Russia and America Are Conducting Massive Nuclear Exercises (and No One Cares)

Russian President Putin watches the launch of a missile during naval exercises in Russia's Arctic North on board the nuclear missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky.

Nuclear weapons exercises in both Russia and the United States go mysteriously unreported in leading American newspapers.

My first instructor in Russian politics, Professor Richard Pipes, told his charges some decades ago not to take seriously analyses of Russia written by people who have never been to Russia, nor speak a word of the Russian language. But one does not have to speak Russian to appreciate that the costs of the new Cold War will reach far in excess of trillions of dollars for Americans when expenses for additional nuclear and conventional systems are tallied together to meet “the high-end challenge.” This lamentable trend was actually noted among Russian experts as well. And while some Russian hawks are undoubtedly cheerful about such developments, as are some American hawks, the great majorities in both countries will suffer under such burdens. Instead of badly needed investments in infrastructure, health care, green energy and education, we, and Russians too, will have more nuclear (and conventional) weaponry.

Hawks may continue their boisterous rejoicing: there will be no relaxation of grave international tensions any time soon. The noxious fusion of neoconservative and neoliberal thinking in the Washington “Blob” will continue to coalesce around the supposedly grave “challenge to the liberal order.” And the Blob’s “grand Russian conspiracy,” which is long on xenophobia, innuendo and spooky techno-bling, but appallingly short on evidence or historical context, will regrettably stifle any progressive policy agenda that seeks to put first America’s domestic priorities.

Lyle J. Goldstein is professor of strategy in the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) at the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions in his columns are entirely his own and do not reflect the official assessments of the U.S. Navy or any other agency of the U.S. government.

Image: Reuters

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