The commander of the US nuclear arsenal has stated unequivocally that the war in Ukraine is just a warmup exercise for a much larger conflict that’s already in the mail.
Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp reports:
The commander that oversees US nuclear forces delivered an ominous warning at a naval conference last week by calling the war in Ukraine a “warmup” for the “big one” that is to come.
“This Ukraine crisis that we’re in right now, this is just the warmup,” said Navy Adm. Charles Richard, the commander of US Strategic command. “The big one is coming. And it isn’t going to be very long before we’re going to get tested in ways that we haven’t been tested [in] a long time.”
Richard’s warning came after the US released its new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which reaffirms that the US doctrine allows for the first use of nuclear weapons. The review says that the purpose of the US nuclear arsenal is to “deter strategic attacks, assure allies and partners, and achieve US objectives if deterrence fails.”
Not only does Richard appear to believe that a hot war between major world powers is a foregone conclusion, he has also previously stated that a nuclear war with Russia or China is now “a very real possibility.”
Again, this is not some armchair warrior opining from his desk at a corporate newspaper or DC think tank, this is the head of STRATCOM. Richard would be personally overseeing the very warfare he is talking about.
What I find most striking about remarks like these is how passive they always make it sound. Richard talks about “The Big One” like other people talk about California earthquakes, as though a hot war with China would be some kind of natural disaster that just happened out of nowhere.
This type of rhetoric is becoming more and more common. Describing an Atomic Age world war as something that would happen to the US empire, rather than the direct result of concrete A-or-B decisions made by the empire, is becoming its own genre of foreign policy punditry.