Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Strategic Culture
Russia and Belarus fear another blitz invasion — a modernized version of Germany’s infamous Operation Barbarossa — but this time coming from NATO (instead of only from Germany, as in 1940), and they are preparing their forces for it.
The US nuclear forces modernization program has been portrayed to the public as an effort to ensure the reliability and safety of warheads in the US nuclear arsenal, rather than to enhance their military capabilities. In reality, however, that program has implemented revolutionary new technologies that will vastly increase the targeting capability of the US ballistic missile arsenal. This increase in capability is astonishing — boosting the overall killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three — and it creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.
Furthermore, the U.S. government’s plan to conquer Russia is based upon a belief in, and the fundamental plan to establish, “Nuclear Primacy” against Russia — an American ability to win a nuclear war against, and so conquer, Russia.
This concept became respectable in U.S. academic and governmental policymaking circles when virtually simultaneously in 2006 a short-form and a long-form version of an article endorsing the concept of a nuclear-blitz first strike, which the article’s two co-authors there named “nuclear primacy,” were published respectively in the world’s two most influential journals of international affairs, Foreign Affairs from the Council on Foreign Relations, and International Security from Harvard. (CFR got the more popular short version, titled “The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy”, and Harvard got the more scholarly long version, which was titled “The End of MAD?”.)
This article claimed that the central geostrategic concept during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Mutually Assured Destruction or “MAD” — in which there is no such thing as the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. conquering the other, because the first of the two to attack will itself also be destroyed by the surviving nuclear forces of the one responding to that attack — will soon be merely past history (like the Soviet Union itself already is); and, so, as the short form of the article said, “nuclear primacy remains a goal of the United States” (implying that it already was); and, as the long form said, “the United States now stands on the cusp of nuclear primacy.” In other words: arms-control or no, the U.S. should, and soon will, be able to grab Russia (the largest land-mass of any country in the world, and also the one richest in natural resources).
Neither version of this article mentioned the key reason why nuclear victory is exceedingly dangerous even under the most favorable conditions, which reason is the concept (and the likely reality in the event of nuclear war between the two superpowers) “nuclear winter” — the scientific studies showing that a resulting sudden sharp cooling of the atmosphere after all those enormous explosions darkening the global skies would produce a global die-off. America’s aristocracy and its vassal-aristocracies controlling the U.S.-allied nations (billionaires, centi-millionaires, and their top agents in both the public and private sectors) are buying and building deep-underground nuclear shelters for themselves, but they wouldn’t be able to stay underground and survive on stored feedstuffs forever. (As for everybody else, those other people are not involved in U.S. geostrategic decision-making, and so are being ignored by the U.S. Government.) Many of America’s (and associated) elite are paying those bomb-shelter expenses, but none of the West’s elite are condemning the path toward nuclear war that their governments are on. Their Government represents them — not the public. So: buying or building nuclear-war shelters is more acceptable to them than is stopping America’s planned conquest of Russia. The higher priority for them is to conquer Russia.
A far less influential scholarly journal, China Policy, published later in 2006 a critical article arguing against nuclear supremacy, but that article has had no impact upon policymaking. Its title was “The Fallacy of Nuclear Primacy” and it argued that, “American nuclear supremacy removes the root source of stability from the nuclear equation: mutual vulnerability.” It presented a moral argument: “U.S. leaders might try to exploit its nuclear superiority … by actually launching a cold-blooded nuclear attack against its nuclear rival in the midst of an intense crisis. The professors discount significantly the power of the nuclear taboo to restrain U.S. leaders from crossing the fateful threshold. If crisis circumstances grow dire enough, the temptation to try to disarm their nuclear adversaries through a nuclear first-strike may be too strong to resist, they argue.” The concept of “nuclear winter” wasn’t even so much as just mentioned (much less dealt with) in this article, just as it was ignored in the two that it was arguing against. (Nuclear winter is virtually prohibited from being discussed in leading academic journals in the social sciences; but one article, in the 2 September 2019 Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, “Nuclear War as a Global Catastrophic Risk” was published because it simply ignored the key question of who gets the benefits and who suffers the costs of America’s current meta-strategy, Nuclear Primacy.)
The co-authors of (both versions of) the article that had proposed and endorsed nuclear primacy, then published in 2007 (this one also in International Security), a response to that critical article, which had attacked theirs. This reply’s title was “U.S. Nuclear Primacy and the Future of the Chinese Deterrent”. But it made no more impact than did the obscure article it was arguing against. In the circles of power within the U.S., the matter was already settled.
