peoples are aware of this, the leaders whose choice has often been greatly influenced by the American godfather, continue meanwhile, to lead a policy of isolationism and delaying opposition to Russia, when it’s in their best interest to make peace with their neighbor of the East, to build a peaceful area in Europe. A peaceful area that will no doubt make Washington useless for its European allies. The existence of NATO and American forces on the European continent had one goal. Tame the threat of the former communist bloc, which has not existed for more than 30 years. By brandishing Russia as a scourge threatening the independence of republics like Romania and Poland, the United States, apart from making them allies, also makes them potential consumers of its armaments. In March 2018 at a time when tensions between NATO and Russia were at their peak, Poland, member of NATO and the EU, bought for 4.75 billion dollars (3.8 billion EUR) American Patriot anti-missile system, intended to strengthen its anti-aircraft defense. This means, the ideology of the permanent threat from the enemy of the Cold War, continues to sell well, by bringing capital to the American economy and its military industrial complex. The arms race situation is also a boon for the arms industry. With the end of various treaties, the United States and Russia are now free to launch weapons programs that were previously prohibited. The end of the IFN will allow Washington to modernize, and to counter the rise of China, which is developing a powerful arsenal of intermediate-range missiles. The Pentagon tested, in August 2019, a land missile with a range of 1,000 km and, in November, a ballistic missile with a range of 3,000 to 4,000 km. When operational, the United States will be able to deploy them to the Pacific Islands and the territories of Allied countries to counter Chinese pressure in the South China Sea. While the purchase in 2018 by Poland and Romania, all members of NATO and the European Union, of the patriotic anti-missile shield puts some pressure on Russia, the Pentagon also spoke, in the nuclear posture published in 2018, about the development of a low-power nuclear missile. In the new strategic context, NATO will have to adapt its deterrence and defense posture to guarantee the security of Western Europe against Russians, adversaries who have however since made it clear that the only thing that interested them was the inviolability of their territory and the defense of their interests. However, in July 2019, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg himself admitted that "the current defenses are not able to shoot down a cruise missile fired from Russia". On August 2, 2019, while the United States announced their withdrawal from the IFN treaty, while rejecting a proposal of Moscow for a moratorium on the deployment of nuclear weapons prohibited by the old treaty, Stoltenberg had indicated from the Alliance headquarters in Brussels: "We do not want a new arms race, but we will make our deterrence credible".In the past, the cancellation of treaties has often served as a pretext for the United States to multiply their potential for nuisance against their real or imagined enemies. In June 2002, President George W. Bush, under the influence of a certain John Bolton, withdrew from the ABM treaty which led to its de facto cancellation. Sometime later, the United States deployed the ABM system in Alaska and California. The Americans claimed that ABMs were necessary to defend themselves against nuclear missiles from North Korea and Iran. Unreliable allegations because at that time, North Korea did not have missiles capable of reaching the United States and Iran still did not have nuclear weapons and limited the range of its missiles to 2,000 kilometers.However, Russian military analysts understood that the American move was nothing more than another attempt to make a first strike against Russia. So, the Kremlin immediately started developing a new system that would make American missile defense useless. Thus, was put on the rail the development of hypersonic missiles whose Avangard inaugurated in December 2019 by the Russian authorities makes obsolete the strategy of American defense or attack against Russia. This system is part of a new generation of devices capable, according to the Russian authorities, of reaching a target almost anywhere in the world and of surpassing any existing anti-missile shield, such as the system deployed by the United States in Europe. The Avangard according to Moscow has a speed of Mach 20 and is capable of reaching Mach 27 - twenty-seven times the speed of sound and more than 33,000 kilometers per hour. He is able to change course and altitude.Even the AEGIS system advocated by the Obama administration in 2010 in the face of this new militaristic advance is out of order. According to this notice, the AEGIS system used on many American warships would be converted to a land version and deployed for an alleged defensive purpose. AEGIS includes a radar, a combat management system and missile launchers capable of launching a cruise missile with a nuclear warhead with a range of 2,400 kilometers. It should be noted that in the Middle East the only country with an AEGIS-armed submarine is Israel, a considerable advantage over its adversaries in the region.In 2010 Russia had no means of detecting the type of missile that the United States would deploy on these sites, which could explain its non-intervention in the Libyan conflict. The deployment of this potential at its borders a few months before would have cooled its enthusiasm to help during the war in Libya. Logically the Russians could assume that intermediate range nuclear missiles would be installed on these ramps. In 2016, the United States activated the first of these AEGIS terrestrial systems in Romania. It was this step that broke the IFN treaty and accelerated work on the creation of hypersonic devices.The fact that Obama had previously signed a nuclear deal with Iran, guaranteeing that Iran would never build nuclear weapons, made it clear that Russia was the one and only target of these systems. Despite the explosion of August 14, 2019, which killed several Russian scientists who were working on a base in the Far North, on the development of hypersonic missiles, Russia with the release of December 2019 seems to have kept its promisesWhile Russia seems to have returned to the level of the United States and to have even surpassed the Americans on certain points; It is important to note that the Chinese or the Russians have no military hegemonic ambition when Russia legitimately thinks of defending its living space, China thinks more of protecting its trade routes with its ambitious project of the new silk road which is only achievable in an environment of relative peace. For their part, the Americans can only hope for military and economic hegemony in a world at war which would slow down the expansion of other Nations, as has been the case since in Libya or the Congo. Meanwhile, Russia and China are neither the Congo nor even less Libya or Somalia. So, it is logical that Beijing and Moscow see in each crisis like the war of Chechnya, the Uighurs crisis, or Hong Kong uprising, attempts aiming to destabilize their respective countries by enemies from the outside, even if the claims of these peoples are legitimate.In the same vein, it seems logical that with the new world order, the secessionist movements in several countries will now find it difficult to assert the legitimacy of their fight, because as in the English-speaking area of Cameroon, in the Nigerian Biafra, or in the Malian Azawad, these movements will suffer, in a blatant manner a discredit, because of their real or supposed sponsorship by the decadent Western empire. In any case one thing is sure, the third world war which started in 2001 with the events of September 11 in New York, is asymmetrical, it is fought on the military plan with terrorist puppets which give way to the western militarist expansion , and economically with economic embargoes like those on Iran, the freezing of assets of regimes deemed hostile, the manipulation of aid and economic treaties like AGOA, and the famous economic war between China and the United States. From now on, electronic warfare and the hyper-sophisticated arms race will have to be added. When some thinkers in the West claim that it is legitimate to wage war on others in order to prosper, many, refuse to see that a country like China over the past 30 years has experienced rapid development without invading or colonizing other countries supposed weaker. While the economic motive remains predominant in the vectors of war, for this world to survive it is important that the paradigm of profit by hatred be replaced by peaceful cooperation faithful to the doctrine of mutual gain.


Hubert Marlin



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