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Ritter Exposes NATO Training To Wage Nuclear War against Russia

Oct. 20, 2022 (EIRNS)—Scott Ritter took the warnings that he had issued during his appearance with Diane Sare on Cynthia Pooler’s “Issues That Matter” YouTube channel, about NATO’s Steadfast Noon nuclear-sharing exercise, to a column, “Nuclear High Noon in Europe,” in Consortium News, posted yesterday. “Given that NATO’s nuclear umbrella extends exclusively over Europe, the indisputable fact is that Steadfast Noon is nothing more than NATO training to wage nuclear war against Russia,” he says at the outset.

Indeed, how could it be otherwise?

Ritter points out that, despite all of the insane rhetoric coming out of Washington, Brussels, and Kiev (of which he provides a timeline), there has been absolutely no talk coming out of the Kremlin about using tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine. In fact, Russian officials have made numerous statements to the contrary, that Russian nuclear doctrine is very specific on the conditions in which Russia would use nuclear weapons, and those conditions don’t, and won’t exist in Ukraine.

Biden, Ritter says, “got it all wrong” when talking about the potential for nuclear conflict. “The risk isn’t that Russia would start a pre-emptive nuclear war over Ukraine,” Ritter warns. “The risk is that America would.” This, Ritter argues, stems from the doctrine of preemption adopted by the G.W. Bush administration in 2002, which has still not been repudiated. Biden came into office promising to enshrine in U.S. nuclear doctrine a “sole purpose policy,” under which, Ritter quotes Bush that “the sole purpose of our nuclear arsenal should be to deter—and, if necessary, retaliate against—a nuclear attack.” But that change still hasn’t been made; therefore, the U.S. military has to rely on previously issued doctrine, the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review being the most recent such document.

Under the Bush doctrine, current “nuclear weapons are but another tool in the military’s toolbox, to be used as and when needed, including occasions where the destruction of battlefield targets for the simple purpose of gaining an operational advantage is the objective,” Ritter writes.

Ritter doesn’t mention it, but this fits in with the mantra of “integrated deterrence” of Lloyd Austin, which is no longer about deterring nuclear war but about employing a “whole of government” approach, of which nuclear weapons are a component, to deterring “bad behavior” by the designated enemies of the United States, behavior such as an invasion of Taiwan by the P.R.C.

“As this article is being written, U.S. nuclear-capable B-52 bombers are flying to Europe from their U.S. bases, where they will practice delivering nuclear weapons against a Russian target,” Ritter writes. “Dozens more aircraft, flying from Volkel Air Force Base in the Netherlands (home to an arsenal of U.S. B-61 nuclear bombs), will practice employing NATO nuclear weapons against...Russia. Russia has responded to the NATO nuclear drill by going forward with its own annual nuclear exercise, ‘Grom’ (Thunder). These drills will involve the large-scale maneuver of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces, including live missile launches. In a statement of neon-lighted hypocrisy, a U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, ‘Russian nuclear rhetoric and its decision to proceed with this exercise while at war with Ukraine is irresponsible. Brandishing nuclear weapons to coerce the United States and its allies is irresponsible.’ ”

Ritter insists: “Now is the time for maturity, sanity...restraint. A sage leader would have recognized the possibility of misperception on the part of Russia when NATO, a mere week after being encouraged by the Ukrainian President to initiate a preemptive nuclear strike on Russia, carries out a major exercise where NATO practices dropping nuclear bombs on Russia. A sober leader would have postponed these drills and encouraged similar action from Russia regarding its nuclear exercises. Instead, America gets an unscripted, off-the-cuff reference to a nuclear Armageddon from a narcissistic egomaniac who uses the horror of nuclear annihilation as a fund-raising mantra.”

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