Don’t Think About the Unthinkable

W.J. Astore

Originally posted at Antiwar.com

Thirty years ago, I co-taught a course on the making and use of the atomic bomb at the U.S. Air Force Academy. We took cadets to Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where the first nuclear weapons were designed and built during World War II, and we also visited the Trinity test site, where the first atomic device exploded in a test conducted in July of 1945. It was after that first test when J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, mused that he had become death, the destroyer of worlds. And that is what nuclear weapons are: they are death, and they can literally destroy our world, producing nuclear winter and mass sickness and starvation.

Over the last two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has killed millions of people across the globe. A general nuclear war could kill billions of people in a matter of days. As Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev reportedly said in 1963, “The living will envy the dead” after such a nuclear cataclysm.

Not a good idea

Despite this, an intellectual fad of the Cold War era was to “think about the unthinkable,” to “war game” or plan for various nuclear “exchanges” resulting in the deaths of hundreds of millions of people, even to imagine that there could be a “winner” of such a war. Remarkably, in the context of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, that fad is returning today as pundits write articles that suggest the US needs to show the Russians it is willing and able to fight and win a nuclear war, as an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal argued on April 27th of this year.

Such suggestions are madness.

As a young Air Force lieutenant, I sat in the Missile Warning Center in Cheyenne Mountain during an exercise that simulated a nuclear war. This was 35 years ago, but I still remember those simulated Soviet missile tracks crossing the North Pole and ending in various American cities. There were no snazzy special effects or colorful high-definition computer monitors. It all happened in silence on a monochrome monitor as I sat under two thousand feet of solid granite in America’s largest nuclear bomb shelter. “There goes Kansas City,” somebody quietly said. It was a sobering experience that I’ll never forget.

Many years later, I watched a stunning documentary, The Day After Trinity, that detailed the development of the atomic bomb. I’ll never forget the words of Hans Bethe, legendary physicist and one of the bomb’s key developers. The first reaction among the scientists to the news the bomb had exploded over Hiroshima, Bethe recalled, was a feeling of fulfillment. The crash project to build the bomb had worked. The second reaction was one of shock and awe, of “What have we done,” Bethe quietly noted. And the third reaction: It should never be done again. And after Nagasaki the world somehow managed not to do it again, despite nearly catastrophic events like the Cuban Missile Crisis 60 years ago.

I was raised Roman Catholic, and I can think of no worse crime against humanity than mass murder by genocidal weaponry, not only of ourselves but of all life forms that would be vaporized by thermonuclear warheads. Let’s not think about the unthinkable; let’s not think we must show the Russians (or anyone else) that we’re willing to use nuclear weapons. Rather, let’s achieve the difficult but doable. The only sane course of action here is for all the world’s nations to negotiate major reductions in nuclear arsenals with the eventual goal of total nuclear disarmament.

35 thoughts on “Don’t Think About the Unthinkable

  1. When I was a junior officer on a boomer (missile sub) back in the 1970s (sure seems a long, long time ago), we had a pre-patrol operational briefing in a very secure room on a secured base; at one point the curtain on the wall was pulled back and it showed the targets for all US Atlantic missile submarines. Those targets were on the Eurasian land mass. It was sobering, in the same way your experience was.

    Listening to the neocons, consultants, and some politicians glibly talk about risking nuclear war over Ukraine (whatever one thinks of that conflict) is both terrifying and maddening. They live in a fantasy world that could lead to real nightmare.

    We need the voices and leadership that bring us toward de-escalation and peace. Without those, I fear where we are headed.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. According to the “Doomsday Clock” we are now @ 100 secs. to midnite. Change that to best to think about the unthinkable…And.., the best time to change the unthinkable is now while there’s still time. That goes for Climate Change as well. Scientists have had the Clock set @ 100 secs. now for the last 2 Years. Its astonishing that we’re not negotiating on this! I guess the only way will be to go to Def Con 1 and hear the horn blasts of a Full Rolling and Take-off B-52 H’s. & KC-135’s. on Alert Klaxton– like when I Served @ SAC and wondered if these ORI’s. were real time or just Exercises.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am already receiving your emails so did not check the boxes below my details which I provided. I agree with and appreciate your essay on nuclear war. I think Biden and his ilk are playing nuclear Russian roulette. I am terrified. I wonder if you could comment on the following question? Do these people, do the obscenely wealthy, have elaborate bomb shelters or a reservation in mountain bunkers such as Cheyenne Mountain along with tons of food, etc? Also I am glad you mentioned that other forms of life would also be vaporized or die after immense suffering. Other authors/reporters seem to ignore that tragedy.
    All wars are a crime against nature.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes — war is a crime against nature. Nuclear war is ecocide.

