The US admits a possibility of a nuclear war with Russia and China. This fact itself seems to be nothing special per se, as one may generally admit literally everything. However, in this particular case it goes about a statement from the Commander of the US Strategic Command (Stratcom), Admiral Charles Richard.
What does the Stratcom commander mean? Admiral Richard said that a regional crisis with Russia or China could escalate into a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons. According to him, this can be possible if the Russian Federation or China find that their defeat in a conflict with the use of conventional weapons would pose a threat to their political system or state.
As a matter of fact, the state policy of the Russian Federation in the field of nuclear deterrence clearly defines the conditions under which the Russian leadership may decide to use nuclear weapons. Of course, such a move will be seen as the last resort, when there is no other option left. One should give the admiral credit for mentioning the Russian document.
As usual, the US admiral considered it necessary to emphasize the aggressiveness of the policies of Russia and China. According to Richard, while the United States was focused on the fight against terrorism, Moscow and Beijing were challenging international norms with the use of force unseen since the times of the Cold War. The USA should not ignore such actions, Richard believes.
Admiral Richard said all the above in his article for the February issue of the official publication of the US Naval Institute. This non-profit organization brings together American naval experts.
US journalists asked US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Relations John Kirby to comment on Admiral Richard's opinions. In particular, they asked Kirby whether it was possible to compare the existing tension between the nuclear powers with the Cuban missile crisis.
John Kirby preferred to refrain from drawing such a comparison. The USA sees China most challenging, Kirby said, but no one wants a conflict of this scale to materialize, he added.
Even though China is a growing challenge, Russia is still a threat on many fronts and the Pentagon takes all this seriously, Kirby also said.
It should be recalled that the United States actively discusses the concept to ensure military superiority over other countries while not overstepping the threshold of a nuclear war. Of course, the counties that Washington declares "enemies" or "threats" should determine effective measures to ensure their security. Given USA's greater superiority in conventional weapons, this is a hard nut to crack.
Before talking about threats of nuclear war, US politicians and military leaders should ask themselves whether they do work to prevent such a scenario. Although, of course, they are not going to do it in Washington.