Pundits In Tehran Say Iran Horn Headed For Nuclear War: Revelation 16

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Pundits In Tehran Say Iran May Be Headed For War

A prominent Iranian analyst, often referred to as an expert on US affairs, says political threats against Tehran are changing and taking a military form.

Mehdi Motaharnia, told Didban Iran website on June 18 that threats coming particularly from the US Central Command (CENTCOM) in the region are no longer political in nature and can be characterized as military.

Speaking in the cryptic language of Iranian analysts, Motaharnia added that “these threats are coming through Israel’s security tunnel.” He added that Tel Aviv’s moves are becoming increasingly elaborate and that they can change the situation in the region and push it toward a collision.

Motaharnia said indications show that a military confrontation is not only “possible” but “probable”.

He argued that US President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia is meant to tackle the Arab-Israeli problem and bring about meaningful strategic changes, including bringing Saudi Arabia closer to Israel. All this, he said will have serious repercussions for Iran.

In fact, Israel this week called for a regional alliance against Iran under the aegis of the United States.

Iranian analyst, Mehdi Motaharnia

Iranian analyst, Mehdi Motaharnia

It could also lead to Iran’s further isolation and create an anti-Iranian alliance. Motaharnia said that a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting will be also held during Biden’s visit to the region, and this is likely to lead to a regional order against Tehran.

Meanwhile, the former editor of hardline daily Kayhan, Mehdi Nasiri also said on the same day that the Islamic Republic is moving toward a war.

Nasiri wrote in an article: “Evidence including the suspension of nuclear negotiations in Vienna and the escalation of tensions between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) might indicate that the Islamic Republic is interested in war and such a war is likely to start.”

Nasiri added: “If such a war starts, it could lead to major humanitarian and economic catastrophe for Iranians who still have not recovered from the scars of the 8-year war with Iraq in the 1980s.”

Former editor of conservative Kayhan daily, Mehdi Nasiri

Nasiri warned Islamic Republic officials that this war is in contradiction with Iran’s national interests and that they have no right to impose such a conflict on the people even if they believe it would be an anti-imperialist move. “They have no right to start a war based on ideological and religious justifications without first seeking the consent of the Iranian people.”

In a blunt statement by someone living in Iran he said: “While clerics and others in the government are living an aristocratic life, they have no right to impose war and aggression on the people and bring about poverty and misery with the pretext of resistance.”

Nasiri added that if leaders believe most Iranians support an aggressive and belligerent foreign policy, they should prove this by holding a referendum.

The warnings about the Islamic Republic’s interest in a probable war come while according to a report published by reformist daily Sharq, there is no consensus among Iranian and US officials whether “an agreement is within reach,” or all the chances for a deal have been lost.

The report said that the realities on the ground point to the fact that currently there is no chance for a deal, adding that during the past 10 days since the IAEA Board of Governors condemned Iran’s lack of cooperation with the agency and Iran’s reaction to the IAEA resolution have been discouraging. The report stressed that chances for an agreement have been practically reduced to nil.

Sharq’s report said, “The nuclear agreement (JCPOA) is dead, but the Raisi administration lacks the courage to bury it.”

The New Nuclear Arms Race: Revelation 16

The New Nuclear Arms Race

By Tania Gemma Maire

June 19, 2022

Nuclear weapons are currently an international security issue. Lessons learned from past events have contributed to a global fear of such weapons. Simultaneously current events are indicating a global trend in nuclear proliferation, especially among powerful actors. States in possession of nuclear weapons are focusing on developing their nuclear capabilities and expanding their programs. Why is that so? Why are states still building nuclear weapons? Are these states conscious of the dangerous consequences involved? Are we experiencing the threat of a nuclear war?

In this paper, we will first define the term nuclear proliferation since it is key to understanding the different aspects of international security. Next, we will look at the different existing models explaining the current trend of nuclear proliferation and link these models to past events. Eventually, we will try to understand the recent developments in the field of international insecurity and analyze whether there is currently an international source of a nuclear threat.

Nuclear proliferation

It is important to understand the term nuclear proliferation. To do so, we need to define “proliferation”. The Cambridge Dictionary offers the following definition: “the fact of something increasing a lot and suddenly in number or amount“ (Cambridge Dictionary 2022). To simplify this definition, proliferation can be understood as “growth and propagation” (Rizky 2022).

So, what is nuclear proliferation? Nuclear proliferation is “a spectrum of possible activities related to the exploration, pursuit, or acquisition of nuclear weapons by states” (Rizky 2022). Therefore, it refers to the sudden rise in the number of weapons in circulation. Indeed, powerful states are focusing on developing their nuclear capabilities by building new weapons, perfecting their capability to build such weapons as well as investing financially in nuclear technology and its sophistication.

The main actors currently owning nuclear weapons are Russia, the United States, China, North Korea, Pakistan, India, Israel, France, and the United Kingdom (SIPRI 2021). However, not all of them are taking part in this pursuit of nuclear proliferation.

Reasons for the proliferation of nuclear weapons

Now that the meaning of nuclear proliferation is clear, another question emerges. Why do states still build nuclear weapons? International relations studies often offer an “obvious answer” to this question. Namely the idea of national security. States justify the building of nuclear weapons to ensure their national security in case of an external military threat. It is assumed that no alternative can guarantee their national security like nuclear weapons do (Sagan 1996).

However, this is an important question regarding the current global events and needs a more precise explanation. It is necessary to have a wide range of possible answers to envision the future of international security and its potential nuclear threat.

The answers can be divided into four different categories, respectively models. Namely the Security Model, which refers to the simple and basic answer found in most studies. The second one is the Norms Model, followed by the Domestic Politics Model and finally the Model we will be referring to as the Technological Race Model (Sagan 1996).

In Sagan’s article “Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons?” (Sagan 1996), he explains the three first models mentioned above. The first model refers to a state’s response to an external threat. States that have the financial resources, build nuclear weapons because it seems to be the safest option to ensure their national security. Weak states, however, states that could not invest in such expensive weapons, have the option to join alliances, such as an alliance with a nuclear power that would become an ally in case of a nuclear threat (Sagan 1996).

 Under this category, I believe there is also the idea of international anarchy. A powerful state hearing about another one building a nuclear weapon might consider this as a sign of potential threat. George Shultz explains this phenomenon as “Proliferation begets proliferation” (Shultz 1984).

