Events are unfolding at a quickening pace. Facing an alarming escalation in tensions around the world, we are looking to our most respected and renowned thought leaders for an honest assessment of both U.S. foreign and military policy to offer their most current thoughts and insights. We know they have some ideas for improving the prospects for peace.
Larry Wilkerson is a renowned defense analyst and a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Government & Public policy at the College of William and Mary. He is a retired United States Army colonel and was the former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell. We are extremely honored that he took the time to talk to us and share his views. His responses below are exactly as he provided.
The questions here are not philosophical or abstract. They focus on the realities of the international power struggle unfolding in real time. They directly address the role of the U.S. in the escalating tensions and its capacity to reduce them. We also probe the role of everyday citizens in affecting the relationship the U.S. now has and will have with the rest of the world community.
Here is what Colonel Wilkerson had to say.
Q. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has recently put the hands of the Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds before midnight. Midnight means all out war, probably nuclear holocaust. This is the closest it has every been. Do you agree with this dire assessment?
A. I do. I do because we -- and the Russians -- have allowed nuclear arms control to collapse. With the exception, thank goodness, of NEW START, all else is gone -- the ABM Treaty, the INF Treaty, and most of all, the spirit that undergird them and nuclear weapons arms control in general. Replacing it is an angry, take-no-prisoners return to the 1950s when certain people thought nuclear war was a winnable prospect. The Russians have even published military doctrine outlining how, should their territory be invaded [by NATO forces], they will respond with tactical nuclear weapons. In further response, the U.S. has announced it will build a small, nuclear-tipped cruise missile to be placed on submarines. This is as dangerous as it gets short of an actual nuclear exchange.
Q. The U.S. always portrays itself as the greatest force on the planet for peace, justice, human rights, racial equality, etc. Polls tell us that most other nations actually regard the U.S. as the greatest threat to stability. What in your view is the truth here?
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