John Walsh: NATO Marches Toward Destruction

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s cry of distress is that of a man watching a tidal wave of destruction gathering force, similar to ones that have engulfed his country twice in the Twentieth Century.

Commenting on NATO’s recent military exercises in Poland and the Baltics, Steinmeier said, “What we shouldn’t do now is inflame the situation further through saber-rattling and warmongering. … Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken. … We are well-advised to not create pretexts to renew an old confrontation. .. [It would be] fatal to search only for military solutions and a policy of deterrence.”

His dread is not to be dismissed since it comes from a man who is in a position to know what the U.S. is up to. His words reflect the fears of ever more people across all of Eurasia from France in the West to Japan in the East.

Under the euphemism of “containment,” the US is relentlessly advancing its new Cold War on Russia and China. Its instrument in the West is NATO and in the East, Japan and whatever other worthies can be sharked up.

It is a Cold War that grows increasingly hotter, with proxy wars now raging in eastern Ukraine and Syria and with confrontations in the South China Sea. There is an ever growing likelihood that these points of tension will flare up into an all out military conflict.

In the West, this wider conflict could begin in Eastern Europe and Russia, but it would not stop there. All the European NATO countries would be on the front lines. In the East, the conflict would take place in the Western Pacific in the region of China’s coast and in the peninsulas and island countries in the region, including Japan, the Philippines and Indochina.

In each case, the US would be an ocean away, “leading from behind,” as Barack Obama’s staff might put it, or engaged in “offshore balancing” as some foreign policy “experts” might term it.

Assuming that the conflict would stay “conventional” – i.e. non-nuclear – the devastation might be confined to Eurasia, from France in the West to Japan in the East. In that case, no matter which side prevails, the US could escape unscathed and “win” in that sense. But Eurasian nations would lose in what could be World War II redux.

Eve of Destruction

One can get a sense of what this would mean in the case of economic conflict by looking at the minimal economic warfare now being waged on Russia in the form of sanctions. Those sanctions are hurting both Russia and the rest of Europe. The US is untouched.

The same is also true for military conflict. Want to know what it would look like? Look at eastern Ukraine. All of Eurasia could come to resemble that sorry nation in the event of a military conflict pitting the US and its allies against Russia and China. Eurasia, be forewarned!

The goal of the US foreign policy elite would clearly be for Russia and China to “lose,” but even if they “won,” they would be brought low, leaving the US as the world’s greatest economic and military power as it was in 1945.

Europe is beginning to awaken to this. We have Steinmeier’s plea. But it is not only Germany that is worried. The French Senate wants an end to the sanctions imposed on Russia. Business people in many Western European countries, most notably in Germany and Italy, European farmers who export to Russia and tourist entrepreneurs like those in Turkey and Bulgaria also want an end to sanctions and military exercises.

Parties of the Right want an end to domination by NATO and Brussels, both controlled by the US The Brexit is just one rumbling of such discontent.

All these nations are growing increasingly aware of the fate that awaits them if overt conflict erupts with Russia. The people of Germany want none of it. Likewise the people of Japan are stirring against the US effort to goad Japan into fighting China. All remember the devastation of WWII.

Let’s recall the casualty figures, i.e., deaths, among the principal combatants of WWII:

  • Soviet Union: 27,000,000 (14% of the population);
  • China: 17,000,000 (3.5%);
  • Germany: 7,000,000 (8.5%);
  • Japan: 2,800,000 (4%).

By comparison, for the US, safely far offshore, the number was 419,000 (0.32%)!

And for a few other countries which “got in the way” of the major adversaries:

  • Yugoslavia: 1,500,000 (9%)
  • Poland: 6,000,000 (17%)
  • French Indochina: 1,600,000 (6.11%)
  • Philippines: 527,000 (3.29%)

One wonders what the leaders of Poland or the Philippines or some elements in Vietnam are thinking when they take a belligerent attitude to Russia or China in order to please the US

Nuclear Possibilities

The even more alarming problem with this US strategy is that it could easily spill over into a nuclear conflict as nearly happened in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Then the US too would be reduced to radioactive rubble. The bet of the Western policy elite must be that Russia and China would not respond to a conventional war with a nuclear strike.

However Vladimir Putin has made it clear that in any war with the West, the US will feel the impact at once. The neocons and the rest of the US foreign policy elite must be betting that Putin can do nothing, because he would not use nuclear weapons. So the destruction would be confined to Europe and Asia.

But that assumption is a dangerous one. Even if nuclear weapons are not used. Russia and China might respond with a conventional weapons attack on US cities. In WWII, Germany was able to wreak considerable devastation using conventional bombs on England delivered by airplanes and V2 rockets.

Similarly the US was able to do enormous damage to Germany and to Japan with conventional weapons, especially fire-bombing as in Tokyo and Dresden. Today technology has advanced greatly (bringing previously “safe” targets with range of missile and bomber attack), and US cities have nuclear power plants nearby.

What is the likely outcome of a conventional war waged against US cities? Do we wish to find out? And once it begins where is the firewall against an all-out nuclear exchange? Where are the neocons and the rest of the US foreign policy elite taking us?

Certainly the damage would begin with Eurasia, but Americans would do well to worry that great swarms of chickens might come home to roost in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. This is no longer the Twentieth Century.

For some the scenarios above might seem unduly alarmist. You might doubt that the US elite would be capable of consciously unleashing such a vast bloodletting. For those, it is useful to recall the words of President Harry S. Truman, who said in 1941, when he was still a Senator and before the US had entered WWII: “If we see that Germany is winning the war, we ought to help Russia; and if that Russia is winning, we ought to help Germany, and in that way let them kill as many as possible. . . .”