Indeed, the proliferation started by one state will encourage another one to do the same and therefore take part in this nuclear proliferation as well (Sagan 1996). This phenomenon can be perceived as a post-war strategic reaction. In World War II the United States launched nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These events provoked the current trend of nuclear proliferation. The USSR, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, and Pakistan all reacted in a similar way. They invested in the development of nuclear weapons, widened their nuclear capabilities, and intensified their national research in nuclear technology (Rizky 2022).

This leads us to the next model, namely the Norms Model. Sagan explains this category as followed: “Nuclear weapons decisions are made because weapons acquisition, or restraint in weapons development, provides an important normative symbol of a state’s modernity and identity“ (Sagan 1996).

Indeed, nuclear weapons nowadays are a symbol of prestige and power. Therefore, powerful states follow this unwritten, international norm to ensure their global recognition. They take part in this nuclear proliferation race to show what they are financially and technologically capable of.

Sagan argues that the symbol of possessing nuclear weapons is similar to the symbol of a state’s Olympic team or national airline. In some states, national airlines are established more to demonstrate their technological capabilities and valuable human capital of scientists than to offer an additional domestic mode of transportation (Sagan 1996).

I believe this is also the motivation behind the third model of Technological Race. Globally, the United States (US) has been recognized as the leader in advanced technology and artificial intelligence. Especially when looking at Silicon Valley and its potential. Nonetheless, in the past few years, the US has been caught up by China, which has now become its biggest competitor. This indeed provoked the US to invest even more in its research and that is exactly what it did in its nuclear technology sector (Rizky 2022).

As we can see, this model refers to one country’s whole image as a leader in technology. But, this is only the case from a technological perspective. There exists another model from a political perspective, namely the Domestic Politics Model.

This category demonstrates nuclear proliferation as a tool to ensure domestic political interest. Not necessarily national interest, but the personal interest of at least one politician respectively, one political actor. Indeed, it could be the military influencing a political decision to get a larger national defense budget and acquire nuclear weapons. In such a case, the perception of an external threat could be worsened to promote the necessity of nuclear weapons (Sagan 1996).

Recent developments

For decades, the world has been focusing on disarmament and reducing the number of nuclear weapons in circulation. Especially the main actors mentioned above were dedicated to promoting different treaties to avoid the spread. However, these public announcements, coming from wealthy, powerful nations in possession of such arms are contradictory to the current trend in nuclear proliferation (Al Jazeera 2022).

Even more surprising is the fact that the idea of disarmament has suddenly disappeared after the Russian attack on Ukraine. In fact, in a matter of months, actors in possession of nuclear weapons have announced to invest in nuclear arms in order to increase, modernize and optimize their arsenal. Countries that wanted to get rid of nuclear arms are now putting strong importance on the capability of their weapons. Russia’s threat of using nuclear weapons against Ukraine has provoked a common global reaction to get ready for potential danger (Al Jazeera 2022).

Therefore, it seems like Russia’s war has already activated a nuclear proliferation trend, stronger and faster than in the past decades. A new nuclear arms race has started, altough this time it is not about technological capability and artificial intelligence. This time it is about being prepared and ready for a potential attack from a country possessing the world’s largest nuclear arsenal (Hille 2022).

Conclusion

To conclude, the Russian attack on Ukraine has provoked large, powerful nations to rush toward the development and modernization of their nuclear arms. This reaction has not only accelerated the proliferation of nuclear weapons but also created a threatening environment.

Nevertheless, I believe there will not be a World War III, even if Russia threatens to use its arsenal against Europe, because too much is at stake. The world is aware of the catastrophic consequences a nuclear attack can cause and has learned from the past lessons. Putin’s behavior is his way of showing the world how powerful he is, what resources he owns, and what he is capable of. There is no need for fear since his announcements are pure arrogance and bluff.

The large nations who joined the nuclear arms race are reacting to his threats as the world expects them to. Namely, appearing to act, preparing, and making sure their arsenal could be operated at any time, even if they are not sincerely planning on doing so. Governments expect to reassure their population by taking action and guaranteeing national security.

Therefore, the reason this nuclear arms race is happening is due to Russia’s threat of nuclear attack and led to international governments taking actions such as discussed in the Domestic Politics Model.

I am a final year bachelor’s student in Asian Studies & Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Konstanz, Germany. For the past semester, I have been studying International Relations at the University of Gadjah Mada, in Indonesia, where I specialized in Peace & Conflict Studies.

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onJune 17, 2022

Pakistan Army says defence budget for 2022-23 decreases from 2.8per cent of the GDP to 2.2 per cent

India’s GDP ($2.95 trillion) for 2021 is while Pakistan’s is $347.743 billion. With Gross Domestic Product in trillions, India’s the volume of defence outlay becomes much greater than Pakistan’s. India’s GDP is behind that of the US ($22.9 trillion), China ($16.9 trillion), Japan ($5.1 trillion), Germany ($4.2 trillion), and the UK ($3.1 trillion) but ahead of France’s 2.94 trillion (International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, October 2021).

Pakistan’s defence outlay

India showcases its defence expenditure on web sites, but, Pakistan mentions thm in one line in the demands for grants. The legislators apathetic to knowing the details. The defence officials, including the defence secretary has in the past expressed keen desire to show any detail to legislators.

The parliamentarians lack the ability to scrutinise the budget. Budgetary analysis is a technical task which could be done only by qualified people in ministries. Lt Gen Attiqur Rehman in Our Defence Cause says: “In a democracy, the defence services belong to the people through their representatives in parliament. Thus, the people have the right to know what is going on, how their money is being spent, and how the defence services are being managed and administered. In fact, they have a right to know everything, except details of the actual war plans.”

Pakistan’s defence demands undergo a rigorous scrutiny by relevant parliamentary committees and audit bodies.  Legislators and MoD babus are properly briefed about need for provisions.  Whenever demanded, the details of the defence budget for the current, as well as for the coming, financial year were placed before the parliament.  Even the expenditure on Zarb-e-Azb appeared more than once in media.

Most legislators lack acumen to analyse numerical rigmarole.  So they themselves do not wish to be bothered with the job being done by competent professionals in various ministries and parliamentary committees.

Pakistan should separate expenditure of forces to defend China Pakistan Economic Corridor and key installations including parliament from normal demands for defence grants.

A bitter lesson of history is that only such states survived as were able to strike a balance between constraints of security and welfare. Garrison or warrior states vanished as if they never existed.

A common feature of all strong states had been that they had strong military and civil institutions, de jure capability to defend their territory and policies that favoured the citizenry rather than dominant classes — feudal lords, industrial robber barons and others.

