Jump to content

Professor Pigworth

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

Professor Pigworth's Achievements


Coordinator (11/19)



  1. This lunatic is actually in Taiwan now. First they poke the bear and now the dragon. Russia's red line was encouraging Ukraine to join NATO. China's red line was overt interference militarily and politically in Taiwan, just as Nancy, who is about to sign arms agreements, etc., is now doing. Both lines were crossed with no apparent thought as to the seriousness of the consequences. I read elsewhere that people in the Biden administration are seriously entertaining the idea of taking on China now because technologically and militarily speaking China is weaker at the moment than it will be in the future. Well, but there's this small matter of China, like Russia, having nuclear weapons, which in the end ensures almost everyone's destruction on both sides. Christ, these people are mad and irresponsible. China Condemns Pelosi Visit As a Serious Violation China's Foreign Affairs Ministry has strongly condemned Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, calling it a "serious violation of the One-China principle" that will have a "severe impact" on the political foundation of China-US relations. In a statement, the ministry said Pelosi's visit "seriously infringes upon China's sovereignty and territorial integrity". "It gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for 'Taiwan independence'", the ministry said. China strongly urged the US to "stop playing the 'Taiwan card' and interfering in China's internal affairs", and to "not go further down the wrong and dangerous path". Protesters Outside Hotel Where Pelosi Is Expected to Stay Rupert Wingfield-Hayes Reporting from Taiwan Nancy Pelosi's plane touched down at Taipei's Songshan airport at 22:44 local time. Shortly afterwards, the top Democrat and her delegation could be seen coming down the steps of the US government plane and being greeted by local Taiwanese officials. Pelosi is now expected to travel by motorcade to the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Taipei where she will stay the night. There is a small protest being held outside the hotel by a pro-China group opposed to her visit. Some held up banners reading "Go home, warmonger". Pelosi is the most senior US politician to visit Taiwan since then House Speaker Newt Gingrich came to Taiwan in 1997. Taiwan media is reporting that Pelosi will meet with Taiwan President Tsai Yingwen tomorrow morning, before going to Taiwan’s parliament, and then to a human-rights museum in the afternoon.
  2. Peter Zeihan: The End of the Old World Order, and What Happens Next On the hottest day in British weather history Stig Abell sat down to speak with Peter Zeihan. Peter Zeihan argues that we are heading towards a period of deglobalisation, with ensuing chaos and disaster. In his book, The End of the World Is Just the Beginning, he argues that we're entering a new chapter where regions will have no choice but to sustain their own food, source their own energy and fight their own battles. One of the first comments under the video: Paul's Garage 9 days ago (edited) I'm an appliance repairman. Please PLEASE make household appliances go back to analog. Nothing breaks down faster than a computer controlled appliance. Analog ones last longer and are easier to fix.
  3. It's hard to believe this isn't some sort of sick joke, especially as it features the commander of the Azov regiment, Denis Prokopenko. It's also perhaps a little frightening knowing that these Ukrainian Lego soldiers are intended for children to have fun with. I mean, I used to play with soldiers when I was a kid, but it seems like these Ukrainian figurines are meant to be part of some sort of attempt at indoctrination. Anyway, as they play with these toy soldiers, today's children will, I suppose, be better prepared to be tomorrow's cannon fodder or glorified neo-Nazi combatants. Ukrainian defenders of Azovstal became the heroes of new LEGO figures On Jul 22, 2022 15:01 850 Ukrainian defenders of Azovstal became the heroes of new LEGO figures. The first pictures were published by Andrew Beecraft, the founder of the company The Brothers Brick, which is one of the retailers of LEGO and is known for creating ‘military’ constructors. Among the figurines, you can recognize the commander of the ‘Azov’ regiment, Denis Prokopenko, his deputy, Svyatoslav Palamar (call sign ‘Kalyna’) and Chief of Staff Bohdan Krotevych (call sign ‘Tavr’). Ukrainian paramedics and military journalist Ilya Ponomarenko will also be in the new collection. https://sundries.com.ua/en/ukrainian-defenders-of-azovstal-became-the-heroes-of-new-lego-figures/
  4. I asked you in another thread what you thought the US government would do if Russia or China started to arm the Mexicans, killed thousands of American citizens within Mexico and encouraged Mexico to join their military alliance so that their bases and missiles could eventually be set up near the US border, and you never answered. Should I assume, then, that you think the US would take no hostile action against Mexico whatsoever?