Thus, Nuclear Primacy has tacitly become U.S. policy, and MAD no longer is U.S. policy (though it remains Russian policy). The U.S. government is planning to take over Russia (basically, to install a puppet-regime there). That’s the reality.
Starting by no later than 2011, the Administration of U.S. President Barack Obama was planning two operations in order to move forward especially against Russia, but also against all countries that were not hostile toward Russia (such as China, Russia, Venezuela, Syria, and Iran), and this included especially Ukraine, which has a 1,600-mile border with Russia, and also Syria, which ever since 1949 the U.S. CIA has been trying for the U.S. Government to take over so as to advance oil pipeline projects that the Sauds wanted to be built through Syria into Europe. (The Sauds are key allies of the U.S. Government.)
In a moment of extraordinary candor, George Friedman, the founder and CEO of the ‘private CIA’ consulting firm Stratfor, once called the overthrow of the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, which had occurred in February 2014, “the most blatant coup in history”, and this was because it was the first coup ever to have been captured live on cellphone videos and uploaded to the internet as it happened, and it was afterward documented by interviewing some of the participants, in detailed accounts which fit perfectly with similar confessions from other participants (such as this, from one who didn’t even know about those other participants, but they all were carrying out the same plan, which they didn’t know about and which came from above — the U.S. regime — they all were only following the orders that they had been given by agents of the U.S.).
These realities were able to be reported outside the United States but not inside the United States. The top EU officials didn’t become so much as even aware that it had been a coup instead of an authentic revolution, until it was already finished, on 26 February 2014. By our own time, there is no longer any reasonable doubt that it had been led by the U.S. regime, and that Barack Obama’s Administration had started planning the operation by no later than 2011, and the implementation-phase started by no later than 1 March 2013 inside the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine — well before the fairy-tale ‘explanation’ of the coup (‘the Maidan Revolution’) started on 21 November 2013. Famously, after that ‘democratic revolution’ (which was instead a fascist coup that was hidden behind popular anti-corruption demonstrations), came the breakaway of Crimea (which had voted over 75% for Yanukovych) and of Donbass (which had voted over 90% for him). And then came the Obama-installed regime’s ethnic cleansing ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’ to eliminate as many of the voters in Donbass as possible, because if they stayed in Ukraine, then the newly installed regime in Kiev would soon be elected out-of-office. Hatred was needed in order for that ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’ or ‘ATO’ (the ethnic-cleansing operation) to be able to achieve its purpose (of eliminating those voters but keeping the land), and this hatred was funded and promoted by American billionaires and the American Government — and American-and-allied media.
The big ‘justification’ for economic sanctions against Russia was Putin’s ‘seizure’ of Crimea, which was anything but a seizure and was actually protection not only of a part of Ukraine which had been part of Russia from 1783 to 1954 when the Soviet dictator arbitrarily transferred Crimea to Ukraine, but Putin’s action regarding Crimea was also protection of the residents there who were clamoring for Crimea to rejoin Russia when Obama’s Ukrainian fascists made clear their hatred of Crimeans and their aim to destroy Crimeans. As became ultimately revealed, the Obama Administration had a plan in place by no later than June of 2013 not only to expel from Crimea Russia’s largest naval base, which was located there, but to replace it by a U.S. naval base on Crimea.
So, there can be no reasonable doubt that the actual aggressor regarding Crimea was Obama and his regime, who seized Ukraine, and not really Putin and his government. However, the anti-Russian sanctions nonetheless remain in place to this day, and the actual history regarding the matter of Crimea, Donbass, and Ukraine, remains covered-up by the U.S. regime and its allied regimes and their propaganda or ‘news’ media.
Furthermore, the Obama regime had had Gallup survey Crimeans both in 2013 before the coup, and in 2014 right after the coup, and found that, in both polls, far more Crimeans wanted Crimea to be again a part of Russia than wanted it to be a part of Ukraine as the Soviet dictator had ruled it to become in 1954. The 2014 poll found that only 2.8% of Crimeans viewed the U.S. favorably, while more than 97% did not, and that by a margin of 71.3% to 8.8%, which is 89%, Crimeans were pro-Russia. Furthermore, the 2014 survey covered not only Crimea but all parts of what had been Ukraine, and it also found that only in Ukraine’s far northwest (near or adjoining Poland) were Ukrainians favorable either to America or to NATO. (The U.S. regime wants Ukraine to become a member of NATO — so as to place U.S. missiles only 5 minutes flight-time to Moscow, a super-blitz away — but in almost all parts of the former Ukraine, that was not wanted.)
