Veteran national-security reporter Bill Gertz, in major news at The Washington Free Beacon, headlines today that “Russian Strategic Bombers Conduct More Than 16 Incursions of U.S. Air Defense Zones,” and reports that “Russian strategic nuclear forces appear to be ‘trying to test our air defense reactions, or our command and control systems,’ said an official familiar with reports of the incursions.
‘These are not just training missions,’ the official added.” Furthermore, says Gertz, “Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, expressed concerns about the increase in Russian strategic nuclear activities during a speech in Washington June 18. Haney said Russian nuclear activities coincided with recent tensions over Ukraine and included the test launch of six air-launched cruise missiles in a show of force. … ‘Additionally, we have seen significant Russian strategic aircraft deployments in the vicinity of places like Japan, Korea, and even our West Coast,’ Haney said at a defense industry breakfast. ‘Russia continues to modernize its strategic capabilities across all legs of its triad, and open source [reporting] has recently cited the sea trials of its latest [missile submarine] testing of its newest air-launched cruise missile and modernization of its intercontinental ballistic force to include its mobile capability in that area,’ he said.”
On its own border, Russia is also preparing for war, according to BurkoNews, which reported on June 22nd that “From 27th of May to 5th of June the second command-staff exercises took place in the Western military district in Russia on the border with Ukraine. The nuclear-capable ISKANDER-M missile launchers were used during these exercises.”
Yesterday, Paul Craig Roberts argued that unless Russia soon fulfills on its thus-far merely verbal threat to stop supplying gas to Europe (now that the new Obama-controlled Ukraine is hostile to Russia and already owes Russia billions for the gas that has transited and continues to transit through Ukraine to Europe), there will be an increasingly likely if not already inevitable nuclear war. He closes: “If Putin does not put his foot down hard and make clear to the Europeans what the stakes are, Washington will succeed in its determination to drive the world to war, and ‘exceptional and indispensable’ Americans will die along with all the rest.” Roberts argues that to pull the plug on Europe’s economies right now will be far less damaging than a nuclear war between NATO and Russia would be, and that whereas Russia will suffer economic hardship from the loss of the European market, that’s nothing compared to the immense losses that Russia, like the West, will suffer from a nuclear war.
One might add here that whereas Europe’s losses then would be only for a year or two, while alternate energy-sources are coming on-stream to replace Russian gas, the losses from a nuclear war would be permanent, and would be virtually everywhere.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.