  5. There's no fool like an old fool. What could possibly go wrong with stirring up trouble in Taiwan and provoking the Chinese government? The timing is especially lousy and stupid considering what's happening in the Ukraine. Just how much of a fool and rank amateur as an international stateswoman is Pelosi? Even fool's fool Biden has cautioned her to rein in her foolishness. The Chinese are smart enough to know that "We're concerned about human rights and democracy in Taiwan" = "We want Taiwan to be under our sphere of influence and are eager to make even more money for our military-industrial complex by selling lots and lots of weapons to Taiwan." Pelosi Taiwan Visit: Beijing Vows Consequences If US Politician Travels to Island US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's rumoured plan for a trip to Taiwan has infuriated China and left the White House with a serious geopolitical headache. How big a problem is this? On Monday, China warned of "serious consequences" if Nancy Pelosi were to proceed with a visit to Taiwan in the coming weeks. Second in line to the presidency, Mrs Pelosi would be the highest ranking US politician to travel to the self-governing island democracy since 1997. However, China sees self-ruled Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually be part of the country again -- and has not ruled out the possible use of force to achieve this. The potential trip has not only rankled Beijing -- the Biden administration has reportedly tried to dissuade the California Democrat from going. Last week, President Joe Biden told reporters "the military thinks it's not a good idea," but his White House has called Chinese rhetoric against any such trip "clearly unhelpful and not necessary." The state department says Mrs Pelosi has not announced any travel and the US approach to Taiwan remains unchanged. Why would Pelosi want to visit Taiwan? There is strong bipartisan support for Taiwan among the American public and in the US Congress. And over a congressional career spanning 35 years, Speaker Pelosi has been a vocal critic of China. She has denounced its human rights record, met with pro-democracy dissidents, and also visited Tiananmen Square to commemorate victims of the 1989 massacre. Mrs Pelosi's original plan was to visit Taiwan in April, but it was postponed after she tested positive for Covid-19. She has declined to discuss details of the trip, but said last week that it was "important for us to show support for Taiwan." Why does China oppose the visit? Beijing views Taiwan as its territory, and has repeatedly raised the spectre of annexing it by force if necessary. Chinese officials have expressed anger over what they view as growing diplomatic engagement between Taipei and Washington. This includes a surprise visit to the island by six US lawmakers in April. On Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian warned his country would take "firm and resolute measures" if Mrs Pelosi went ahead with her visit. "And the US will be responsible for all of the serious consequences," he said. A spokesman of the Chinese ministry of defence seemed to suggest there could even be a military response. "If the US side insists on going ahead, the Chinese military will never sit idle and will take strong measures to thwart any external interference and separatist attempts for 'Taiwan independence'," Colonel Tan Kefei told China Daily. Speaker Pelosi unveils a statue of the 'Tank Man' from Tiananmen Square at a rally with Chinese dissidents in 2019 A precarious balancing act US policy on Taiwan is a balancing act: it acknowledges that China considers the self-governing island to be part of "One China." But it opposes any attempts to change Taiwan's democratic status by force, and sells weapons to help Taipei defend itself. That balance has looked more precarious with Russia's war against Ukraine: administration officials are watching for signals of what lessons Beijing might be learning, if any, that it could apply to Taiwan. They are also anxious about increasingly aggressive Chinese statements and actions towards Taipei, including an assertion that the Taiwan Strait is not international waters. President Biden is expected to raise both Russia and Taiwan with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping this week in a phone call aimed at managing the complicated relationship. But the spectre of a visit from the Speaker of the House in this incendiary political environment threatens to raise tensions sharply. US officials fear some sort of military response from China, although analysts doubt any imminent attempt by Beijing to annex Taiwan by force. Citing the separation of powers, the administration has refrained from going public with its views, but some prominent Republicans have been outspoken. In an unusual twist of the partisan divide, they are backing Mrs Pelosi's trip and urging the White House to do the same. How