No standard definition of India’s defence budget

Take military pensions. They are clubbed under provisions of “civil ministries”, or separately. Many provisions of quasi-military nature are excluded from the defence outlay. Examples of such provisions are border and strategic roads, public sector undertakings mentioned under the Defence ministry separately. The provisions in MoD have capital outlays. They are not classified under military expenditure of the three services. The The nuclear research  (bomb making) expenditure is not treated as a military expense.

After a tiff with China, considerable money was spent on infrastructure in Ladakh, and Arunachal Pradesh. This expenditure is of military nature. Presenting the Union Budget 2022-23 in Parliament on February 1st, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced, among many others, an increase in allocations for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) by 9.8 percent to INR 5.25 trillion (USD 70.6 billion). The near double-digit rise in the defence allocation comes amidst India’s ongoing military stand-off with China in eastern Ladakh, which is yet to be diffused at the time of writing this article.

India has a vast array of para military forces like the Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force. They are as good as the “regulars”. Expenditure on them is of military nature.  The para-military forces spare the “regulars” for other duties.

Military ambitions

At us prodding, India revised its maritime strategy in 2015 to “Ensuring Secure Seas”. The previous strategy was “Freedom to Use the Seas. To implement the new strategy, India built the

India took up the development of the Sittwe Port in Myanmar as part of the Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project for building a multi-modal sea, river and road transport corridor for shipment of cargo from the eastern ports of India to Myanmar through Sittwe. India upgraded its existing listening post in northern Madagascar. India has obtained access to the US naval base in Diego Garcia, and to the French naval bases in Mayotte and Reunion islands, besides the Australian naval base in Cocos (Keeling. Robert Kaplan, in his book, Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and Future of American Power, argues that the geopolitics of the twenty-first century will hinge on the Indian Ocean. Waters of the Indian Ocean reach 28 countries which together account for 35 percent of the world’s population and 19 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product. Sixty per cent of the world’s oil shipments from the Gulf countries to China, Japan and other Asian countries pass through these waters which host 23 of the world’s busiest ports.

A US proxy

India is emerging as the US proxy against rising China, which is determined to surpass the USA in GDP by 2027. India is opposed to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Besides, it uses its aid, trade and border contiguity to obstruct Chinese influence in Bhutan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

At India’s bidding, those countries toe the Indian line in SAARC and other international forums like G-20. In 2005, Washington expressed its intention to help India become a major world power in the 21st century (according to K. Alan Kronsstadt, Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, 13 February 2007). It was later re-affirmed by Ambassador David Mulford in a US Embassy press in 2005. The USA’s resolve later translated into modification of domestic laws to facilitate export of sensitive military technology to India. The Nuclear Supplier Group also relaxed its controls to begin exports to India’s civilian nuclear reactor (enabling India to divert resources to military use).

Raj Mohan, Shyam Saran and several others point out that India follows Kautliya’s mandala (concentric, asymptotic and intersecting circles, inter-relationships) doctrine in foreign policy. It is akin to Henry Kissinger’s `spheres of influence’. According to this doctrine ‘all neighbouring countries are actual or potential enemies’. However, short-run policy should be based on common volatile, dynamic, mercurial interests, like the intersection of two sets.

Former Indian foreign secretary, Shyam Saran in his book How India Sees the World says, ‘Kautliyan [Chanakyan] template would say the options for India are sandhi, conciliation; asana, neutrality; and yana, victory through war. One could add dana, buying allegiance through gifts; and bheda, sowing discord. The option of yana, of course would be the last in today’s world’ (p. 64, ibid.). It appears that Kautliya’s and Saran’s last-advised option is India’s first option, with regard to China and Pakistan, nowadays.

Raj Mohan elucidates India’s ambition, in terms of Kauliya’s mandala (inter-relationships), to emerge as South Asian hegemon in following words:

‘India’s grand strategy divides the world into three concentric circles. In the first, which encompasses the immediate neighbourhood, India has sought primacy and a veto over actions of outside powers. In the second who encompasses the so-called extended neighbourhood, stretching across Asia and the Indian Ocean littoral, India has sought to balance of other powers and prevent them from undercutting its interests. In the third, which includes the entire global stage, India has tried to take its place as one of the great power, a key player in international peace and security. (C. Raja Mohan, India and the Balance of Power, Foreign Affairs July-August 2006).

Henry Kissinger views Indian ambitions in the following words: ‘Just as the early American leaders developed in the Monroe Doctrine concept for America’s special role in the Western Hemisphere, so India has established in practice a special positioning of the Indian Ocean region between the East Indies and the horn of Africa. Like Britain with respect to Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, India strives to prevent the emergence of a dominant power in this vast portion of the globe. Just as early American leaders did not seek approval of the countries of the Western Hemisphere with respect to the Monroe Doctrine, so Indian in the region of its special strategic interests conducts its policy on the basis of its own definition of a South Asian order’ (World Order, New York, Penguin Press, 2014).

ZbigniewBrzeszinsky takes note of India’s ambition to rival China thus: ‘Indian strategies speak openly of greater India exercising a dominant position in an area ranging from Iran to Thailand. India is also position itself to control the Indian Ocean militarily, its naval and air power programs point clearly in that direction as do politically guided efforts to establish for Indi strong positions, with geostrategic implications in adjoining Bangladesh and Burma (Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power).

With tacit US support, India is getting tougher with China. There was a 73-day standoff on the Doklam Plateau near the Nathula Pass on the Sikkim border last year. Being at a disadvantage vis-à-vis India, China was compelled to resolve the stand-off through negotiations. China later developed high-altitude “electromagnetic catapult” rockets for its artillery units to liquidate the Indian advantage there, as also in Tibet Autonomous Region. China intends to mount a magnetically-propelled high-velocity rail-gun on its 055-class under-construction missile destroyer 055.

The Indian navy wants a 200-ship strong fleet by 2027. The Navy wants to procure six new conventional submarines and 111 Naval Utility Helicopters to replace the vintage fleet of Chetaks. The IAF wants to procure 114 new fighters besides the 36 Rafales ordered in 2015, still in process

Social cost of military spending: Back in 1996-97, British Labour Party Defence Study Group tried to highlight defence burden on public exchequer. In that report, they drew comparisons between the defence and social costs. For instance, £ 7,000 million cost of the Tornado multi-role combat aircraft project was more than the total cost of Britain’s health and personal social services projects for 1976-77. £ 16 million price of the Frigate Ambuscade could provide a new 50S-bed hospital in Bangor. The submarine Superb was more expensive than building 4,000 new homes.