Is that not what happened? People of Eurasia, beware.

John V. Walsh can be reached at He writes for, Consortium News, CounterPunch, DissidentVoice, International Clearing House, Lew, RT and other outlets where antiwar voices are to be heard. Some of his work has been translated into Chinese and published in the mainland Chinese press.

8 thoughts on “John Walsh: NATO Marches Toward Destruction”

  1. China: 17,000,000 (3.5%)

    Indeed. Nationalist China fought the war against Japan for the US, pinning around 500’000 Japanese ground troops that could not be otherwise employed against Yanks, and paid the price (some of it self-inflicted through slash-and-burn tactics, some due to nature’s cruelty, be that as it may). Rana Mitter in “China’s War With Japan” estimates 14-20 million dead and 80-100 million refugees. And utter destruction of what is called today “capital infrastructure”. Then came Mao…

    Assuming that the conflict would stay “conventional” – i.e.
    non-nuclear – the devastation might be confined to Eurasia, from France
    in the West to Japan in the East.

    Seeing how Russia is not exactly sure that it will prevail against an
    armed force whose tactics seem unmatched in taking control of land and
    air with overwhelming force in short time, they will probably not
    refrain from using nukes in the early stages of any
    conflict just to make sure they are not on the losing side in 24h flat.
    Modern warfare tends to be destabilizing that way.

    Now, the US does not make a particular secret of its ambitions to deploy
    stealthed first-strike-capable missiles tipped with tactical nukes in
    the next few years in the Asian theatre. This is unlikely to remain
    confined to there. A new kind of warfare that
    has emerged from strategists’ heads – “nuclear, yet not fully nuclear”
    This idea apparently has not been laughed out of the room immediately.

    I guess someone should parachute onto military think tanks and perform
    removal of the eggheads with extreme prejudice before they take us all
    with them.

    1. When the announcement is “we intend to place tactical nukes” and “when the technology is stable” or whatever horse they put in the race. It’s pretty well established by that point the arms are already deployed. Even dumb militarists know better than announcement of plans for two years in the future. Notwithstanding the notion that the Pentagoons are really politicized, the bright ones are still lurking in the background. Brighter would be a better term. The joke about who is the most dangerous man in the Army being a second lieutenant with a map, hopelessly outdated. Air Force colonels or one star generals like the semi-fictional Jack T Ripper, that gets closer. They still use B52s, each actually commanded by a Captain. So maybe it’s a Major with a launch code or some numb-nuts Captain who will make the decision. To “get it over with” That switch in nomenclature from Strategic to Tactical is a big clue. More fingers on “The Button”.

      The more proliferation, the lower the rank needed to authorize a strike. It makes terrible sense, in one way, if the Pentagon is a puddle of molten glass and or Cheyenne Mountain is out of order, who else would have the decision making power? Field commanders. Those who are expected to take necessary actions in the absence of higher command. Of course to me the term “necessary” is far different than the Pentagon definition.

  2. There is an interesting BBC docudrama “World War Three – the war room”. it features the deliberations around escalating another Ukraine-like event in Estonia’ into the logical conclusion – a new war with Russia. Because the ‘instability’ (blamed on Russian interference) is happening in a NATO country – the alliance is very much a part of the solution. It builds from governmental oppression of a Russian ‘region’, through riots, police killings, army deployment and resistance to an appeal to NATO under Article 5.

    The drama ends with the British NATO action committee ‘committee’ barely voting not to enable Trident Submarine captains to do an automatic strike launch on hearing that the Russians have launched nuclear missiles. But we know where that decision will lead for all such pacific ones wind up-being negated buy some equally aggressive stupidity by one side or the other.

    What’s interesting are the waffling characters – almost none of whom hold any sort of firm political or philosophical base for their decisions. It’s like going to war led by a labour union local executive.

    1. Like the drone used in the Dallas execution the other day. In the military you aren’t allowed to question, even silently to yourself. one really good question I’ve been wrestling the past few weeks. How do you get separate blocks of text? No matter what keystrokes I tried, I get what looks like a cross between a brick and a swarm of whatever creatures are swarming.

      1. Well, now the text format is fixed, either on your end or mine.or not. It works like a charm on my other machine. We have a new propaganda movie heading our way, “War Dogs” which celebrates the MIC directly and somehow “proves” that those who profit from the War (singular because it has never really stopped, just changed battlefields). Why that would be a danger signal, it’s really really in our face. Naked. In all its inglorious splendor.

  3. In October 1981, we entered Humanity’s Next Cycle. Our world is in an Ending Which Is A Beginning.

  4. We must always remember Joseph Goebbel’s statement, “Always accuse your enemies of what you are doing”. The US helped set off the coup against Yanukovych of Ukraine and Victoria Nuland, who was caught on tape plotting with the US Ambassador, was not fired and prosecuted shows how much importance the US put on fomenting the coup and subsequent destabilization. It was all about trying to get Ukraine into NATO. They had the arrogance to think the Russkis wouldn’t react. The US Generals have an unholy alliance with the weapons makers and now have the tiny Baltic countries singing their tune, “The Russkis are coming, defend us”. That is the one reason I would vote for Trump; he has been vocal about getting the US out of our stupid alliances that are not needed.

  5. EMP anyone??? China and Russia are equipped with battlefield units!! Remember the US ship disabled in the Baltic Sea?? US would be a dysfunctional wreck without electricity for weeks or months!!! Carrier Groups are coffins for the sailors!!!

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