might the trip escalate tensions? At its party congress later this year, the Chinese Communist Party is set to re-elect Xi Jinping to an unprecedented third term as president. President Biden -- who last spoke with President Xi in March -- has said they will speak over the phone again in the next few days, on a range of topics including Taiwan and other "issues of tension." The call comes as US officials warn of a Chinese military build-up in the Asia-Pacific region and "aggressive and irresponsible behaviour" in the South China Sea. The threats of retaliation over Mrs Pelosi's visit have raised concerns over China's possible response. When then-US Health Secretary Alex Azar flew to Taiwan in 2020, Chinese air force jets crossed over the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait -- the narrow waterway between the island and its giant neighbour -- within range of Taipei's missiles. Last week, the former editor of China's state-run Global Times newspaper suggested a "shocking military response" may be in store for Mrs Pelosi. "If Pelosi visits Taiwan, [People's Liberation Army] military aircraft will accompany Pelosi's plane to enter the island, making a historic crossing of the island by military aircraft from mainland for the 1st time," Hu Xijin wrote. Until now, Washington's policy of "strategic ambiguity" has meant the US has been deliberately unclear about whether or how it would defend Taiwan in the event of a large scale attack on the island. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-62310576
  6. Sure thing, Biden-trusting "world order" believers who eagerly swallow what the complicit MSM feeds them and who don't mind sacrificing their economy in support of the military-industrial complex and the usual fat-cat profiteers. The Russian military is certainly a pushover. Why, even the Missouri national guard could invade Russia on its own and be back before Christmas. City after city would fall before them like new-mown grass. They'd go straight to Moscow in a matter of weeks and catch that evil Putin by the ear and kick him upside the head for good measure to the cheering, adoring crowds who'll later on be eager to learn everything about freedom and democracy and respect for human rights that the US government can teach them. About the only thing standing in the way of those Missouri good old boys is maybe some Russian girl and her shy, timid goose that's afraid of the water:
  7. Miami's solution to the "Josh Allen problem" is... a third-round rookie linebacker who struggles to diagnose plays quickly enough. It is funny, though, how Allen has become to the Dolphins what Brady was to the Bills.
  8. Will this be similar to the lie-filled testimony before Congress of Nayirah, the Kuwaiti ambassador's daughter, who, through tears, spoke of the desperate need for help because the Iraqis were chucking infants out of their hospital incubators? Ukraine War: First Lady in US for High-Level Meetings Ukraine's first lady, Olena Zelenska, is in the US for a series of high-level meetings and an address to Congress. Her visit comes four months after her husband, President Volodymyr Zelensky, made a virtual speech to Congress, pressing for more military equipment. Ms Zelenska met Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday and is due to hold talks with her counterpart Jill Biden on Tuesday, the White House said. She is due to deliver remarks to lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Tuesday's encounter will be the second time the two first ladies have met, after Dr Biden made an unannounced visit to Ukraine in May. Ms Zelenska has no official portfolio in the Ukrainian government. But after nearly five months of Russia's war in Ukraine, Kyiv is keen to seek more military aid and political backing from the US. Congress has already approved nearly $40bn (£33bn) in aid to Ukraine that is due to be fully delivered by the end of September. On Monday, Ms Zelenska also met Samantha Power, head of the US Agency for International Development. The agency has given billions of dollars to support Ukraine's government and for humanitarian needs, as well as working to tackle a global food shortage aggravated by Russia's war. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-62221353