      Some of the rich do have bomb shelters and/or they have “compounds” in places like New Zealand where they imagine they’ll be safe from societal collapse brought on by war, nuclear or otherwise.

      But I think all bets will be off under such conditions, i.e. the rich may find themselves victims instead of victors.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lt.Col, we proud New Zealanders have worked hard for many generations to build and maintain this egalitarian socialist paradise here in the South Pacific. Its going to be interesting how my fellow Kiwi’s react to a bunch of rich folk from warmongering nations trying to arrive here in their private jets when they have destroyed the rest of the world with their nuclear war. Lets hope this remains hypothetical.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. In 1994 Ukraine wished to become a member of the nuclear non-proliferation states. This required abandoning its nations arsenal of nuclear weapons. In exchange the US and Russia both agreed not to interfere in Ukrainian internal affairs either militarily or economically and Britain (rather weakly) agreed to lodge a protest with the UN if anyone subsequently should attack Ukraine with nuclear weapons. This “Budapest” agreement was submitted to the UN by Madelaine Albright and signed by William Clinton for the US; Boris Yeltsin for Russia; John Major for Britain and Leonid Kuchma for Ukraine.

    Within 10 years this agreement was being treated as if it never existed.

    In the 2004 Ukrainian election Russia poisoned Yushchenko who was the US preferred candidate.
    By 2008 both Russia and the US were heavily invested in subverting Ukrainian elections. The US champion won that election but later lost power to the preferred Russian candidate. In 2014 realising that they could not achieve their goal democratically the US orchestrated a coup in Ukraine (approved by Joe Biden) installing Arseniy Yatsenyuk as PM with the support of fascists (Oleh Tyahnybok – leader of the Ukrainian Nationalists Far Right [read fascist] Svoboda political party). The third member of this troika Vitali Klitschko is today mayor of Kiev. This US approved coup thwarted both Europe and Ukraines desire to hold democratic elections, resulted in violence, the burning to death of opponents in Odessa, and the subsequent civil war in eastern Ukraine.

    How are nations to give up nuclear weapons when history says that doing so results in the type of abuse the Ukrainian people have been subjected to by the US and Russia, consequence of giving up their nuclear weapons.

    Like

    1. Good question. I have no easy answers here. But, if America truly was high-minded, we’d be leading the world in downsizing our arsenal, as well as international efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons completely. Not an easy project, for sure. It would take decades. But it sure beats spending $1.7 trillion on “modernizing” the nuclear triad.

      I just hope we don’t need another Hiroshima, or far worse, to wake people up. Nuclear accidents are also possible, and indeed they’ve occurred in the past (ICBMs exploding, bombers with atomic bombs on board crashing), fortunately without a major nuclear explosion. But how long will our luck hold?

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree with every word you write. “The only sane course of action here is for all the world’s nations to negotiate…”
    Why didn’t Obama do that?
    Why did Trump tear up, walk out of, ignore arms limitation agreements?
    Why isn’t Biden quoting Khrushchev’s wisest words?
    Isn’t it because men won’t admit their macho bravado is sheer madness?

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Read the WSJ op-ed you linked, Bill. Among the many phrases that struck me was, “The reality is that unless the U.S. prepares to win a nuclear war…”. There’s no such thing as “winning” a nuclear war, because, IMO, a war indicates the exchange of hostilities. That is, nuke deployment would not be one-sided. I’m very afraid that, given the drive for dominance at the Pentagon, if Russia used a nuclear weapon, the U.S./NATO would retaliate. Then, if there was one exchange (unspeakably horrific), would there not be escalation?

    I think it was beyond foolish that Biden publicly voiced the “get rid of Putin” idea, but privately, I agree completely.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You wrote: “The only sane course of action here is for all the world’s nations to negotiate major reductions in nuclear arsenals with the eventual goal of total nuclear disarmament.”

    i hope, Colonel, that You are not betting the farm that that “only sane” thing to do has any chance of happening. At least any time soon.