Colossal expenditure on conventional weapons by a nuclear power is not understood. Nuclear deterrence does not mean matching bomb for bomb. India should carry out a similar cost-benefit study of its military expenditure.

Social cost of military expenditure: Miserable lifestyle

 During COVID 19 surge people dumped the dead bodies of their kith and kin in rivers. They could not afford to buy costly wood to arrange a decent cremation.

Nearly half of India’s 1.2 billion people have no toilet at home. Yet more people own a mobile phone, according to the latest census data. Only 46.9 percent of the 246.6 million households have lavatories while 49.8% defecate in the open.

Most Indians don’t use toilet paper and consider it cleaner to  use other materials to wipe their bottom, such as newspapers, leaves and sand.Modi’s Clean India (Swach Bharat) remained a tall claim as most toilets disintegrated due to disuse or substandard quality. According to the health ministry’s 2012 Survey, of the 97.3 million toilets `built’, the ministry’s 2012 survey suggests that at least 27.64 million toilets are defunct.

According to India’s census of household amenities and assets, the majority of Indians have a miserable lifestyle.  The survey indicated that the Indian government’s priorities for ameliorating lot of the common man were wrong.  For instance, the government keeps fuming and fretting about the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) subsidy.  But, only about 18 percent of fortunate families use LPG as fuel in their everyday life.  Majority of the surveyed families used dung cakes, or firewood to cook. Only six per cent of the families have a car, with or without the LPG facility.

The survey further indicated: (a) Majority of the people are shelter-less and without any public-health cover.  About six people live in one house. There are 179 million residential houses.  Interestingly, `house’ means one room for about 40 per cent of Indian families.  As such, about 40 percent of married people do not enjoy the luxury of an independent sleeping room.  (b) Most `houses’, so called, are without toilets.  (c) Only half the population (52%) lives in `houses’ with walls and roofs.  The rest live shelter-less in the open air.  (d) Only 56 per cent of the `houses’ are blessed with electricity.    Even in the prosperous Punjab, four lakh households are without electricity. The survey negated the common impression that 100% households in Punjab had electricity.  Not a single state provides electricity to 100 per cent of its households.  The situation in Bihar is the most miserable.  There, only 10 per cent of Bihar state’s 14 million households get electricity, and the 90 per cent remain without it.

The survey found that only 38% families have water.  The tapped water supply, besides being erratic, is generally unhygienic.  Water is supplied for only a few hours, four hours at the most. About 62 per cent of the families, that is 118 million households; do not have access to drinking water at home.  In rural areas, about five million families still fetch drinking water from nearby ponds, tanks, rivers and springs.

 One starling finding of the Survey was that the development expenditures were oriented towards the rich (urban areas).  This trend has perpetuated the rural urban divide.  The urban-rural divide is most pronounced when it comes to electricity supply. About 88 per cent families in urban ar­eas vis-à-vis 44 per cent in rural areas have access to electricity. Almost half of the rural `houses’ are still lit with kerosene.    

 Urban areas are better in fuel consumption also.  Over 22 million Indian families (12 per cent households) still cook under the sky.  But, 76 percent of urban households have separate kitchens in their homes. Whether or not there is a kitchen, firewood is still the most widely used fuel with over 52.5 per cent Indians depending on it.

Surprisingly, even 23 per cent urban families use firewood for cooking. About 10 per cent rural households use crop residue as fuel.   Besides, cow- dung cake as fuel is used by 9.8 per cent (The meager use of biogas, even in villages, reflects failure of the Indian government to promote biogas in villages).

About 23% urban families have phones as compared to only 4% rural families.  Cars are, practically, an anathema for the rural population.  As for urban families, only six per cent of the overall households surveyed have a car.  But, 13% of the Delhi-resident families have cars (highest average among the cities).

Majority of the Indians live in a Sahara of subhuman conditions.  There are oases of affluence, unnoticed and un-taxed by the government’s policy makers.  For instance, 11 per cent of Delhi’s 3.3 million houses are vacant. Gujarat has 14 per cent houses vacant.

For about a third of even urban Indian fami­lies, a house does not include a kitchen, a bathroom, and a toilet.  And, in many cases, no power and water sup­ply(Indian expressdated February 9, 2004 .Figuring India Shining India?)

Take a look at these figures and feel not-so-good”) published the following pathetic profile of true India: “260 million people below poverty line,60 million of under four-year-olds are moderately or severely malnourished, 87 % women are anaemic,60 % children are anaemic,25 million are without shelter,171 million have no access to safe drinking water, 290 million adults are illiterate, 53 % of below five-year-olds are underweight, 4.4 doctors per 10,000 people (Source: Planning Commission)”.

Way out: Peace with neighbours: Pakistan’s founder Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah cherished the desire for lasting Indo-Pak peace even before creation of Pakistan. During his last days, The Quaid was perturbed at the Cold War rivalry emerging between the USA and the USSR.

The Quaid keenly desired that the subcontinent and all of South Asia should remain aloof from the rivalry. Therefore, he proposed a joint defence pact with India. Had India accepted his idea, the two countries would not have been at daggers drawn after independence.

Before his final flight (Aug 7, 1947) from Delhi to Pakistan, he sent a message to the Indian government, “the past must be buried and let us start as two independent sovereign states of Hindustan and Pakistan, I wish Hindustan prosperity and peace.” Vallabhbhai Patel replied from Delhi “the poison has been removed from the body of India. As for the Muslims, they have their roots, their sacred places and their centres here. I do not know what they can possibly do in Pakistan. It will not be long before they return to us.”

Even Nehru, an ostensibly liberal leader, regarded the creation of Pakistan as a blunder. His rant against Pakistan reaches a crescendo in his remarks: “I shall not have that carbuncle on my back.” (D. H. Bhutani, The Future of Pakistan, page 14). Will India stop its worldwide defence purchases to open a new chapter in relations with Pakistan?

Concluding thoughts

India’s rising defence outlays ratchet up Pak defence allocations. Let India lower her expenditure first! It should be a leader to compel Pakistan to follow suit.  It must shun hegemonic designs.

Any analysis of India’s military expenditure should be based on actual Demands for Grants coupled with Explanatory Memoranda. The allocations concealed under civil ministries outlays should be ferreted out and added to military allocations. The successive increases are revised and then actual budget estimates should be taken into account.

The colossal increase in big brother’s military budget is untenable in light of its teeming millions living below the poverty line.