  9. Well, that's reassuring to know that in the below article some former intelligence official ruled out that the munitions were destined for terrorists, but how are we to know that he's not lying? After all, it's very easy to lie and that's what officials often do. Also, he only spoke of terrorists. But there are other people -- non-terrorists -- who might like to buy marked-down munitions donated from Western countries and being offered on the black market. I've read that Ukrainians selling donated weapons on the black market, even to Russians, has been a regular occurrence since even before the war began. So it's not like this planeload of weapons being sold on the black market would be some sort of amazing or shocking one-off event. Is it so unlikely that this official received a phone call from someone higher up who told him to calm the tax-paying public and to not blow the lid on the scam that the Ukrainians have going? I would think it highly strange if this official and others like him didn't lie, assuming for the moment that these are donated munitions being sold on the black market. It's in nobody's interests (apart from the misled tax-paying general public) to see the NATO-Ukrainian fraud exposed. In the comments section under Sack's article, there is a minority of outraged and incensed readers who are scolding the majority for thinking there's anything nefarious about this plane full of munitions going down and saying how stupid everyone is for thinking that, since it's already been established that the weapons were from Serbia and not from the Ukraine and not being sold on the black market, etc. Well, guess what they're basing their rock-solid assurance of there being nothing nefarious on? That's right. On the statements of various officials from Greece, Serbia, Ukraine or wherever who have a vested interest in not exposing the Ukrainian scam. Also, why in the hell are planes full of highly combustible munitions being flown around instead of being transported by cargo ships? Sounds a little dangerous to me for anyone who happens to be under their flight path. One other thing I find strange is that Greece is claiming to be angry with Serbia and the Ukraine for "not sharing information about the dangerous cargo on board" the plane. What does this mean, then? That Greece is in the habit of allowing cargo planes into its air space and to land and refuel without at any point checking what is inside them? Plot Thickens As Greece Irked over Antonov Crash Athens delivers demarches to Kiev and Belgrade for being kept in the dark over ‘dangerous cargo’ Athens says Belgrade and Kiev had not shared information about dangerous cargo on board a Cypriot company-owned Antonov that crashed-landed in northern Greece, with the plot thickening after recipient Bangladesh denied Serbian reports that Dhaka was expecting mines onboard the aircraft leased to a Ukrainian company. Greece is accusing Serbia of not providing timely information about the munitions cargo on board a Ukrainian Antonov cargo plane that crashed near the northern city of Kavala on Saturday night, killing eight crew members. A demarche was to be delivered by Greece’s ambassador to Belgrade, following reports that explosives disposal experts had to clear large amounts of ordnance spread across the crash site, with reports suggesting the Antonov was carrying land mines. The Antonov An-12, which was owned by DS-Air Cyprus and leased to Kiev-based Meridian, took off in Nis Saturday night en route to Amman and was said to have been carrying 11.5 tonnes of defence products destined for Bangladesh according to Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic. Officials in Dhaka reportedly said there were no weapons on the aircraft, rejecting reports that the plane was carrying mines and adding Bangladesh had only bought training materials. “We don’t use mines,” Lieutenant colonel Fayzur Rahman, a spokesman for Bangladesh’s Border Guard Service, was quoted as saying. But there were contradictory reports over the cargo after Greek authorities had cordoned off the crash site on Saturday and elevated precautionary measures as a special disaster response unit was investigating the area. A fire brigade official on Sunday morning confirmed there was white dust floating in the air while tests later in the evening showed the substances were not toxic or hazardous to public health according to Greek authorities. But according to Kathimerini Greece, the Greek foreign ministry went ahead and lodged a demarche also with Ukraine’s ambassador in Athens over what a diplomatic source described as a need for Athens to having prior notice from Kiev regarding the nature of the cargo. Responding to rumors that Ukraine was selling on the black market weaponry donated by western allies, Cypriot retired general Andreas Pentaras ruled out on Monday the possibility that illegitimate weapons or arms destined for terrorists would have been aboard the Antonov AN-12TBK. The former director of Cypriot Intelligence KYP, who resigned in 2015 after revelations that the island nation had secretly purchased a surveillance system, dismissed the rumors. “I would rule it out just because terrorist organizations would simply not be sending thousands of training mines but would prefer personal weapons, gear, and other types,” Pentaras said. Denys Bogdanovych, the CEO of Meridian that leased the Antonov from DS Air Cyprus back in January, said “the crash had no relation to the war currently raging in Ukraine.” https://knews.kathimerini.com.cy/en/news/plot-thickens-as-greece-irked-over-antonov-crash
