The American government is discussing a project to carry out its first nuclear test since 1992 – shortly after the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The information comes from sources close to the government, who revealed the case in advance to The Washington Post.
According to what was reported by the informants, the topic arose from a meeting between senior officials of the largest security agencies of the American government. There is supposedly a specific “reason” for the emergence of this discussion: according to such security agencies, Russia and China are conducting low-powered nuclear tests, which could pose a threat to American national security. However, such accusations have not been substantiated with evidence or proofs, which leads us to doubt the very existence of such tests – already formally denied by Beijing and Moscow.
The meeting – which took place on May 22 – was, however, inconclusive, so it is not yet certain that such tests will actually be conducted. There is an information which says that the proposal was not very well received by all the individuals present at the meeting, causing serious disagreements. The lack of unanimity among US security officials about the need for such tests is currently the only factor that can prevent the project from proceeding.
Other decisions, however, were made at the meeting. It was agreed that prior measures should be taken by the American government to demonstrate its military strength and ability to react to “provocations” from Moscow and Beijing without necessarily restarting nuclear tests. Possible “responses” to the countries mentioned were then discussed, among which it was agreed that the USA should make clear to the outside its ability to start a “rapid nuclear test” program at any time. Security chiefs are now thinking how to demonstrate such strength without actually carrying out such tests.
Upon being contacted by journalists from The Washington Post to confirm the reports provided by the informants, the US Security Council absolutely denied providing any data on the topic. Despite the clear attempt to undermine the dissemination of information, institutional silence has a reverse effect, generating curiosities, doubts and making it possible to speculate on the most diverse hypotheses about such a meeting and what will come from then on.
If the information provided is correct, this could be the start of a new nuclear test race – the resurgence of the darkest aspect of the Cold War. It is naive to think that the unfounded charges against Russia and China are true. There is no guarantee that these countries are in fact currently involved in such activities. Indeed, in a world with increasing humanitarian and environmental concerns, it does not even seem interesting to these governments if a world power concentrates efforts on resuming nuclear tests – even more so if we take into account that we are living in the midst of a global pandemic period. And it would be too innocent to believe that such countries will remain inert if the United States initiates such tests. If the limit of nuclear peace is broken by any country, what will happen then will be a spiral of tests and the revival of the nuclear race in the 21st century.
The moment, however, seems really befitting the information provided. Increasingly, the United States is entering a spiral of international violence. Washington recently became involved in several conflicts with the Iranian navy in the Persian Gulf, financed the invasion of Venezuela by Colombian mercenaries, tried to block Iranian ships in the Caribbean, withdrew from the “Open Skies Treaty, and still maintains a firm and determined official speech in denigrating the image of China, whom Trump and his assistants accuse of being “responsible for the pandemic”.
To justify any audacious political program by its security agencies, Washington launches unproven accusations and allegations against its geopolitical opponents and categorically affirms the need to “do the same to respond”. In this, the US renewed its capacity for destruction and tried to gain increasing military dominance.
However, a world affected by a deadly virus, where countries are fighting in a pharmaceutical race for the development of drugs and vaccines, would not be adequate, from a “pragmatic perspective” to resume the nuclear tests. Even more when we are talking about the global epicenter of the pandemic, with more than 100 thousand dead. This scenario raises many doubts: why resume something like Cold War’s nuclear race? Why invest so heavily in something banal and destructive like “rapid nuclear tests”? Why are American efforts focused on war and not on biological risk management?
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.