    The only way reductions and ultimate total disarmament will ever happen is if a CRITICAL MASS of the Citizens of the nuclear nations demand of their governments that that happens. And that ain’t gonna happen any time soon at all.

    Just like the only way the amount of money governments spend on preparing for and waging war is going to end is when that same CRITICAL MASS demands it. Which also isn’t going to happen any time soon.

    That is exactly How and Why we got into this mess in the first place: Because the citizens of the nuclear nations did nothing effective to prevent it from happening. And once it happened, they [WE] did nothing to stop it from growing and intensifying. And so here we are.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. “It’s so long ago, I can’t remember how it came to my attention. I was 13 years old and no one in my family or anyone in the blue collar community we lived in had a clue who Bertrand Russell was or why he was taking on the military and political establishments of the world, trying to convince everybody that nuclear weapons and war itself must be abolished.

    But I got my hands on a copy of “Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare”, and to say it changed my life would be a vast understatement.

    Before the arms race had resulted in tens of thousands of nuclear bombs being built by the U.S. and Russia, decades before the possibility of nuclear winter was ever discussed, Bertrand Russell’s keen insights into the destructive potential of a nuclear war drove him to campaign for the complete elimination of these weapons of mass horror. I remember seeing photos of him sitting alone in the middle of London, blocking traffic, holding a sign that said ‘Ban The Bomb’. I remember reading stories of how this world-renowned philosopher, distinguished scholar and intellectual, took his commitment to the streets and was often arrested for his courageous work. As the anti-nuclear movement grew, Lord Russell quickly became an icon among anti-nuclear activists.

    The Ban the Bomb movement that arose during the late 50s and early 60s was massive! The largest protests ever seen in the West were the result of this movement.

    And because there were still a few sane thought leaders in the world at that time who had high visibility and enormous public respect, Lord Russell was not alone in his passionate appeals for ending the scourge of war.”

    And here we are 70-years later as you say JG MOEBUS and nothing has changed – “Ban the Bomb” protests consigned to the dustbins of history. A figurative location of irrelevance or obscurity doomed to be forgotten and ignored by humanity.

    https://www.nationofchange.org/2021/09/04/bertrand-russell-and-ban-the-bomb/

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Looks like You and Glenn Greenwald are on the same sheet of music when it comes to Democrats ~ and especially “progressives” ~ voting for War, Colonel:

    The Bizarre, Unanimous Dem Support for the $40b War Package to Raytheon and CIA: “For Ukraine”
    “The US Anti-War Left is Dead. The Squad’s $40b War Vote Just Killed It.”
    Many Dems voting YES have long denounced exactly these sorts of bills. What happened?

    After Joe Biden announced his extraordinary request for $33 billion more for the war in Ukraine — on top of the $14 billion the U.S. has already spent just ten weeks into this war — congressional leaders of both parties immediately decided the amount was insufficient. They arbitrarily increased the amount by $7 billion to a total of $40 billion, then fast-tracked the bill for immediate approval. As we reported on Tuesday night, the House overwhelmingly voted to approve the bill by a vote of 388-57. All fifty-seven NO votes came from Republican House members. Except for two missing members, all House Democrats — every last one, including all six members of the revolutionary, subversive Squad — voted for this gigantic war package, one of the largest the U.S. has spent at once in decades.

    While a small portion of these funds will go to humanitarian aid for Ukraine, the vast majority will go into the coffers of weapons manufacturers such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and the usual suspects. Some of it will go to the CIA for unspecified reasons. The extreme speed with which this was all approved means there is little to no oversight over how the funds will be spent, who will profit and how much, and what the effects will be for Ukraine and the world.

    TO PUT THIS $54 BILLION AMOUNT IN PERSPECTIVE, IT IS (A) LARGER THAN THE AVERAGE ANNUAL AMOUNT THAT THE U.S. SPENT ON ITS OWN WAR IN AFGHANISTAN ($46 BILLION), (B) CLOSE TO THE OVERALL AMOUNT RUSSIA SPENDS ON ITS ENTIRE MILITARY FOR THE YEAR ($69 BILLION), (C) CLOSE TO 7% OF THE OVERALL U.S. MILITARY BUDGET, BY FAR THE LARGEST IN THE WORLD ($778 BILLION), AND (D) CERTAIN TO BE FAR, FAR HIGHER — EASILY INTO THE HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND LIKELY THE TRILLION DOLLAR LEVEL — GIVEN THAT U.S. OFFICIALS INSIST THAT THIS WAR WILL LAST NOT MONTHS BUT YEARS, AND THAT IT WILL STAND WITH UKRAINE UNTIL THE BITTER END. [EMPHASIS added.]