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Defense

U.S & UK Announce Aim to Create New Anti-Russia Military Alliance

Published3 days ago

onJune 16, 2022

Because of their unexpected difficulties in getting Ukraine and Finland into their existing anti-Russia military alliance, NATO; both the U.S. and the UK Governments are now trying to create a new anti-Russian military alliance consisting of only themselves plus nations that border on Russia, so that U.S. & UK nuclear missiles can become posted onto Russia’s border a mere five-minutes-flying-time away from their blitz-nuclear-annihilating Moscow — too short a time for Russia to be able to launch its retaliatory weapons. The goal is to conquer Russia in such a fast manner that Russia won’t be able to retaliate to a sudden U.S. and UK nuclear attack. Ever since at least 2006, the goal has been to do this (it’s called “Nuclear Primacy” — the ability for the U.S. to win a nuclear war against Russia). However, obtaining this result from NATO is turning out to be too slow, if it will be able to be achieved, at all. And, therefore, the U.S. and UK Governments have designed an alternative method, which might be quicker. 

So far as is yet publicly known, this plan originated not in Washington but in London; however, the “Special Relationship” that exists between those two Governments is so intimate so that a proposal of this type would almost certainly have been worked out carefully between those two Governments before anything became publicly known about it. Furthermore, the core military nature of this alliance has been carefully hidden in the publicly available verbiage regarding it, so that it is publicly known as being an alternative to the EU, not to NATO — the military alliance, which it clearly is, and has been motivated as being.

On May 26th, Federico Fubini, of the Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera, headlined “Boris Johnson’s secret plan to divide Ukraine from Russia and the EU: the European Commonwealth” (“Il piano segreto di Boris Johnson per dividere l’Ucraina da Russia e Ue: il Commonwealth europeo”), and he reported that ever since Johnson’s surprise visit to Kiev on April 9th, Johnson has been hoping to create an “alternative to the European Union” but which would really be more of an alternative to NATO, and it wouldn’t allow in any countries that aren’t rabidly hostile toward Russia (such as Turkey or Hungary) any power to veto its actions (actions such as to station U.S and/or UK troops and missiles in Ukraine or Finland on or near Russia’s border and close especially to Moscow — Russia’s central command).

Johnson’s plan is that if, when the European Summit convenes on June 23rd, Zelensky turns out to be dissatisfied with the assurances that he will be receiving from the EU regarding Ukraine’s becoming an EU member (which would be a necessary prelude to NATO membership), then “Zelensky would take Boris Johnson’s alternative offer more seriously.”

On June 15th, Russia’s RT News bannered “US backs idea of another military bloc: Washington would support a possible security alliance between the UK, Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic States, the US envoy to NATO says”, and reported that: “The US Permanent Representative to NATO, Julianne Smith, said on Tuesday that Washington would ‘want to support’ the idea of a new security alliance, which could reportedly include Ukraine, the UK, Poland, the Baltic States, and possibly Turkey.” Turkey is part of this plan because its two straits, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, control access to and exit from the Black Sea — Russia’s main coast-line — and thus U.S. Navy access to possibly decimating Russia’s navy in Crimea, which would be an important part of conquering Russia. If Turkey won’t join this new alliance, then the U.S. Government will presumably attempt another coup to replace Turkey’s government.

These would be the U.S. and UK “Plan b” in case NATO turns out to be insufficiently united to terminate Russia’s independence.

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Defense

More Action; Fewer Words: Pakistan’s Military Diplomacy

Published4 days ago

onJune 15, 2022

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) entitles Pakistan’s military diplomacy as “more action, fewer words”. Defence Diplomacy, usually termed as Military Diplomacy has been in vogue for quite some time now.  In today’s modern world, this has become even more crucial when you have to achieve national objectives like economy, diplomacy and security. These three strands have become interchangeable today because economy, diplomacy and security all depend on each other to achieve “soft power” goals of the state. The role of militaries then extends beyond the conventional hard power domain and puts them in supplementing national efforts as well to achieve national policy objectives. While considering the state of Pakistan and its geopolitical importance, Military diplomacy formula has played a pivotal role in fortifying our relations with foreign countries. The combined and bilateral military exercises with many countries such as US, Russia, China, Turkiye, Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries have paved the way for achievement of economic, military and diplomatic objectives of the country, with an overall improvement in the bilateral relations. The Army leadership’s visits to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE, China and many other countries have supplemented the achievement of prime national objectives. 

The recent visit of senior military officials headed by Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff and delegation containing officers from all three services, as part of the Pakistan China Joint Military Cooperation Committee (PCJMCC) is a testimony to the military diplomacy of the current leadership. According to the statement issued by the military’s media wing on the visit “Pakistan and China reaffirmed their strategic partnership in challenging times and agreed to continue regular exchange of perspectives on issues of mutual interest. Both sides also vowed to enhance their training, technology and counterterrorism cooperation at tri service level.” This is all due to the Military to Military Cooperation that spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang said in an official statement “General Bajwa is an extraordinary leader of Pakistan Army. He is old friend of Chinese government and the Chinese army. He made positive contributions for further development of China-Pakistan relations.” Military diplomacy with China took a new leap when General Bajwa after assuming command, visited China on an official invitation from Chinese President Xi Jinping. It is to be remembered that the 94th anniversary of the founding of Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) was commemorated at GHQ which was also an unprecedented event. However, the relations with China were being perceived to be turning a bit cold in the past government’s tenure because of the slow progress of work on CPEC Projects but this high level military delegation has also paved the way for a futuristic strategic partnership with China. In the evolving security milieu, the Pakistan-China strategic soft power partnership has become increasingly important for regional peace and stability and the big credit in building this soft power influence goes to General Bajwa’s doctrine of Military diplomacy. 

Defense diplomacy in Pakistan has predominantly complimented the state institutions in achieving national objectives by providing economic anchorage. The war against terrorism in Pakistan and the overall improvement of the internal security paradigm are success stories that have created a safe environment for foreign investment. Undoubtedly, a safe environment gives investors’ confidence and boosts the tourism industry. With the development of very low cost and highly needed dams through the Frontier Works Organization (FWO), providing security to the Chamalang Coals mines, raising special wings to protect CPEC routes and developing CPEC road infrastructure, it gave the government the coveted economic leverage. The construction work on CPEC may also be accredited to military diplomacy. FWO developed the Kartarpur Corridor connecting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan and Gurudwara Dera Baba Nanak in India and continued to be the main organization for the construction of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. This led to better relationships with the Sikh community, improving image of Pakistan as a safe place for other religions, and also promoting the religious tourism in the process.