On 16 January 2021, four days before Joe Biden became U.S. President, Russia’s RT headlined “‘America is back’: Biden fills State Department slots with more Obama vets, including Ukraine ‘coup plotter’ Victoria Nuland”, and noted that “President-elect Joe Biden is getting the old interventionist-foreign-policy team back together, including Ukraine coup engineer Victoria Nuland, signaling a hardline Russia stance as he fills out top posts in the State Department. … Nuland, who studied Russian literature at Brown University, wrote last summer in Foreign Affairs of how ‘a confident America should deal with Russia’ with a more ‘activist’ policy, including ‘speaking directly to the Russian people about the benefits of working together and the price they have paid for (President Vladimir) Putin’s hard turn away from liberalism.’ … Nuland, a neoconservative who was named undersecretary for political affairs, goes all the way back to former President Ronald Reagan’s administration and was a foreign policy adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney. … Cato Institute senior fellow Doug Bandow said … ‘She’ll be back overthrowing governments in the Biden administration, so it remains a valid standard.’” And Nuland was part of a solidly neoconservative (i.e., U.S. imperialist) team leading both diplomatic and military policies in the new Administration.
Nuland was the person who had led the Obama Administration’s coup against Ukraine — she gave the orders, which came from Obama himself. Trump continued Obama’s neoconservative foreign policies and intensified them against Iran, but Biden is expected to intensify them against Russia, and maybe also against China. Ever since at least George W. Bush, the U.S. Government has been 100% neoconservative. Of course, Nuclear Primacy is neoconservatism regarding nuclear-weapons strategy.
Nuclear Primacy is neoconservatism in the Atomic Age. That’s what the termination of MAD is, in America. It’s super-aggression. Neoconservatism German-style was Nazism. But when the concept of neoconservatism is applied to any country other than the U.S. and its allies, it is instead called by the more general term, “imperialism.” There is nothing really new about it.
Operation Barbarossa was Germany’s version of what today is America’s Nuclear Primacy; and, of course, it preceded the era of nuclear weapons, but it produced the vast majority of the deaths and destructions in World War II — even without nuclear weapons. Because of that Nazi Operation, Russia lost 13,950,000, or exactly 12.7% of its population. Another part of the Soviet Union, Belarus, lost 2.29 million, or exactly 25.3% of its population to Hitler. Another part of the U.S.S.R., Ukraine, lost 6.85 million, or 16.3%. The entire Soviet Union lost 26.6 million, exactly 13.7% of its population to Hitler. The U.S. lost only 419,400, or 0.32% of its population.
Furthermore, immediately after FDR died and Harry S. Truman became President, the U.S. CIA (then as its predecessor organization the OSS) provided protection and employment in Germany for top members of Hitler’s equivalent to the CIA, the Gehlen Organization. (America’s CIA continues flagrantly to violate the law and hide from Congress and the American people crucial details of its relationship with the Gehlen Organization.)
By contrast, the Soviet Union was unremitting in killing Nazis whom it captured. So: while the U.S.S.R. was killing any ‘ex’-Nazis it could find, the U.S.A. was hiring them either in West Germany or else into the U.S. itself. It brought them to America whenever the U.S. regime needed the person’s assistance in designing weapons to use against the U.S.S.R.
Right away, the U.S. was looking for ‘ex’-Nazis who could help the U.S. conquer the Soviet Union. The Cold War secretly started in the U.S. as soon as WW II was over (the OSS-CIA’s “Operation Paperclip”). (There was no equivalent to “Operation Paperclip” in the U.S.S.R.)
Then, when the U.S.S.R., in 1991, ended its communism, and ended its Warsaw Pact military alliance which it had created in 1955 after America had created its NATO military alliance in 1949, and dissolved altogether, the U.S. regime secretly continued, on its side, the Cold War, but this time against Russia instead of against the Soviet Union. It was and is a U.S. war of imperialism, not a war against communism. The U.S. regime (including its allies) constantly lies about Russia, (and also about the Soviet Union, rewriting history) in order to ‘justify’ this imperialism by the U.S.
Last year, the U.S. regime (and its allies) tried to generate a coup overthrowing Belarus’s Government, which wasn’t being sufficiently hostile toward its next-door-neighbor, Russia. As a result, Belarus is now closer than ever to buying from Russia S-400 anti-missile systems, just in case the U.S. regime tries to pull its own Operation Barbarossa (of the nuclear-blitz type, instead of by three million German soldiers).
So: it’s far from irrational for both Russia and Belarus to fear that there will be another “Operation Barbarossa” — but, this time, coming from the imperialistic fascists who are being led from Washington, not from the imperialistic fascists who are being led from Berlin.
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.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.