“Russian missiles pose a danger,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, sounding the alarm in a Nov. 23 interview with Maurizio Caprara [Italian daily newspaper] of Corriere della Sera. Published just three days before an “incident” in the Azov Sea, the interview threw gasoline on already flaming tensions with Russia. “There are no new missiles in Europe. But Russian missiles, yes,” claimed Stoltenberg — while hiding two facts.
First of all, starting in March 2020, the United States will begin to deploy the first precision-guided nuclear bomb in its arsenal, the B61-12, in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland (where B-61 nuclear bombs are already deployed) and probably in other European countries. The new bomb, mainly targeting Russia, has the ability to penetrate and explode underground, so it can destroy command center bunkers in a first strike.
One can imagine how the United States would react if Russia deployed nuclear bombs in Mexico, close to U.S. territory.
Italy and the other countries, in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, make bases, pilots and planes available to the U.S. for the deployment of nuclear weapons, thus exposing Europe to greater risk, as it is on the first line of the growing U.S. confrontation with Russia.
Secondly, a new U.S. missile system was installed in Romania in 2016, and a similar one is being installed in Poland. The same missile system is installed on four warships stationed by the U.S. Navy at the Spanish base of Rota. These ships cross the Black Sea and Baltic Sea near Russian territory.
Both the ground installations and the ships are equipped with Lockheed Martin Mk 41 vertical launchers, which — the manufacturer specifies — can launch “missiles for all missions: both SM-3 for defense against ballistic missiles and long-range Tomahawk missiles for attacking ground targets.” The latter can also be armed with a nuclear warhead.
Since Moscow cannot verify which missiles actually exist in launchers approaching Russian territory, it must assume that they include nuclear attack missiles. This violates the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which prohibits the installation of ground-based short-range and intermediate-range missiles.
In 2014, the Barack Obama administration accused Russia, without bringing any evidence, of having tested a cruise missile (SSC-8) of the category prohibited by the treaty, announcing that “the United States is considering the deployment of ground-based missiles in Europe” — that means the U.S. would abandon the INF Treaty.
The plan, supported by NATO’s European allies, was confirmed by the Donald Trump administration. In the current 2018 fiscal year, Congress has authorized the funds for a research and development program to introduce a cruise missile launched from a mobile platform on a highway.
Nuclear missiles such as the “Euromissiles” deployed by the U.S. in Europe in the 1980s, and eliminated by the INF Treaty, were able to reach Russia. Similar nuclear missiles deployed in Russia can reach Europe, but not the United States. Stoltenberg himself, referring to the SSC-8 that Russia is supposed to have deployed on its territory, states that they are “able to reach much of Europe, but not the United States.”
That’s how the United States “defends” Europe.
Finally, what is really grotesque is Stoltenberg’s statement that, attributing to Russia “the very dangerous idea of limited nuclear conflicts,” warns, “All atomic weapons are risky, but those that can lower the threshold for their use are particularly risky.”
This is exactly the warning given by U.S. military experts and scientists about their B61-12s, which are about to be deployed in Europe: “Less powerful and more precise nuclear weapons increase the temptation to use them, even to use them first instead of in retaliation.”
Why doesn’t Maurizio Caprara interview these scientists?
Dinucci is an anti-militarist expert whose article originally ran in the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto of Nov. 27. Translation by WW Managing Editor John Catalinotto.