  10. You're welcome, Sack. As always, I'm at your service.
  11. Those countries were invaded because they needed civilizing. The US government, in its infinite generosity and unselfish altruistic devotion to helping others in need, brought those countries peace, stability, freedom and democracy, and asked for so little in return. Now look at the paradises on earth they have become as a result.
  12. "Literally," you say? All right. Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Syria and all those other countries the US attacked or used proxy fighters to attack. That was because the US didn't like what those countries were doing on their own land too, right? And therefore they shouldn't have attacked them. Can we agree on that? Or was that somehow different, in your opinion? Also, can you tell me this. If, say, China or Russia or another supposed enemy of the US were to send lots and lots of weapons and military advisors to Mexico and to build up their military at the border with the US and to kill thousands of Americans living within Mexico and also to encourage Mexico to join a powerful alliance with them which, eventually, would lead to military bases and missiles of that alliance in Mexico, do you think the US would regard that as a threat to its security? I'm not asking if you would regard it as a threat, but the US government. How do you think it would be perceived? Do you imagine they would see it as a provocation or think nothing of it and do absolutely nothing? Because thinking nothing of it and not regarding what the US and NATO have been doing in the Ukraine as a threat is exactly what you expect Russia to do.
  13. That's great, Lit. Thank you. I wouldn't have thought that a complex geopolitical issue whose roots go back many years could be reduced to such simple terms, but now I know better.
  14. One of the few voices of reason, sense and humility drowned out by a lot of madness, hysteria and war-happy propaganda out there during this dangerous period when the US and the West are indirectly at war with Russia. Dangerous because, unlike Iraq, etc., Russia has nuclear weapons. I'm almost surprised Col. Black hasn't been "canceled" yet. They Wanted War: NATO Forced It This "Rules Based Order" Hypocrisy The Empire of Lies Road to Ukraine
  15. This almost-forgotten incident in 1983 alone is reason enough for dismantling all nuclear weapons on the earth. It seems to me it's high time it got done. Make it happen, Buddy. Get 'er done. Or maybe the ideal thing, as a deterrent to war, is for every country to have, say, three nuclear bombs, even Iran, etc. They could be low-radiation bombs, if that's possible, to minimise the long-term damage to everybody and everything. In that event, anti-missile defense systems would have to be banned, I suppose, so nobody would have an advantage. I don't know. The exact details are for Buddy and other experts to work out. I like the idea of a complete ban of nuclear weapons best, if it can be implemented. The author of this article loses some of his credibility, in my opinion, by inserting his political bias at the end. Apparently, he actually believes that Joe B would be less likely to start a nuclear war than Donald. Pfft. All right. Apocalypse Averted The world came much closer to nuclear war than we realized in 1983. BY FRED KAPLAN FEB 18, 20214:11 PM A U.S. B-52 strategic bomber. Khalil Mazraawi/AFP via Getty Images Newly declassified documents reveal that in November 1983, at the height of Cold War tensions, the United States and the Soviet Union came closer to nuclear war than historians—and even many officials at the time—have known until now. The revelations aren’t mere details of history; they also hold relevant lessons for how leaders should think and act in ongoing crises in hot spots around the world today. The documents, released this week by the State Department historian’s office, focus on a massive military training exercise known as Able Archer, in which NATO simulated the transition from conventional to nuclear conflict in the event of a war in Europe. It turned out, top Soviet leaders thought that the war game was real—that the U.S. and NATO really were about to launch a nuclear first strike against the USSR—and top Soviet military commanders took steps to retaliate. In one of those steps, the new documents reveal, the commander of the Soviet 4th Army Air Forces in Eastern Europe ordered all of his units to make “preparations for the immediate use of nuclear weapons.” As part of that order, crewmen loaded actual nuclear bombs onto several