World before a new world war?

How the Great Powers are heading for a new gross conflict with their neo-imperialist Great Game. Crisis Imperialism – Part 2

What does the struggling and unstable capitalist One World need most at the moment? Better nuclear weapons self-evident! In mid-November, the U.S. Department of Defense announced plans to invest $355 billion over the next decade to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal. (Part 1)

The U.S. is not alone in its effort to upgrade its nuclear weapons of mass destruction to the latest technology. The United States "must remain credible", declared Maj. Gene. Sandra Finan, commander of the U.S. Air Force’s nuclear forces on the occasion of the announcement of this modernization program, as "rival powers are investing billions in improving and modernizing their nuclear systems". Finan was referring to Russia’s military program, which foresees military spending of about $560 billion over the next six years – about 25 percent of which is earmarked for Russia’s military nuclear program. Last September, Russia conducted a successful test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

The world economy may be weak, but the nuclear bomb industry is booming. The militaries of all relevant nuclear powers are currently seeking to upgrade their nuclear weapons, Hugh Chalmers, a nuclear arms control expert at the London-based think tank Royal United Services Institute, told the International Business Times:

All nuclear states are currently undergoing some form of nuclear modernization, or will soon enter this process. You can look around the world and see everywhere the development of new missiles, new nuclear submarines, new cruise missiles, so the U.S. is certainly not alone in its efforts to modernize its nuclear forces.

This has eroded the commitments of nuclear powers to reduce the arsenals they built up during the Cold War, ahead of a conference on the subject scheduled for 2015, Chalmers warned.

Enormous potential for escalation

The nuclear armament or modernization has sometimes been planned for a long time, but it is being forced due to the current geopolitical development. Militant mobilization and the accompanying threatening bids between the power blocs have been increasing for months. After NATO began establishing a new rapid reaction force for Eastern Europe in response to the annexation of Crimea and deployed U.S. forces to the Baltics, Russian air forces embarked on a massive expansion of their activities that had not been seen since the end of the Cold War.

In early December, almost unnoticed by the public, the most serious confrontation to date took place over the Baltic Sea, when dozens of NATO aircraft struggled to intercept some 28 Russian fighters, including strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons, which swarmed into the Baltic region in a show of force within a very short time. This lightning strike was, according to observers, a reaction to NATO’s deployment of nuclear-capable bombers to the Baltic states – i.e., right on Russia’s borders! – .

The confrontations have an enormous potential for escalation, as they can quickly lead to an unintended clash – such as the one in Denmark in early March, when a Russian spy plane almost collided with a passenger plane. This year, 40 such "dangerous intermediate trap" paid. A video of the Norwegian Air Force shows how close the opponents sometimes come to each other during these interceptions.

warnings of a new nuclear catastrophe

Consequently, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, in a speech in Berlin on the occasion of the fall of the Berlin Wall, warned of a new Cold War and an impending catastrophe if tensions between East and West were not reduced soon. The West took advantage of Russia’s weakness after the collapse of the Soviet Union and shifted NATO’s borders massively to the east, contrary to earlier commitments.

Euphoria and triumphalism have clouded the minds of Western leaders. Taking advantage of Russia’s weakness and loss of sovereignty, they claimed a monopoly of leadership and dominance in the world…

Noam Chomsky, one of the leading U.S. intellectuals, also warned in an interview with Russia Today of an imminent nuclear catastrophe that would wipe out human civilization in the event of an escalation of the current conflict:

The worst scenario is of course a nuclear war, which would be terrible. Both sides, which initiated it, have been eliminated. The world has narrowly missed this worst-case scenario several times in the past. And this could happen again, not necessarily planned, but as a result of a series of interactions between the parties to the conflict. It is worth remembering that the First World War broke out a hundred years ago as a result of such interactions. The First World War was terrible enough, but its current reoccurrence will mean the end of the human species.

Adding fuel to the fire were resolutions of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives calling for further sanctions against Russia and direct military aid to Ukraine, as well as threats by the Pentagon to expand the deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe. Russian media voices have been raised warning that these actions herald a New Cold War – bringing Russia and the West closer to a military confrontation.

"Western leaders clearly perceive that their power is waning"

Warnings of a rough war between East and West are not only sounding in Moscow, Western analysts are also warning of an uncontrollable escalation. Helge Luras, director of the Norwegian think tank Centre for International and Strategic Analysis (SISA), sees the rough power sleepwalking into a nuclear war.

So far, NATO has never dared to challenge another nuclear power, and that is why it has survived its previous politico-military escalations, Luras said, but in Russia’s case, it could use the "Faulty Western self-assessment" lead to a catastrophic war. The on "Suspicions" based threat scenarios in the Baltic states and Poland, which NATO used as a pretext to "military resources" into this space could now turn into a "self-fulfilling prophecy" warned Luras. In Ukraine, Russia is facing "much more at stake than for the West". Therefore, Russia could not allow itself to be defeated in this geopolitical struggle, Luras warned.

Since the end of the Cold War, the West has taken control of large parts of the post-Soviet sphere of influence, and the West’s "hegemonic thinking saw this as natural". But now the wind is changing:

Western leaders clearly perceive that their power is waning. The age of nation-building in distant lands is coming to an end for us. The end of omnipotence, indeed a paradigm shift, is self-evidently traumatic and difficult to reflect on with a cool head. But the waning of the West’s political power is not accompanied by a corresponding weakening of its military muscle.

The current geopolitical escalation is thus unfolding not from a position of strength, but because of a massive loss ("Paradigm shift") of the means of power of the West. Here is a glimpse of the true nature of the current neo-imperialist poker game between East and West. It is a struggle against relegation – against the loss of the dominant or hegemonic position of the powers involved.