Executive Intelligence Review
Subscribe to EIW This artricle appears in the March 13, 2015 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Who Thinks Nuclear War Is a Viable Option?

by Nancy Spannaus

[PDF version of this article]

March 9—Who would be so perverse as to come up with a strategy to launch a nuclear war? The short answer is the British financial oligarchy, whose determination to maintain world domination has historically included not only the threat to deploy the bomb in order to intimidate those in resistance, but the willingness to risk global extinction by use of what they've called "limited nuclear war." Today's U.S. military doctrine derives directly from these utopian ideas.

Why utopian? Because these ideas envision an outcome that cannot exist. Under current conditions of nuclear balance between the U.S. and Russia, the consequences of even a "limited" nuclear exchange would not be survival for the launcher, but would result in conditions that would make the planet unlivable for all mankind.

British Roots

It was H.G. Wells, in 1913, who first posited the use of "atomic bombs" as a means of imposing nuclear terror to cow nations into submission. In his book A World Set Free, Wells envisioned the destruction of the planet through an atomic (nuclear) war, with the result that

"The catastrophe of the atomic bombs which shook men out of cities and businesses and economic relations shook them also out of their old established habits of thought, and out of the lightly held beliefs and prejudices that came down to them from the past. To borrow a word from the old-fashioned chemists, men were made nascent; they were released from old ties; for good or evil they were ready for new associations."

Wells was no independent voice of fantasy. He was a kept property of the British Round Table/Fabian Society, and his ideas, and novels, were in large part dramatizations of the thinking of that oligarchical entity, specifically including world depopulation, the better to maintain oligarchical rule. One of his most prominent collaborators was Lord Bertrand Russell, who notoriously put forward the plan for threatening a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union in 1946—should that nation refuse to capitulate to the Western oligarchy's demand for world government.

The Soviet Union's development of its own nuclear capability put an end to that particular scheme, but the British vision of using nuclear warfare as a means for imposing geopolitical domination survived. In 1954, Russell pulled together the World Association of Parliamentarians for World Government, which brought Western and Russian scientists together to discuss how to live with the threat of the bomb, now that both blocs presumably had the ability to wipe each other out. Later, Russell joined in sponsoring a series of conferences on the nuclear threat, called after their location, Pugwash, in Canada. In a 1958 speech to the second Pugwash conference, titled, "How To Live with the Bomb and Survive: The Possibility of a Pax Russo-Americana in the Long-Range Rocket Stage of the So-Called Atomic Age," physicist Leo Szilard laid out one scenario, which was later published in the Feburary 1960 Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

(If that sounds to you like the famous 1960s movie "Dr. Stranglove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb," you're right. Szilard was the model for the "scientist" in that movie.)

In Szilard's scenario, the U.S. and Russia work out a scheme by which they agree on limited nuclear strikes, even exchanging city for city, in lieu of all-out nuclear war, which was understood to be a recipe for Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). A form of nuclear cabinet warfare, if you will—and totally insane.

Equally insane were the scenarios put out in the same period by the Rand Corporation's Herman Kahn, who, in his book On Thermonuclear War, outlined how such a war could allegedly be won.

The Soviet military command never totally signed on to the Pugwash concept, despite General Secretary Khrushchov's desires. Soviet General Staff publications continued to discuss all possible war scenarios, including attempts to survive under nuclear attack and even, for the future, anti-missile beam weapons. But, after the horrifying spectacle of the Soviet 50-megaton "Tsar Bomba" hydrogen bomb test in October 1961, and the near-miss of the Cuban Missile Crisis one year later, both the Americans and Soviets moved toward acceptance of a nuclear "balance of terror," with a series of arms-control treaties, including the Anti-Ballistic-Missile Treaty in 1967. The idea was geopolitical stasis, under the constant threat of all-out MAD.

War Winning vs. LaRouche's SDI

A fundamental shift occurred in the 1970s, with the rise of the generation of strategists typified by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who, as head of the Trilateral Commission, effectively appointed Jimmy Carter to be the Democratic Presidential candidate, and then became his controller as National Security Advisor. The shift appeared in the announcement of a new doctrine, written by Brzezinski, known as Presidential Directive No. 59 in August of 1980. PD 59 formalized a policy of "limited nuclear war," also known as "flexible response."

Under PD 59, the U.S. policy was to target key Soviet military installations and its leadership, as a "limited" means of establishing dominance, without going to all-out destruction. In effect, it represented the announcement of the intent to develop a first-strike capability—and was denounced as such by the Soviet Union. It was dubbed "counterforce."

The Soviets immediately responded that it was a fantasy. Said Gen. Lt. Sergei Radziyevsky, Deputy Director of the Institute of Military History, to the news agency TASS:

"The question of using military force is envisaged in Soviet military doctrine only in a situation where aggression has really occurred, when the Soviet Union has no other way out but to launch all its military might at the enemy to crush it completely" (emphasis added).