Despite all security efforts to create a stable peaceful environment in Pakistan, it seemed that international cricket would never resume in the country. Inviting military teams from Australia, England and Sri Lanka to play cricket, thus changed international perception and provided confidence to the international teams. This soft prong of Proactive Defence diplomacy paved the way for the return of international cricket in the country. Pakistan’s military diplomacy has been acknowledged closer to home as well. Peace in Afghanistan is always relevant to the stability inside Pakistan. The role of Pakistan’s military in aiding the Afghan Peace Process has been widely recognized by the Western dignitaries. Zalmay Khalilzaad, US Special peace envoy to Afghanistan, gave his acknowledgments to Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff. 

Defence diplomacy in Pakistan is thus more relevant than ever as these soft power tactics by the Pakistani military are contributing much in the national discourse

The Cause of the First Nuclear War: Revelation 8

World War 3 warning as water supply CUT-OFF could trigger nuclear doomsday

World War 3 warning as water supply CUT-OFF could trigger nuclear doomsday

WORLD WAR 3 could be triggered by a lack of water security as an expert warns Express.co.uk that nuclear-powered nations could be drawn into the conflict.

PUBLISHED: 14:01, Sun, Jun 19, 2022

India-Pakistan tensions ‘likely to explode’ says expert

One of the most pressing effects of the climate crisis is instability in water supplies, as a warming planet brings about more erratic rainfall and severe droughts. However, this lack of water security has even led to conflicts around the world, as more than 200 water-related violent conflicts took place in the past three years, according to data from the Pacific Institute.

However, an expert has warned that these water disputes, which usually involve local conflicts, could soon escalate to full-blown civil uprisings and even nuclear war. 

Dario Soto Abril, Executive Secretary at the Global Water Partnership (GWP) stressed the importance of considering water security as a matter of national security.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “Obviously, we’re always talking about water security in terms of having enough access for livelihoods, for economic development, and sustainable agriculture and ecosystem, but water security is an essential matter of national security.

“Not having water security creates economic uncertainty because water is connected to agriculture and manufacturing. 

Water scarcity is becoming a source of conflict

“So lack of water would reduce the economic intake of the country of the region.”

He noted that the lack of water could then create instability within a country at an internal, creating internal tensions, and “civil uprisings which will create conflicts within the country”.

He warned that migration could be another impact of water scarcity, as large populations move to Europe or the US.

He said: “If people have no water security in the region, they will most likely come to Europe or the US.

“That is another reason why water security is connected to national security.”

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World War 3 warning as water supply CUT-OFF could trigger nuclear doomsday
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One example he highlighted of a recent conflict that took place in Ethiopia in 2020, after Egyptian hackers launched a cyber attack on Ethiopian water systems.

On the hackers’ Facebook page, they voiced Egyptian opposition to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile. 

According to the Pacific Institute, the attack was carried out as the reservoir behind the dam is being filled despite there being a lack of an agreement between Egypt and Ethiopia.

Mr Abril added: “We’ve also seen how the conflict in Syria, in one of the sieges of Damascus, the water twas cut where civilians were left without water for weeks.”

A similar conflict threatened to unfold last month between India and Pakistan, two nuclear powers with a decades-long rivalry.

The two countries share the Indus River, which flows from the Himalayan region in India to Pakistan. 

As diplomats from both nations met to discuss renewing a decades-long water treaty, a major Indian news channel called on India to threaten to shut off the river flow to Pakistan.

The anchor said: “The Indus Waters give India immense strategic advantage over Pakistan. 

80 percent of Pak agricultural fields depend on these waters that India controls.

Such acts could trigger a nuclear war

“India can engineer floods & droughts in Pakistan. 

“Why has New Delhi been shy of exercising this power?” 

With both countries possessing around 100 nuclear weapons, cutting off the flow of a major river could have disastrous consequences.

Iraqis await Antichrist’s next move after mass resignation from parliament

Iraqis await Sadr bloc’s next move after mass resignation from parliament

18/06/2022 – 14:03

Modified: 18/06/2022 – 15:50

A political crisis is deepening in Iraq, with a new government still unformed eight months after legislative elections. Influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose movement won 73 seats in parliament, announced the resignation of his bloc’s members last week. The move has left many Iraqis uncertain about what the future holds for the powerful movement; many ask if it is even possible to form a government without it. FRANCE 24 correspondent Lucille Wasserman speaks to Iraqis about Sadr’s latest move.

Iran Nukes Up Even More: Daniel 7

Iran Digs a New Tunnel Network to Enrich Uranium

Washington – London – Asharq Al-Awsat

Saturday, 18 June, 2022 – 05:30 

A new cruise missile unveiled by Iran and called martyr Abu Mahdi is seen in an unknown location in Iran in this picture received by Reuters on August 20, 2020. (West Asia News Agency via Reuters)

Israeli and American intelligence officials said Iran is digging a vast tunnel network south of the Natanz nuclear production site, in what they believe is Tehran’s biggest effort to construct new nuclear facilities so deep in the mountains that withstand bunker-busting bombs and cyberattack, the New York Times revealed Friday.

It said that although the construction is evident on satellite photographs and has been monitored by groups that track the proliferation of new nuclear facilities, Biden administration officials have never talked about it in public and Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz has mentioned it just once, in a single sentence in a speech last month.

The NYT also said that in interviews with national security officials in both nations, there clearly were differing interpretations of exactly how the Iranians may intend to use the site, and even how urgent a threat it poses.

“By most accounts, Iran is closer to being able to produce a bomb today than at any other point in the two-decade-long saga of its nuclear program — even if it is planning, as many national security officials believe, to stop just short of producing an actual weapon,” the newspaper wrote.

And while US President Joe Biden prepares to travel to the Middle East next month, some argue that the conflict over Iran’s nuclear program is about to flare again.

Therefore, on Biden’s trip, the question of taking more extreme measures to stop Iran will be high on the agenda.

Earlier this month, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Tehran is just weeks away from being able to enrich enough bomb-grade fuel to make a single nuclear bomb although fashioning that into a usable weapon could take at least another two years.

According to NYT, Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. said Tehran, at least in the short term, was trying to leverage its nuclear capabilities as it negotiates with the United States.

“The Iranians’ highest priority is using the nuclear threat to gain concessions, economic and otherwise,” he stressed.

However, the newspaper wrote that the facility could eventually prove critical to Iran if the Biden administration’s efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement continue to run into roadblocks, adding that for now efforts to re-impose limits on Iran’s nuclear actions appear all but dead.