    What made this Democratic Party unanimity so bizarre, even surreal, is that many of these House Democrats who voted YES have spent years vehemently denouncing exactly these types of war expenditures. Some of them — very recently — even expressed specific opposition to pouring large amounts of U.S. money and weaponry into Ukraine on the grounds that doing so would be unprecedentedly dangerous, and that Americans are suffering far too severely at home to justify such massive amounts to weapons manufacturers and intelligence agencies. Here, for instance, is the shocking-in-hindsight warning of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on March 8 — just two months before she voted YES on this $40 billion weapons package:

    Continued at: https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-bizarre-unanimous-dem-support?utm_source=email&s=r

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Speaking of the anti-war Democratic Party being dead. Patty Murray, our Democratic Senator for WA state – we call her the Senator for BOEING (Who just moved their headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia BTW – to be closer to the action!)

    “When I was growing up, the big fear in my life was the nuclear war. I remember second- and third-grade teachers giving us skills to deal with it, if that big alarm goes off, which was ‘Hide under your desk.’ Would that do any good? I don’t know. But as a child, that gives you a feeling there’s something to do beyond panic. Today the biggest fear our kids live with is whether … the kid beside them has a gun. We have to give them skills so they feel confident to deal with it.”

    She was quoted saying that in 1992. Another bought and paid for useless Democratic Party bench warmer Senator.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. In one particularly memorable Noam Chomsky interview, he noted that there is some truth in the oft-repeated conservative reference to Russia-gate as a “hoax”, though, ironically, likely not in the context typically believed and hyped by most conservatives [“Chomsky: Trump is a Distraction, Used by the Deep State to ‘Systematically Destroy’ America,” The Free Thought Project, July 20, 2017]:

    “Every cabinet official was chosen to destroy anything of human significance in that part of the government. It’s so systematic that it can’t be unplanned. I doubt that Trump planned it … [since] his only ideology is ‘me’. But whoever is working on it is doing a pretty effective job, and the Democrats are cooperating—cooperating in a very striking way … Take a look at the focus in Çongress. It’s one of the few decent things Trump has been doing. So maybe members of his transition team contacted the Russians. Is that a bad thing?

    Recent ambassador to Russia, Jack Matlock, had a blog where he pointed out that, ‘It’s exactly what you should be doing. It’s the job of ambassadors and diplomats coming in. There are serious problems and tensions you want to talk over to see if there’s anything you can do about them. Instead of just building up force and violence.’ That’s what the democrats are focusing on, and meanwhile all these other things are going on and they’re not saying anything about them.” …

    Chomsky had also emphasized that, “While everything is focusing on that, the Paul Ryan republicans, who are, in my view, the most dangerous and savage group in the country, are busy implementing programs that they have been talking quietly about for years. Very savage programs, which have very simple principles. One, be sure to offer to the rich and powerful gifts beyond the dreams of avarice, and [two], kick everyone else in the face. And it’s going on step by step right behind the [Russiagate] bluster.”

    Liked by 2 people

  12. “Any fool can start a war, and once he’s done so, even the wisest of men are helpless to stop it – especially if it’s a nuclear war -War” – Nikita Khrushchev

    “I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace, to give us the means of rendering those nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.” – Ronald Reagan

    “The single biggest threat that we face is a nuclear weapon or some weapon of mass destruction. What that means is that we have to be extraordinarily aggressive and vigilant in controlling nuclear proliferation” – Barack Obama

    Obama signed House Resolution 2647, or the National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2010, into law on 2009. The bill authorized over $680 billion of military spending for the next year and directed the president to submit a report to Congress outlining a plan to “modernize the nuclear weapons complex.”