combat planes. Much about the Able Archer war game was first made public just six years ago, when, after more than a decade of legal battles, the National Security Archive, a private research organization, obtained a lengthy, extremely classified U.S. intelligence report detailing exactly what NATO forces did, and how Soviet commanders responded, during the exercise. But the fact that the Soviets armed their aircraft with nuclear bombs—a discovery based on U.S. and British intelligence intercepts of Soviet communications at the time—has not been declassified until now. The new fact elevates to a higher level the danger that the world briefly faced, even though—unlike with other nuclear near misses, such as the Cuban missile crisis—almost nobody knew it at the time. The Able Archer crisis might not have been a near miss—it might easily have escalated to a shooting war—had it not been for a single American officer, Lt. Gen. Leonard Perroots, the intelligence chief for U.S. Air Forces in Europe, who saw the Soviet moves, interpreted them correctly, and stopped what might otherwise have been a deadly escalation. Most U.S. officers viewed Able Archer as a typical war game, nothing that would throw Soviet officers into a panic. But Perroots saw that, in fact, it was something different. It was a lot bigger than most of these games, involving a fleet of cargo transport planes flying 19,000 soldiers in 170 sorties from the United States to bases in Europe. And it was more realistic as well. The cargo planes maintained radio silence. B-52 bomber crews taxied their planes to their runways and loaded them with dummy bombs that looked remarkably real. The Strategic Air Command raised its nuclear alert levels to the highest level. The Soviets were monitoring all of this, of course, as they generally did and as the U.S. commanders knew they would. But they reacted in ways that they never had before—in ways similar to how they might have acted if the U.S. were gearing up for a real attack—including, as we now know, loading nuclear bombs on aircraft in Eastern Europe. Ordinarily, when the Soviets took such actions, U.S. intelligence agencies would notify senior military officers, either on the scene or back in Washington, who would respond with similar actions, if just to let the Soviets know that we were watching what they were doing and were ready to repel an attack. When Perroots informed his boss, the commander in chief of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Gen. Billy Minter, of the Soviets’ “unusual activity” at the start of Able Archer, Minter was about to respond in the usual way, but Perroots advised him to hold off. He recognized that the Soviets were probably reacting to what we were doing—and any further escalation on our part would worsen the situation, might even trigger war. Let’s wait and see what happens next, he suggested. And indeed, after Able Archer ended a few days later and the thousands of American troops flew home and SAC lowered its nuclear alert, the Soviets unloaded their bombs and canceled their nuclear alert as well. One of the newly declassified documents is a memo that Perroots wrote in 1989, as he was retiring from his final career post as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, detailing what he’d seen and done during Able Archer six years earlier. The National Security Archive has long been trying to obtain the Perroots memo; DIA officials have told the archive’s lawyers that the memo was lost. On their own initiative, State Department historians found it in a file at the CIA. The Able Archer near miss did come to have consequences—in a good way. While the war game was unfolding, Oleg Gordievsky, a London-based KGB officer who had turned double agent, was providing his British handlers in MI6 with documents revealing that Soviet officials were viewing the exercise as a prelude to an attack by the United States and NATO. The British, as was customary, shared the intelligence with their American cousins. At first, and for more than a year after, the CIA’s top officials were skeptical, dismissing the Soviets’ “war scare” as “propaganda,” designed to inflame anti-American sentiment in Western Europe. But President Ronald Reagan took the war scare seriously. Just days after the wrap-up of Able Archer, his national security adviser, Robert “Bud” McFarlane, showed him Gordievsky’s reports, which Reagan read with—as McFarlane recalled years later—“genuine anxiety.” Reagan had been pushing hard against the Kremlin, hoping the pressure might bring down the Soviet