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The fireworks next time!: Ready for a New 'Missile Gap' and Arms Race?

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By Dave Lindorff

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It's July 4. Do you want fireworks? You're in luck, because that's what your militarist government wants to deliver.

You may have to wait a bit, but what's in store is a new arms race, a new era of super instability with the chance for, or even likelihood of a catastrophic ending in the form of a global nuclear war.

It's all about a new race between the US, Russia and China to be the first to develop a fleet of hypersonic cruise missiles capable of flying low to the ground at speeds of between 4-15,000 miles per hour while maneuvering and even changing targets along the way, making them virtually unstoppable.

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Apparently spending 60% of our annual tax payments on the military and on pointless wars around the world that only seem to create more chaos and more hatred of the US as we already do now isn't enough. We need to blow even more of our hard-earned income on weapons and war in another pointless arms race that never should have even been contemplated, much less launched.

Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s it was the so-called "Missile Gap" that led to a paroxysm of massive spending on developing ever larger missiles and nuclear bombs to be carried by them, the construction of costly missile silos to house them, and a fleet of huge missile launching submarines to bring them closer to the coasts of the Soviet Union and China. There actually never was a "gap." US intelligence knew from satellite and U-2 spy plane overflight photos that the US always had more ICBMs and shorter range IRBMs capable of delivering H-Bombs to Russia than the Russians had, but the fake story that the Soviets had more missiles than the US did the trick. The missile arms race was on.

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 
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