Shultz, Nunn, Perry Call for Reestablishing U.S.-Russia Strategic Dialogue
April 13 (EIRNS)—Former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Sen. Sam Nunn (who chaired the Armed Services Committee) and former Secretary of Defense William Perry warned in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on April 11 that a “bold policy shift” is needed to get the U.S. and Russia out of “a dangerous policy paralysis that could lead—most likely by mistake or miscalculation—to a military confrontation and potentially the use of nuclear weapons for the first time in nearly 74 years.” Without such a policy shift “our nations may soon be entrenched in a nuclear standoff more precarious, disorienting and economically costly than the Cold War.”
At the heart of their warning is that fact that there is no strategic dialogue between the United States and Russia to speak of, and without such dialogue, a nuclear blunder or nuclear terrorism become much more likely. Those threats are compounded by the rising risks of cyberattack on nuclear command and control systems and by the fact that U.S. and Russian military forces are operating in close proximity, such as in Syria—“increasing the risk that an act of aggression, followed by an accident or miscalculation, will lead to catastrophe.”
Missing from their warning, and indeed most such statements from other sources, is the need to rise above the East-West division of the world characteristic of the Cold War. Shultz, Nunn and Perry are responding on the same axiomatic basis by which, during their public careers, they acted to maintain “stability” between the U.S. and NATO on the one side, and the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact on the other, and they make this explicit by their reference to the various Cold War crises, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, during which that stability almost collapsed. What their polemic lacks is the urgent necessity repeatedly posed by Lyndon LaRouche that the U.S. and Russia—and China—end the imperial division of the world into East and West, and join in a new paradigm for advancing the common aims of mankind.
Instead, they propose a number of steps to address the danger and reduce the risk of a nuclear confrontation. The first step they propose is that Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell convene a bipartisan panel of legislative leaders to work with the administration on strengthening the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (!), and renewing dialogue with Russia, modeled on a similar panel that existed in the 1980s. Secondly, President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin should announce a joint declaration reaffirming that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, like that of 1985 by Reagan and Gorbachev. “Third, the U.S. and Russia must discuss a broad framework for strategic stability—including increasing decision time for leaders—in a period of global destabilization and emerging military technologies.”