system. In 1981, his first year in office, an armada of 83 U.S., British, Canadian, and Norwegian ships sailed near Soviet waters, undetected. In April 1983, seven months before Able Archer, 40 U.S. warships, including three aircraft carriers, approached Kamchatka Peninsula, off the USSR’s eastern coast, maintaining radio silence and jamming Soviet radar. As part of the operation, Navy combat planes simulated a bombing run over a military site 20 miles inside Soviet territory. An internal NSA history noted, “These actions were calculated to induce paranoia, and they did.” Still, as Reagan read the Gordievsky report, “it did bother him,” McFarlane later recalled, that the Soviets would seriously entertain “the very idea” that he would launch a nuclear first strike. On Nov. 18, 1983, one week after Able Archer was over, he wrote in his diary, “I feel the Soviets are so defense minded, so paranoid about being attacked that without being in any way soft on them we ought to tell them no one here has any intention of doing anything like that.” The same day, Reagan met with his secretary of state, George Shultz (who died this month at the age of 100), to discuss setting up a back channel of communication with Moscow. The next morning, 12 senior officials met for breakfast in Shultz’s dining room at the State Department to discuss reopening long-moribund talks with Moscow—a topic so sensitive at the time that Shultz told them not to tell anybody that the meeting had even taken place. Two months later, on Jan. 16, 1984, Reagan gave a televised speech. The key line—a dramatic departure from previous pronouncements on the Soviet Union as an “evil empire”—was this: “If the Soviet government wants peace, then there will be peace. … Let us begin now.” He had to wait a little while. Two Soviet leaders, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko, died while Reagan’s diplomats tried to arrange meetings. But then came Mikhail Gorbachev, a genuine reformer, looking for peace with the West so he could finance his politico-economic perestroika, and, soon enough, the Iron Curtain shattered and the Cold War ended. This might not have happened if Reagan hadn’t realized, in the wake of Able Archer, that his belligerent rhetoric and aggressive actions had gone too far—that he had to dial things back and see if the two countries might get along, before their myriad causes for mutual distrust unleashed catastrophe. In some ways, the world today is less fraught with ultimate danger than it was 38 years ago. There is no cause for fear of a massive nuclear attack by or against the United States, Russia, or, really, any other country. But at the same time, the world is more densely laced with hot spots that could erupt into war, and war zones that could spread like lethal firestorms, and there are fewer power blocs—no real “superpowers,” in the sense that the term once meant—that might contain the conflagration. Intelligence is scanty or ambiguous about many of these potential crisis areas. Assumptions about an adversary’s ambitions or odd actions can more easily harden into dogma. In this light, Able Archer offers some cautionary lessons. Nobody running the war game back in 1983 thought it might look provocative to others. When the Soviets reacted, only one U.S. officer—the right person in the right place, by coincidence—stopped to reflect that what the Soviets were doing might be a reaction to what we were doing, not a threat worth responding to. Some threats are real threats; some suspicious actions really are provocations. But sometimes they’re not, and it’s worth taking the time and harnessing the analytical acumen to make the distinction. Now that we once again have an experienced president backed by a real administration—and not a shallow man who thinks he’s a tyrant, surrounded by minions whose main job is to avoid challenging his biases—maybe the lessons of Able Archer will take hold. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/02/able-archer-nuclear-war-reagan.html And here's an interview of Gorbachev from a couple of years ago about the threat that the existence of nuclear weapons still poses -- which of course is even worse in light of recent events: The former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that current tension between Russia and the West is putting the world in "colossal danger" due to the threat from nuclear weapons. In an interview with the BBC's Steve Rosenberg, former President Gorbachev called for all countries to declare that nuclear weapons should be destroyed.
  • Create New...