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This article appears in the Febuary 6, 2015 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Stop the Threat of War by
Cooperation with the BRICS

by Alexander Hartmann

[PDF version of this article]

Jan. 29—Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the Schiller Institute and chairwoman of the Civil Rights Solidarity Movement (BüSo), warned on Jan. 27 of the dramatically escalating danger of nuclear war between the West and Russia, as a result of the ongoing collapse of the trans-Atlantic financial system. The forces that want to maintain this bankrupt system at any cost are the same ones that are behind the war-mongering, she said.

In a speech at a Berlin seminar presenting EIR's December 2014 report, "The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge," she said that the global development programs presented in this study, and the cooperation of the trans-Atlantic world with the nations of the BRICS group, are crucial to defusing this threat of war. "The danger of war is extremely acute," she warned. "If you think through the situation, I don't think you'll be able to sleep at night. And frankly, I would prefer that, than to have block-headed Germans not wake up someday, and not even know what happened."

More and more people worldwide have been warning of the danger of a third world war, she said, such as Mikhail Gorbachov, the last leader of the Soviet Union, who said that an attempt to find a military solution to the Ukraine crisis would constitute not only an immediate threat of war in Europe, but would lead to a global nuclear war. "And the reason for this is of course not only Ukraine," Zepp-LaRouche continued. Russian President Putin had it right, when, in his annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly on Dec. 4, he said that if the West, especially the United States and NATO—and of course with the backing of the EU—had not had the Ukraine crisis, they would have come up with some other conflict, because the name of the game is the destruction of Russia.

She cited former Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, the chairman of the Russian Council for International Affairs, the think tank of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ivanov wrote a remarkable [[article]] [[ ukraine-crisis-more-dangerous-than-cold-war/514900.html]] in the Moscow Times, she said, "in which he says that the Ukraine crisis is more dangerous than any crisis during the Cold War—which is quite strong, since it means even more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis. And, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, we were really very close to catastrophe." Ivanov appealed to the leaders of the West to act immediately to prevent a disaster.

As to why this crisis is more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis, Ivanov pointed to the absence of political dialogue; that neither side is communicating with the other any longer. German historian Michael Stürmer also pointed out, in an article some months ago, that the standard operating procedure—to use the "red phone" in times of crisis and to communicate with one another—no longer exists.

"Ivanov writes that 'with mutual distrust at historical highs, the probability of unintended accidents, including those involving nuclear weapons, is getting more and more real,' that international law has become a victim of political interests, and the danger of a large-scale war is enormously high."

These warnings are fully justified, Zepp-LaRouche said.

"I want to tell you now a few things about the strategic situation that you probably do not know, but that you should absolutely read about. And I would request, if you don't believe me, that you get the articles I am referring to and read them for yourself. Because I believe that only the shock of how close we are to a third world war can generate the mobilization required for the offer made by President Xi Jinping to Obama to be accepted. Because either we leave the domain of geopolitics, which led to two world wars in the 20th Century, and go to a completely new paradigm in the history of mankind, or we will probably obliterate ourselves."

Illusion of First-Strike Capability

A very important problem, she said, is the illusion in leading circles in the United States that they could launch a nuclear first strike with today's weapons technology, and win a war.

As an example, she referred to an article by professors Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press, published on March 1, 2013 in Strategic Studies Quarterly, the magazine of the University of the U.S. Air Force. They said that the United States has a first-strike capability, the ability to wipe out any opponent's second-strike capability; that therefore, the doctrine of "Mutual Assured Destruction," which was considered valid still during the 1980s—that no nuclear weapons could be used, because they would lead to the extinction of mankind—no longer applies, so that it would be possible to win a nuclear war.

The authors conclude that the modernization of precision weapons, including cyberwarfare and surveillance with every sort of reconnaissance system, makes it possible to neutralize the enemy's second-strike capability, the entire nuclear arsenal, without the enemy being able to strike back.

Two years ago, the Izborsk Club, an organization of Russian intellectuals, issued a report which concluded "that there is a so-called counterforce threat to the Russian deterrent." And on March 3, 2012, the former Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Gen. Nikolai Makarov, said that if the installation of the U.S. antiballistic-missile defense system in Europe exceeded a certain point, then Russia would have to launch a pre-emptive strike.[1] He said that because of "the creation of the illusion of being able to inflict a disarming first strike without retaliation, a decision on the pre-emptive use of available offensive weapons will be taken during the period of an escalating situation."

