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Nuclear Threat Initiative Urges To Negotiate and End War Threat

Feb. 15, 2022 (EIRNS)—Three former U.S. officials, all currently leaders of the Nuclear Threat Initiative—Ambassador to Moscow and Beijing Jon Huntsman, Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sam Nunn, and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz—pled for serious diplomacy in which “Leaders Must Untie the ‘Knot of War’ in Europe,” as they wrote in their Feb. 10 op-ed in The Hill. The three put the onus of the crisis upon Russia, but recognize that the onus of responsibility for heading off war falls equally on the West.

“The Euro-Atlantic region is on the precipice of the most significant conflict in generations, with a menacing Russian military buildup on Ukraine’s borders and Ukraine and NATO shoring up defenses in response. With Russian demands viewed as unrealistic by NATO, and NATO replies termed inadequate by Moscow, leaders are now—as Chairman Nikita Khrushchev warned President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis—in danger of pulling the knot of war so tight that they will not have the strength to untie it,”

they write.

“In this tense situation, any clash could spark a wider conflagration. The risk of an accident, miscalculation, or disastrous decision is especially ominous when the two countries with the largest nuclear weapon arsenals are on opposite sides.

“All have a stake in defusing the situation. The urgent task is to construct a process of political dialogue that allows all parties to stop pulling on the ends of the rope and create room for diplomacy to repair and strengthen a Euro-Atlantic security architecture that includes Russia.”

They are well-meaning, but do not propose decisive action to open a new paradigm, clinging to the belief that promises that Ukraine will not enter NATO for an extended time would suffice to gain time for long negotiations centered on other security arrangements, which are important but secondary to establishing the needed new, broader security architecture.

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