    The findings of the defense spending bill’s mandated report manifested in the administration’s commitment to request to spend almost $300 billion to upgrade and expand the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal and equipment. The administration committed to developing and procuring new fleets of nuclear-capable submarines, bomber planes, and inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM) systems.

    The administration’s almost-$300-billion-figure only accounted for modernization spending over a decade, from 2011 to 2020. According to the James Martin Center For Nonproliferation Studies, this timescale does not capture a bulk of the program’s multi-billion dollar procurements of submarines, planes, and missiles that are slated for after 2024.

    The Arms Control Association estimates that the modernization program over a 30-year period from 2018 to 2047 will cost between $1.25 and almost $1.5 trillion.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The Chris Hedges Report: Ukraine and the Resurgence of American Militarism

    The war in Ukraine, stoked in part by NATO expansion and the violation of promises made to Moscow at the end of the Cold War, now looks set to become a lengthy war of attrition—one funded and backed by the United States. What will be the consequences of the United States’s commitment to long-term conflict, and where will we be when the war finally ends?

    Andrew Bacevich explains in this interview how the end of the Cold War triggered a new bout of American military interventionism that has now spanned decades. Moreover, as Bacevich argues, if the fighting in Ukraine ceases without a geopolitical plan for peaceably bringing Russia back into the community of nations, we risk setting the world stage for even greater conflict.

    Andrew Bacevich is a West Point graduate, retired Army Colonel, and Vietnam war veteran. He is also an emeritus professor of history and international relations at Boston University and the co-founder and president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. His books include The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism and his latest, After the Apocalypse: America’s Role in a World Transformed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for mentioning this interview. I have my own opinion of it, but would welcome hearing your assessment first; especially what constitutes a “pariah” nation, what constitutes a “community of nations,” what constitutes a “staggeringly incompetent” military force, etc. Thanks in advance . . .

      Like

      1. Hi Michael: Given the fact that the American military has not won a war in 77 years, i would cite it as “staggeringly incompetent.” Particularly given the amount of money this nation spent in the process of losing all those wars.

        And given what this nation has done in, on, and to the lands, peoples, and other nations of this planet ~ since the end of our last “victory” back then in the name of the “Cold War,”, and particularly since 9/11 ~ i would cite America as one of the pre-eminent pariahs of both the 20th and 21st centuries.

        And i have no idea what a “community of nations” is or is supposed to be. We humans often have a difficult enough time creating a “community” among neighbors, let alone nations.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes JG, as usual Bacevich is on the money.
    The US would not have to print as much money if it just minded its own business eh!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. That is the ONLY reason we have been able to run up a $30.45 Trillion national, sovereign Debt.

        And that is the ONLY way we plan to be able to even begin to come close to fulfilling those $169.21 Trillion in UnFunded Liabilities.

        And that’s just at the Federal level.

        That’s another “UnThinkable” nobody in SwampLand wants us to think about.

        Like

    1. I differ profoundly from Professor Bacevich in many respects, but chiefly in that I have a different notion of “pariah” than he apparently does. I would consider a “pariah” nation, like the United States, one that stole $300 billion dollars of another nation’s foreign currency reserves simply because it thought it had the power to do so. The victim of such blatant banditry, in this case the Russian Federation, I would not call a “pariah,” nor would I think it odd if the victim of such theft expressed no desire whatsoever to rejoin a “community” of such thieves no matter how mellifluous their siren song of “welcome back” (for another fleecing). Other communities of nations exist and have decided to go their own way, leaving the United States and Europe gnawing at their own flesh and bones.

      Professor Bacevich really does seem to find the Russians too stupid to stipulate and as poor as our Shock Doctrine looting of their country made them back in the 1990s. He seems stuck in a time trap where he remembers destitute Russians selling cheap trinkets on the streets of Berlin. Chris Hedges could have helped him out here — but didn’t — by pointing to the KGB officer scraping together a living for his family driving a taxi back then but whose status in life has changed — like his country’s — enormously over the past two decades. You know, the guy in the Kremlin towards whom all roads lead (in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s unconsciously ironic whopper of a compliment).