It was in the context of the advancement of the PD 59 strategy—and the corresponding aggressive preparations by the Soviets in response—that Lyndon LaRouche began his fight for Mutually Assured Survival, the program of joint U.S.-Soviet missile defense which was presented by President Ronald Reagan as the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). LaRouche's concept was not military, but strategic, in the sense that it called for collaboration to develop the next-generation technologies which could make nuclear missiles, and thus nuclear warfare, obsolete—while also opening the door to a scientific revolution that would produce the technologies to serve the common aims of mankind.

President Reagan embraced LaRouche's concept; the British-influenced Kremlin nixed it. As a result, as LaRouche had forecast, the Kremlin pursued a military build-up which helped to create the crisis that brought on the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990-91.

The Post-Soviet Era

The end of the Soviet Union found the United States under the presidency of George H.W. Bush, a virtual tool of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and British imperial geopolitics generally. Bush's administration was infested with British-style imperialist ideology, epitomized by Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, Cheney deputy Paul Wolfowitz, and a host of neo-conservatives. Emblematic of their outlook was Wolfowitz's 1992 memorandum, in which he outlined a U.S. policy, soon dubbed the "Wolfowitz Doctrine," that no nation must ever be allowed to have enough power to challenge U.S. hegemony, as the Soviet Union had done.

This triumphalist attitude took a back seat during most of the Clinton Administration, which made its own attempts to establish collaboration with Russia. The neo-cons simultaneously plotted their return to government, forming the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) in 1997, whose explicit program was for U.S. global domination. Clinton was unable to prevent the Wall Street/London crowd from carrying out its vicious looting of Russia, and at the end of his Presidency, as he was weakened by scandal, the disastrous policies of NATO expansion and the war against Serbia were launched.

With the election of George W. Bush—an idiot front-man for the neo-conservative grouping, which had been assembled as the Vulcans under George P. Shultz—the Anglo-American program of global domination, financial and military, took hold completely. NATO was vastly expanded, the Ballistic Missile Defense program aimed at stripping the Russian and Chinese nuclear deterrent forces was launched, and the "Project Democracy" programs of the neo-cons, which had had been germinating from the time of Reagan's visit to London in 1982, went into high gear.

It's this program, continued and strengthened into and through the Presidency of British puppet Barack Obama, which has brought the world to the edge of war once again.

For the Russian governments that came into power in 1998-99, first led by Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov, and then by Vladimir Putin, are determined not to capitulate to this New World Order. They will not play the limited nuclear war game.

A Postscript

Two explicit comments to that effect are worth calling to mind, in conclusion.

One comes from Ted Postol, the nuclear weapons specialist who has been a severe critic of the U.S. BMD program. Writing in The Nation in December 2014 about the Obama Administration program for modernizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal, Postol asked the question:

"Do US military and political leaders actually believe that the upgraded systems could serve a useful military purpose? If so, could such ill-informed beliefs lead to a cascade of events that result in a nuclear catastrophe?

"The troubling answer to both questions is yes."

He went on to discuss potential scenarios of a U.S. attack, even by missiles with conventional warheads, citing certain U.S. advantages. He continued:

"This does not mean, of course, that the United States would have a realistic chance of succeeding in such an ambitious conventional attack. Everyone on the US side who is properly informed understands that Russia would launch a counterattack before the US warheads arrived. Despite this frightening reality, policy-makers have not attempted to analyze the benefit to US security of pushing the Russians to a higher state of alert. Nor have they asked how an increased US nuclear threat to Russia improves the security of US allies—or, for that matter, anyone else around the globe" (emphasis added).

The second comment comes from Igor Ivanov, Russia's Foreign Minister from 1998-2004 and chair of the Russian International Affairs Council. He warned in a Moscow Times article Jan. 26, that the Ukraine crisis is more dangerous than any crisis during the Cold War, and urged political leaders to act to prevent a nuclear conflict:

"The threat of a nuclear conflict is higher today than it was during the Cold War. In the absence of a political dialogue, with mutual mistrust reaching historical highs, the probability of unintended accidents, including those involving nuclear weapons, is getting more and more real.

Add to that the British oligarchy's actual intention to crush Russia, and its BRICS partners, and the picture is chilling indeed.


Rachel Douglas and Carl Osgood, "U.S. Moves Toward Nuclear First Strike Capability," EIR, March 15, 2013

Rachel Douglas, "Andropov's Blunder Still Haunts the Earth," EIR, Feb. 16, 2007

Michael Minnicino and Scott Thompson, "H.G. Wells et al. in Their Own Words," EIR, Dec. 19, 1997

Susan Welsh, "What the U.S. Tactical Nuclear Doctrine Means," EIR, Aug. 26, 1980