It said that currently, the Iranians are looking for new pressure points, including the excavation of the mountain plant near Natanz.

Over the past week, Iranian authorities have switched off 27 cameras that gave inspectors a view into Iran’s production of fuel, a decision that was particularly worrisome to Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations agency responsible for nuclear inspections.

Experts believe that Tehran is getting to the point of becoming what Robert Litwak, who has written extensively on the Iranian program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, called a “nuclear threshold state whose uranium enrichment program creates an inherent option to produce nuclear weapons,” without actually taking the last step.

Meanwhile, an article published by the Foreign Affairs magazine on Friday said that last month, Iran’s nuclear program entered dangerous new territory: Tehran now possesses enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb.

It said Tehran currently has enough uranium to begin producing a nuclear bomb. “That material, enriched to 60 percent, would need to be further enriched to roughly 90 percent—so-called weapons-grade uranium—before it could be used in a nuclear weapon,” the article said.

According to the magazine, that process, known as “breakout,” will now take just weeks due to Iran’s advances since 2019, when Tehran began casting off the constraints of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal following the US withdrawal from the agreement.

It said that although this action alone would not give Iran a bomb, it is the most important step in building one.

Foreign Affairs’ article warned that the consequences of this milestone are profound.

It said the international community has had months, if not years, to prevent any Iranian dash to bomb-grade material—plenty of time to resolve the crisis diplomatically.

“Should that fail, the United States has always kept military options as a last resort. Indeed, this fact has helped deter Iran from trying to build a bomb,” the article wrote.

But as US envoy Robert Malley noted last month, Iran’s capabilities have reached the point where Tehran “could potentially produce enough fuel for a bomb before we could know it, let alone stop it,” the article concluded.

Babylon the Great’s Weakness Has Created an Unstable and Dangerous World

US service members wait before deploying to Europe.
US service members wait before deploying to Europe.

U.S. Restraint Has Created an Unstable and Dangerous World

Decades of ignoring the menaces posed by Russia and China has led the West to a precipice.

June 17, 2022, 10:36 AM

The Biden administration failed to deter Russia from its second invasion of Ukraine. Like his predecessors in the White House, U.S. President Joe Biden went to great lengths to placate and reassure Russian President Vladimir Putin in return for stable relations. Biden defied Congress when he refused to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, unilaterally extended U.S. adherence to the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty without reciprocation by Russia, and honored Putin with a bilateral summit during his first overseas trip. As Putin amassed his troops on Ukraine’s borders, Biden pulled U.S. naval forces out of the Black Sea, refused to send additional weapons to Ukraine, enumerated everything the United States would not do to help Ukraine defend itself, and evacuated U.S. Embassy staff and military advisors. More broadly, the administration proposed a real cut to the defense budget; sought to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. defense strategy; restricted U.S. production capacity for oil, gas, and refined products that might have displaced Russian supplies; and signaled its willingness to overlook Russian and Chinese aggression in exchange for hollow pledges of cooperation on global issues such as climate change. After surrendering Afghanistan to a terrorist organization and conducting a humiliating retreat from Kabul, the administration’s attempts to deter the Russian invasion with threats of punishment were simply not credible.

Deterrence, however, does not disintegrate overnight. Contrary to the narrative of U.S. belligerence and imperialism that has been impressed on countless university students, the United States has, since the end of World War II, largely pursued a policy of restraint despite its considerable military power. Unlike other superpowers, it has not sought territories or treasure—on the contrary, it incurred considerable expense to foster a peaceful international order where other nations could thrive. Under the belief that a market economy, normal trading relations, and a democratic wave would foster liberal democracy everywhere, Washington even sought to elevate, embrace, and enrich its former Cold War enemies. From the World Bank to the International Space Station, the World Trade Organization to the Paris Agreement, Washington welcomed Moscow and Beijing into Western institutions—in other words, into the order Washington had previously tried to keep them from tearing down. Seeking to partner with Moscow and Beijing in the pursuit of global prosperity and a peaceful planet, Washington bridled its power by undertaking a generational drawdown of military forces and capabilities. Indeed, global prosperity grew and the number of democracies in the world steadily rose. As conviction rose in Washington that both China and Russia had transformed from adversaries to partners, U.S. restraint seemed a rational choice.

However, restraint was not reciprocated. As the United States reduced its defense spending to the lowest share of GDP since 1940, Russia and China embarked on the largest military modernization and expansion programs their countries had seen in generations. They bullied their neighbors (or in Russia’s case, attacked and occupied them), corroded the institutions they joined, and sought to eliminate their citizens’ liberties. U.S. restraint was interpreted as weakness. Ignoring these menaces has now led the West to the most dangerous precipice since the depths of the Cold War.

Even before the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, Russian and Chinese militarism and belligerence were evident. In June of that year, Chinese tanks put down peaceful protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, killing thousands of people. In late 1995 and early 1996, Beijing tried to intimidate Taiwan in the run-up to its first democratic election, firing missiles into Taiwanese territorial waters. In April 2001, a Chinese fighter jet rammed a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace, forcing the naval airmen into an emergency landing in China, where they were detained for 10 days. Moscow engaged in two brutal wars against Chechnya and launched an assassination campaign against political opponents that continues to this day. In 2004, the Kremlin nearly killed then-Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko in an attempt to secure victory for its preferred candidate. In 2006, a Russian agent poisoned and killed Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy who had defected, and Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist, was assassinated for opposing Putin’s wars. From the killing of Boris Nemtsov, a liberal critic of Putin, in 2015 to the poisoning and incarceration of dissident Alexey Navalny in 2020 to the most recent imprisonment of Russian opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, Putin and his thugs have worked tirelessly to extinguish any criticism of, let alone challenge to, his iron rule.

Russia and China were emboldened, in part, because the United States undertook the greatest military drawdown since the collapse of the British empire.

Washington still did not waver from its predisposition toward restraint. Even after Putin made plain his goal of undermining the United States and the West at the 2007 Munich Security Conference, the U.S. military drawdown from Europe and Asia continued. The United States welcomed Russia into the G-7 in 1998, turning it into the G-8. China and Russia became part of the G-20 in 1999 and the World Trade Organization in 2001 and 2012, respectively. Putin’s 2008 invasion of Georgia was even rewarded with a positive “reset” of relations. The 2010 U.S. National Security Strategy called for a “stable, substantive, multidimensional relationship with Russia, based on mutual interests” and sought “Russia’s cooperation to act as a responsible partner in Europe and Asia.” Similarly, even as Chinese ships began clashing with those of their neighbors, even as China built and militarized 27 artificial islands and other outposts in the South China Sea, and even as Beijing claimed sovereignty over the sea and established air and sea superiority in an area where one-third of global trade passes, Washington remained withdrawn. The 2015 U.S. National Security Strategy “welcome[d] the rise of a stable, peaceful, and prosperous China” and sought “to develop a constructive relationship with China that delivers benefits for our two peoples and promotes security and prosperity in Asia and around the world.”

