Possibility Of Nuclear War Between The U.S. And Russia, Warns Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers Leaker
in World — by Countercurrents Collective — 06/03/2023
Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the ‘Pentagon Papers’ that revealed the U.S.’s covert attempts to ramp up conflict in Vietnam since the 1940s, has warned of the possibility of nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia. In a parting message to other activists, he made the warning. In the message Daniel Ellsberg has announced that he has terminal pancreatic cancer.
“On February 17, without much warning, I was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer,” the 91-year-old activist wrote on Twitter on Friday.
“I am sorry to report to you that my doctors have given me three to six months to live,” he continued, adding that he had chosen not to undergo chemotherapy.
“The current risk of nuclear war, over Ukraine, is as great as the world has ever seen,” Ellsberg wrote, condemning both the US and Russia for refusing to follow the lead of India and China in declaring “no-first-use policies.” However, he added that any nuclear war plans, deployments, and exercises “are and always have been immoral and insane.”
Regardless of who fires first, nuclear war and the ensuing nuclear winter would cause “death by starvation for most of the humans and other vertebrates on earth,” Ellsberg stated, lamenting the fact that “this scientific near-consensus has had virtually no effect on the Pentagon’s nuclear war plans or U.S./NATO (or Russian) nuclear threats.”
Moscow has repeatedly warned the West that its continued involvement in the Ukraine conflict could potentially trigger a direct nuclear confrontation between Russia and the U.S. Russia’s long-standing nuclear doctrine allows for use of its atomic weapons in the event of a first strike on its territory, or if the existence of the Russian state is threatened.
Before he was an anti-nuclear campaigner, Ellsberg was a military analyst with the RAND Corporation. In 1969, while participating in a government-ordered study on the runup to the Vietnam War, Ellsberg copied thousands of classified documents detailing the U.S.’s deepening involvement in the conflict long before it openly entered in 1964.
The papers, which were published in part by the New York Times, also showed how multiple US administrations lied to the American public about battlefield losses in Vietnam, while enlarging the scope of the conflict without public discussion.
Ellsberg was prosecuted for espionage by the Nixon administration, but the charges against him were dropped following a mistrial in 1972. Members of Nixon’s White House Special Investigations Unit illegally wiretapped Ellsberg, before going on to commit the Watergate break-in that ultimately resulted in Nixon’s resignation that same year.
Russia Warns Of Nuclear Clash Risk
A media report said:
Washington’s efforts to add fuel to the Ukraine conflict could potentially trigger a direct nuclear standoff, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov warned on Thursday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Geneva Conference on Disarmament, Ryabkov said “the most acute strategic threat comes from” the policies of the U.S. and NATO, which seek to “further stoke the conflict in Ukraine and tensions around it which they deliberately initiated.”
Against this backdrop, the senior diplomat warned that the “increased involvement” of the U.S. and NATO in hostilities was “fraught with the threat of a direct military clash of nuclear powers with catastrophic consequences.”
Ryabkov said Moscow had alerted Western countries about these risks but that its warnings “are being distorted for propaganda purposes” and deliberately misinterpreted. He went on to add that such policies are at odds with nuclear states’ declaration that a nuclear conflict should never be fought.
In January 2022, in a rare display of unity, five nuclear powers – Russia, China, the U.S., UK, and France – issued a joint statement saying that they “consider the avoidance of war between Nuclear-Weapon States and the reduction of strategic risks” as their foremost responsibilities.
The diplomat added that the “destructive actions” by the U.S. and its allies are fomenting tension in several regions across the world, which suggests that “we can talk about the growing global struggle for a new world order,” Ryabkov added.
All of these developments “make it harder and harder to deal with arms control and strategic risk reduction,” according to Ryabkov.
His comments come after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last month that Moscow would suspend its participation in the New START treaty, the last remaining nuclear deal between Russia and the U.S., which puts restrictions on the number of nuclear assets deployed by the two sides around the world.
Explaining the reason for the move, Putin said that the West had denied under formal pretexts Moscow’s requests to inspect Western nuclear facilities in accordance with the treaty. At the same time, he noted that NATO countries were demanding access to Russia’s strategic facilities.
Earlier this week, Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., said that Washington must reconsider “its hostile anti-Russian policy” to “create conditions for a return to full-scale operation of New START.”
U.S. ‘Doomsday Plane’ Flies To Europe
Another media report said:
The U.S. Navy’s key aircraft in case of nuclear war has landed in Iceland, the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) reported on Tuesday, shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law Moscow’s suspension of the New START nuclear treaty.
According to a post on the command’s Twitter account, the crew of the E-6B Mercury, assigned to U.S. Strategic Command’s Wing One, met with the U.S. Ambassador to Iceland as well as other diplomatic and military leaders. The aircraft is conducting operations in the EUCOM area of responsibility, according to the statement.
The E-6B Mercury aircraft is commonly referred to as a “doomsday plane” because it is designed to serve as an airborne command post in the event of an all-out nuclear war, disaster or other large-scale conflict.
According to the Pentagon, the plane allows the U.S. command to communicate with both strategic and non-strategic weapons systems, making it possible to launch ground and submarine-based ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
The news came just after Moscow sent Washington an official note on the suspension of Russia’s participation in the New START treaty – the last remaining nuclear arms reduction agreement between the U.S. and Russia. The treaty was supposed to limit both nations’ nuclear stockpiles and allow each to monitor the opposing arsenal to confirm compliance. However, both Moscow and Washington have accused the other of failing to adhere to the agreement to allow such inspections.
Putin announced the temporary suspension of the treaty last week, accusing the U.S. of trying to “refashion the international order” to suit its “selfish interests,” and of demanding that Russia abide by treaties “while they do as they please.”
The Russian President also pointed to statements made by Western leaders that they wished to “inflict a strategic defeat” on Russia while openly aiding attempted Ukrainian drone attacks on Russia’s strategic aviation bases.
Before Moscow can resume observing the treaty, Putin said it must have “a clear idea” of NATO’s nuclear arsenal – including weapons held by the UK and France, who he said are welcome to join the pact.