For your consideration; first, via RT.com Jan. 3, 2021:
“China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US have released a joint statement affirming their opposition to using their nuclear arsenals for offensive purposes. They also promised to work together on nuclear disarmament.
“We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” read the statement released on Monday. “As nuclear use would have far-reaching consequences, we also affirm that nuclear weapons – for as long as they continue to exist – should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war.”
The five signatories said they will continue to abide by their “bilateral and multilateral non-proliferation, disarmament, and arms control agreements and commitments,” and claimed that none of their nukes are targeted at each other or any other state.
Monday’s statement comes at a time when relations between some of the P5 are at a historic low point. Russia and the US have long squabbled over the placement of American nukes in Europe, and with lawmakers in Washington recently accusing Moscow of planning an “invasion” of Ukraine – a claim rejected by Kremlin – some in Congress have even called for nuclear war should that invasion take place.”
The author writes that ahead of the NATO/Moscow summit, the US has not agreed to remove its nuclear bombs from the EU, and that US officials US officials have claimed that China is dramatically increasing its stockpile of nuclear arrms, and reminds readers that Pakistan and India re nuclear powers, and Israel is likely to have a nuclear arsenal. From armscontrol.org:
‘Israel is widely believed to possess 90 plutonium-based nuclear warheads and to have produced enough plutonium for 100-200 weapons. While a stockpile of this size constitutes a credible minimal deterrent, the lack of an explosive testing program might create concerns about effectiveness. There is speculation that Israel worked with other countries to test its weapons’ effectiveness. Israel may have relied on France for some testing data until France imposed an embargo on Israel after the Six-Day War in June.’ 1967. Some also speculate that Israel conducted a nuclear weapons test with South Africa in 1979 known as the Vela incident.”
Other reports and color commentary:
“The joint statement comes days after Russia test-fired two hypersonic Tsirkon cruise missiles from a submarine, and another from a frigate. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the test, “a big event in the country’s life.” He has previously referred to Russia’s hypersonic missiles as capable of evading U.S. missile defenses and hitting nearly any target worldwide.
In August 2021, China launched its own hypersonic weapon that circled the Earth before impacting a target. The test shocked the U.S., which scrubbed its own hypersonic weapon launch due to failures in late 2021. The U.S. called China’s test “concerning” and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten said China could be nearing the capability to launch a surprise nuclear attack on the U.S.”
And from thesun.co.uk: ‘APOCALYPSE NOW’ (w/ great graphics):
“Diplomats had been set to review the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to limit the spread of atomic arms.
All nations were granted dispensations to maintain stockpiles as long as they continued working toward the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.
Russia leads the board with a stockpile of 6,375 nuclear weapons while the US follows closely behind with 5,800.
The two rivals are splashing billions of dollars on state-of-the-art weapons systems, raising fears squabbles could spill into nuclear conflict.
WORLD WAR 3 FEARS
The UK and US have rallied behind Ukraine and promised to support them if Russia invaded, amid a mass build-up of troops on the border. But experts warned President Putin could strike and spark World War 3 if Joe Biden bows down to the Russian strongman’s demands, with the pair set to hold crunch talks on Thursday.
Russian wargames have continued to ramp up while Putin’s satellite-destroying S-550 missile that’s capable of shooting down “space weapons” was reportedly put into service.
But Biden warned making any moves on Ukraine will draw sanctions for the powerhouse and an increased US presence in Europe.
Washington also has its hands full with tensions with China – most notably over Taiwan – again sparking fears it could trigger a world war. Beijing have promised to one day seize Taiwan, by force if necessary, as they see it as part of its territory, while the US have continued to support their independence, but China’s foreign minister warned just last week that US encouragement “not only puts Taiwan into an extremely dangerous situation but also exposes the United States to an unbearable price”.
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)