Instead, the two autocracies’ belligerence has only expanded. In 2014, Russia invaded, occupied, and annexed parts of Ukraine, initiating a long war it has now expanded. The following year, Russian troops propped up the murderous dictatorship of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, and soon thereafter, Putin sent his private mercenary army, the Wagner Group, into Libya. In 2016, Russia interfered in elections in Europe and the United States, exploiting domestic political divisions to sow discord and mistrust in the democratic process. Not to be outdone, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a genocide of its own citizens, imprisoned 1.8 million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in concentration camps and forcing them to undergo compulsory sterilization, forced labor, medical experiments, mass rape, torture, renunciation of their religious beliefs in favor of the Communist Party, cutting and selling of their hair, and organ harvesting. In 2020, Beijing cracked down in Hong Kong in direct contravention of the “one country, two systems” policy it had committed to by international treaty. Chinese soldiers also attacked Indian troops across their disputed border, initiating skirmishes leading to several dozen deaths. As if that was not enough, Beijing’s deceit, dishonesty, and dissimulation about the nature and origin of COVID-19 helped transform a local and possibly containable outbreak into a horrific global pandemic that has cost more than 15 million lives so far.

Russia and China were emboldened, in part, because the United States undertook the greatest drawdown of military power since the collapse of the British empire. In 1990, the U.S. military had about 266,000 service members stationed in Europe; by the end of 2021, it was only about 65,000 service members. In 1989, the U.S. Army had 5,000 tanks permanently stationed in West Germany alone; by 2014, there were zero on the entire continent. In 1990, the United States had 5,000 nuclear bombs forward deployed in Western Europe; today, it has around 150 nuclear bombs. Until the 2014 start of Russia’s war in Ukraine and despite NATO enlargement, not a single U.S. service member was permanently stationed farther east than during the Cold War. In Asia, where the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has more than 2 million ground force personnel and the Chinese navy is now the largest in the world, the United States’ active-duty Army has been cut by one-third since 1990. The U.S. Navy has 40 percent fewer sailors in Asia and will soon have only half the number of active warships it had stationed there in 1990. In 2019, China conducted more ballistic missile tests than the rest of the world combined. Recent reports show that China is expected to quadruple the size of its nuclear arsenal by decade’s end.

The policy of restraint continues to limit the U.S. defense budget. At the close of the century, China and Russia together spent 13 percent of what the United States spends on defense. Today, that number is 67 percent. Whereas U.S. defense spending fluctuated between 4.5 percent and 11.3 percent of GDP during the Cold War, Biden’s budget request for 2022 would have put defense spending at less than 3 percent of GDP—the lowest level since 1940, when Washington was still trying its best to stay out of international affairs. And while the White House’s recently released 2023 budget request contains a small nominal increase, rampant inflation makes it another de facto cut. By comparison, the Chinese defense budget—which is chronically understated by the CCP and does not include, for example, what local authorities spend on military bases or investments in research and development—grew 7.1 percent in 2021. And lest you be impressed by the still-ample size of U.S. spending, keep in mind that Washington spreads its military thinly, whereas Russia and China have a laser-like focus on dominating their neighbors and regions. U.S. armed forces are not only too small to deter or respond effectively to aggression, but the services have also incurred significant deferred modernization due to inadequate and unpredictable defense budgets as well as the U.S. Defense Department’s dysfunctional acquisition and procurement system. The United States is weaker, less secure, and less prepared to fight and win than at any time since the beginning of the Korean War.

Consequently, Putin launching the largest war in Europe since World War II should not have come as a surprise. For over three decades, Moscow and Beijing have eroded, flouted, mocked, and assaulted the order the United States and its allies built. Restraint encouraged that agenda as the United States and its allies dismantled the ramparts that had been vital to preserving peace and protecting the sovereignty of nations on the peripheries of two revanchist powers. And the drawdown continues—even as Russia continues its brutal invasion and China lays claim to Taiwan and the South China Sea. In its new national defense strategy, the Biden administration uses the term “integrated deterrence” to create the illusion that better coordinated policies can be substitute for modernized, ready, forward-positioned forces capable of operating at a sufficient scale to deter conflict and, should that deterrence fail, fight and win.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with US President Joe Biden prior to their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva on June 16, 2021.

The United States must end its unilateral restraint vis-à-vis Russia and China and be realistic about the nature of the adversaries it faces. First, the United States must rearm, and the defense budget must increase. It must pay for new capabilities that counter and exceed those China and Russia have invested in. The Joint Forces must be substantially bigger to deter Russian and Chinese aggression as well as be able to respond to multiple, simultaneous contingencies. In today’s dollars, achieving even the Cold War-era floor of spending 4.5 percent of GDP on defense would mean a $1.2 trillion budget. Second, the United States must end its diplomatic restraint. Where it can, it should counter Beijing’s and Moscow’s efforts to subvert and co-opt international institutions and turn them against their purpose. If some of those institutions are beyond rescue, the United States and likeminded partners should form new groupings to advance the originally intended values and principles. In these cases, new institutions should prove more resilient and effective than the current ones plagued by discord and corruption. The Biden administration must stop describing Russia and China as partners in arresting nuclear proliferation, combatting climate change, and curbing pandemics. Finally, the United States must end its economic restraint against the predatory practices and outright criminal behavior of the Chinese regime. U.S. policymakers should not tolerate violations of bilateral and international trade agreements, the use of forced labor and other inhumane labor practices, and supply chains that leave U.S. national security vulnerable. Free trade only works among free people.

Putin’s latest assault on the free world—and Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s threats to do so himself—have the capability of resuscitating Washington from its comatose policy of restraint. The longer the United States operates under the delusion that restraint will appease authoritarian regimes that have made their hostile intentions abundantly clear, Russia and China will become bolder and the risk of a catastrophic war—which Ukraine was the prelude for—will only grow. In a world created by U.S. restraint, democracy, prosperity, and peace are on the decline. As Putin’s brutal war has reminded the world, weakness is provocative. Strength is the best way to preserve peace and secure a better future for generations to come.