Today the world lost one of its most important agreements preventing a nuclear war: the INF-contract, among others, banning land-based nuclear weapons with ranges between 500 to 5500 km. The USA withdrew from the agreement first in February 2019 claiming that the Russian 9M729 (NATO SSC-8) would breach the contract. Russia though claims the rocket has a range below 500 km, and also withdrew from the agreement. I assume Russia would have had an option to rescue the treaty, but under conditions dictated by the US. Furthermore, the USA has been working on such rockets since 2017 and maybe, just maybe, they just needed an excuse to shake off the restrictions. The INF contract was signed in 1987 by former US President Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Head of State Michael Gorbachev. After withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal, so far unsuccessful “negotiations” with North Korea, pumping weapons into Saudi Arabia, …, the USA claims that it wants to negotiate a global arrangement making the world safer. It looks very much like achieving just the opposite, and making the extinction of mankind by a nuclear war a more likely scenario again. In 2021 also START will be up for extension, which regulates deployment of long range and intercontinental missiles. Given contemporary diplomacy we may well be thrown back in the old times then.
Personally, having grown up during the Cold War and operating carrier rockets in the German Forces for US Nuclear warheads, I hoped we overcame all this. Withdrawing unilaterally from an agreement without even attempting to enforce it, it case it really was breached, sounds quite absurd to me. The only good option would be that European countries may not allow stationing US bases in Europe and withdraw from NATO. Being in a military alliance with the world’s biggest trouble maker does not sound like a good idea.
Don’t get me wrong, the world has unprecedented environmental challenges and it is important to push for solving them. But who is protesting today? Global warming does not matter anymore, if the US gamble on supremacy goes wrong. Nothing then matters anymore. I grew up in a world where we were taught heat and pressure waves of nuclear strikes and what to do. As if really something could be done and life after that would be still worth living
I close down the news today and start humming an old German pop song. I could not even remember the artist anymore, and looked him up: Niels Frevert.
“[…] Du musst zuhause sein wenn es dunkel wird
Wenn die Welt untergeht
Und der Flieder nie mehr blüht
Dann musst Du bei mir sein
Wenn die Sirenen heulen
Wenn die Menschen sich verformen
Musst Du nach hause kommen […]“
In English? Let me try a translation:
“[…] You have to be at home, when it gets dark
When the world ends
And the lilac will never blossom again
Then you have to be with me
When the sirens howl
When the people deform
Then you have to come home […]”