Just two weeks ago, Zepp-LaRouche continued, Spiegel Online published new documents from Edward Snowden on an NSA program called "Tailored Access Operations," which manipulates and destroys the enemy's computers, and could make the enemy's hard drives unusable. It is not a question of total surveillance here, but of the destruction of computer networks and everything that they operate, "such as power and water supplies, factories, airports, or the flow of money." The head of the NSA, Michael Rogers, is also the head of the U.S. Cyber Forces.

But it is not only a matter of the above-mentioned measures, the article said, but also of siphoning off information from competing intelligence services; the NSA could hack into the Chinese secret service, the Russians, and others, and intercept all sorts of sensitive military technologies, "for example, schedules for the refueling of aircraft, military logistics and planning systems, missile navigation systems of the Navy, information about nuclear submarines, missile defense, and other top-secret arms projects."

The NSA could also take over private computers, using them as a kind of human shield to conduct these activities, and they have a whole range of digital "duplicate keys" and "crowbars" with which they can break into encrypted systems. They can plunder bank accounts, thwart military deployment plans, reverse-engineer fighter-bombers, switch off power plants. This is all in a legal vacuum, the article says, over which there is no legislative supervision and no international agreement.

Incalculable Consequences

At the end of December 2014, nuclear expert Theodore Postol published an article in the American magazine The Nation, in which he refers to Obama's promises during the 2008 election campaign, that his most important goal was nuclear disarmament. But now Obama has put on the agenda an ambitious, trillion-dollar modernization program for American nuclear weapons.

Postol, a professor of Science, Technology, and International Security at MIT, warned of the fundamental error of people who fantasize about a first strike, without knowing the difference between a conventional war and a nuclear war: that in a conventional war, the objective is, as far as possible, to eliminate the military power of the enemy, and that's final; whereas in a nuclear war, it is completely impossible to eliminate all of the enemy's nuclear weapons, so there is always a fraction left that can launch a counterstrike.

Postol comes to the conclusion that for all these reasons, there is an enormous problem of unpredictability. History gives countless examples, said Zepp-LaRouche, that show how "things can happen that were not planned, and how things can run out of control." The idea of winning a nuclear war is dangerous folly, she said, "which is putting it mildly."

On Dec. 1, 2014, former Russian Chief of the General Staff Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, said in a speech that "the armed forces of the U.S.A., of NATO in general, are 'honed' today towards fighting against Russia, and tomorrow, in the future, towards a fight against China." That will begin with an information war, he said, "and military force proper will be the final stage of the process that we are already seeing today."

Zepp-LaRouche stressed:

"I can only say that the anti-Russian propaganda. and especially the demonization of Putin are part of an information war that has already begun. Because if you want to wage war, you first have to have an enemy image."

In an interview with the Moscow Times, General Baluyevsky was asked then whether the Cold War could still be stopped, and he replied that he did not think so. "In other words, he is saying that 'the train has left the station,' " Zepp-LaRouche commented, and that is a perfectly correct statement at the present time, as long as U.S. policy is dominated by the mindset of the "Project for a New American Century," which says that the United States must not allow any state or group of states to be stronger than the USA. The Chinese leadership is also aware of this situation. "This is extremely dangerous," she said, "because if there were an uncontrolled crash now, then the danger of war, which is enormous anyway, would increase greatly."

Later in her speech, she described in detail the prospects opening up for the global economy through the initiatives and cooperation offers of the BRICS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—as well as the specific proposals for the expansion of the World Land-Bridge, which the Schiller Institute and the BüSo have been advocating for decades, and which now are well underway in many countries that are cooperating with the BRICS [see box].

Only if the West gives up its attitude of geopolitical confrontation against Russia and China, she concluded, and accepts the offer of cooperation with the BRICS countries, is there a way out of the dramatic threat of war and the breakdown crisis of the trans-Atlantic financial system.

Translated from German by Susan Welsh

[1] See EIR, March 15, 2003.

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