War is like love, it always finds a way, according to Bertolt Brecht.
The German playwright had a point, for war always does have an insidious quality about it. It is a sinuous beast with a thirst for freedom.
Enter US President Elect Donald Trump, who has now said that his country must greatly expand its existing nuclear arsenal, ‘until the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.’
Back in 1970, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into effect. The NPT called for the prevention of the spread of nuclear weapons, and was ultimately ratified by 191 countries, including a recognized nuclear state, the United States of America. The NPT, which was scheduled to be reviewed every 25 years, was extended indefinitely in 1995.
The current geo-political climate around the globe is one of uncertainty and shift towards pre-war conditions.
Recent events, like the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, in Ankara, are darkly reminiscent of the killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo in 1914. This event, remember, led directly to the onset of World War I.
Also, terrorist activity around European soil has given rise to a tense socio-political climate and a deep sense of mistrust against the Muslim world.
It is against this backdrop of gathering storms that the statement made by Donald Trump resonates with echoes of warmongering.
According to Mr. Trump, the US must ‘greatly strengthen and expand’ its nuclear capabilities ‘until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.’
Mr. Trump’s comments come shortly after his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, spoke to his own advisors and said “We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defence systems.”
The US and Russia can deploy just over 7,000 nuclear warheads each. This is more than enough firepower to destroy the Earth several times over.
It seems fitting to end this piece with a quote from Jean-Paul Sartre. When the rich wage war, it is the poor who die.’