      Professor Bacevich really seems out of his depth here regarding Ukraine and Russia and should possess himself of some patience. President Putin has said that Russia will proceed according to its own schedule and not anyone else’s (especially the Pentagram’s or Hollywood’s — pardon the redundancy). As Jimmy Dore says, simply and truly: “We all know how this will end. It will end when the Russians want it to end and in the way they want it to end.” Professional boxers have an expression for phone calls like the one Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin just made to Russia’s Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu. They call it “throwing in the towel.” And sure enough, a few days later the remnants of the Nazi Azov Battalion finally surrendered — from the bowels of a steel factory in Mariupol — rather than “fight to the death” as their comedian president ordered them to do only a few weeks ago. What the rest of the Ukrainian military will think about continuing to fight and die when they see their own Nazi “leaders” getting to go on living (at least until their war-crimes trials) remains an open question, but not one terribly difficult to answer. If a self-described pot-head comedian in his garage in Pasadena, California, can see and understand these matters, so should ex-military officers and university professors like Andrew Bacevich. Chris Hedges should know better, too.

      Like

      1. You wrote: “As Jimmy Dore says, simply and truly: ‘We all know how this will end. It will end when the Russians want it to end and in the way they want it to end.’”

        i do not think that it is all quite as simple as Mr Dore claims things to be. Russia, America, Ukraine, NATO, the EU and UN are not the only primary players in this whole drama. First of all, there is the IMF, World Bank, Bank of International Settlements, and their ilk.

        And, as i put it in an article Colonel Astore posted here on March 5:

        “Anybody attempting to understand what is unfolding in Ukraine and over in the South China Sea and Taiwan should read George Orwell’s 1984. When you do, you will recognize and realize the following.

        “To use Orwell’s terms: What we have here and now is a Eurasia with its Putin and an EASTASIA WITH ITS XI. All that is lacking is an Oceania with its Big Brother. And we have a whole gaggle of folks on the American political landscape ~ on the Left and on the Right ~ who would love to have the chance to fill that slot. [EMPHASIS added.]

        “America’s twenty year ‘FOREVER WAR’ after 9/11 was, is, and ever will be a half-time show designed to keep the troops occupied, the defense contractors profitable, and the American people comfortably numb to protracted conflicts in places many of them cannot find on a map of the world.

        “For now, Russia has recovered from the disintegration of European Communism and the USSR ~ and China has recovered from the madness of Mao ~ sufficiently for either [or especially both] to present viable, credible ‘THREATS’ to America’s 30-year reign of global, unipolar hegemony since the end of ‘Cold War I’ in December, 1991.

        “For now looms ‘Cold War II,’ with Ukraine, the South China Sea, and/or Taiwan set to kick it off in fine fashion.” Continued at https://bracingviews.com/2022/03/05/orwells-1984-holds-many-lessons-for-the-new-cold-war/

        My suspicion is that the “crisis” in Ukraine will end when the Ruling Elites of not just Eurasia, but of Eastasia and Oceania [and the Bankers] have gained out of it what They wanted, all the while setting the stage for another, for the Next “Crisis.”

        A resurgence of COVID forcing the economy to shut down again? Food, fuel, and electricity shortages? A “Great Depression Two”? Another 9/11?

        How difficult would it be for those who are able to do those things to do them? Particularly when they see the potential for massive gains in Political and Economic Power and Wealth? Who and what is going to stop them?

        Like

  15. You guys might find this video relevant to this discussion today on the Debt and military spending.
    Economists in this guys comment section think he has it right!
    He presents the crucial role of having a complete industrial base, as well as the advantages of having your national currency accepted for international payments, are indeed of great importance for understanding the international distribution of military power.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. https://consortiumnews.com/2022/05/12/us-air-forces-british-expansion/

    “Last month, two nuclear-capable American B-52 bombers were spotted leaving RAF Fairford for a ‘target acquisition’ exercise over mainland Europe.

    But the U.K. appears to have very little control over what happens on the USAF operated bases or the missions that are flown from them……..

    Most of the American bases are called RAF stations and leased by the U.S. “Because of this, while the physical buildings comprising the bases are usually the property of the UK Ministry of Defence, very little of what happens in them is controlled by the British government,” Hudson said.

    It is also difficult for the British public to know what is happening on these bases, Hudson argues. “The MoD has strengthened the military by-laws which apply to RAF bases, making them so stringent that activities such as taking photographs and failing to collect dog waste from near the bases can be criminal offences.”

    Hudson added: “British control of these bases remains negligible, and public insight into their activities remains severely curtailed.”

    Like

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