By Lu Yuanzhi
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT
Fox News reported that the head of US Strategic Command Charles Richard is calling on the US military and federal leaders to reimagine methods of deterring aggressive action from rivals such as China and Russia. He wrote in the February issue of Proceedings, the US Naval Institute’s monthly magazine, that, “There is a real possibility that a regional crisis with Russia or China could escalate quickly to a conflict involving nuclear weapons.”
It’s not uncommon to hear the noise preaching so-called threats of China and Russia. Yet it’s still shocking to see a US senior military official publicly urging leaders of his country to consider a nuclear war. His narratives have drawn wide attention.
Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and commentator, told the Global Times on Thursday that Richard’s rhetoric may be out of the following intention. First, he may hope to increase the strategic value of the Strategic Command in the US military. Second, Richard wants the US Congress to allocate more funds to create a new US nuclear weapons system, in a bid to reinforce a new triad of strategic nuclear forces. Third, he seeks to pursue the Strategic Command’s larger control over US nuclear weapons.
For whatever reason, a top military official from the US, the most powerful country and whose new administration has pledged to restore its global leadership, is irresponsible to express such a crazy idea, as it poses huge challenges to world peace and security. It should be condemned by the international community.
Most nuclear-weapon countries including China, tend to keep their nuclear force for the purpose of safeguarding their national security. Only when their safety, sovereignty or territory is threatened, will they consider resorting to using nuclear weapons. But the principle of the US totally differs.
The US military might be the strongest, possessing the largest and most advanced nuclear arsenal. In spite of vowing to pursue disarmament, Washington actually spent trillions of dollars in upgrading its nuclear arsenal. Apart from terrorists, no country is capable of posing any threat to the US homeland.
Just as Song said, spending trillions of dollars to upgrade its nuclear arsenal is mainly to maintain its global hegemony. This is the fundamental difference between the US and other nuclear-weapon countries in terms of keeping nuclear forces.
Washington covers a wide range when it comes to defending its hegemony. It includes safeguarding its national security as well as its core interests on a global scale. Just as former US president Barack Obama said at the US Military Academy at West Point in 2014, “America must always lead on the world stage… If we [the US] don’t, no one else will.” If any country gravely threatens US hegemony, the possibility cannot be ruled out that the US may use nuclear weapons to remarkably impair its rivals’ military capability. This is the huge threat of US radical nuclear policy posed to the world. It is a big challenge for all countries, including China and Russia, and to global peace and safety. The US is the biggest trouble-maker in the world, which has the potential to overturn global peace.