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IPFS News Link • WAR: About that War

It's the End of the World as We Know It

•, By Scott Ritter

America's addiction to nuclear weapons does not lend itself to deterrence-based stability. It only leads to war.

"That's great, it starts with an earthquake…"

There's nothing like a classic 1980's rock song to get one's blood up and running, and REM's 1987 classic, It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine), fits the bill just right on this hot and muggy summer day.

The only problem is, the song might as well be prophesy, because from where I sit, taking in the news about the rapidly escalating nuclear arms race between the United States and Russia, it very much looks like the end of the world as we know it.

And I don't feel fine.

The news isn't good. Last month, on May 6, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that it would, on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin, conduct exercises involving the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons. According to Russian officials, the exercises were a response to "provocative statements and threats from certain Western officials directed at the Russian Federation."

The Russians were responding to statements made by French President Emmanuel Macron to The Economist on May 2, where he declared that "I'm not ruling anything out [when it comes to deploying French troops to Ukraine], because we are facing someone [Putin] who is not ruling anything out." Macron added that "if Russia decided to go further [advancing in Ukraine], we will in any case all have to ask ourselves this question (whether to send of troops)."

While Macron described his remarks as a "strategic wake-up call for my counterparts," it was clear not everyone was buying into what he was selling. "If a NATO member commits ground troops [to Ukraine]," Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said after Macron's words became public, "it will be a direct NATO-Russia confrontation, and then it will be World War III."