Noting that Russia's policy over Ukraine has largely been a reflexive reaction to the fallout of Kiev's Maidan the coup d'état in Kiev in February 2014, and NATO's military buildup on Russian borders thereafter, Jalife-Rahme noted that what concerns him in the situation which has emerged is that the continued escalation of tensions could lead to a military catastrophe involving the use of nuclear weapons.
The journalist recalled that the US is the only country in history to have used nuclear weapons, "against the defenseless cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki," and noted that a new nuclear strategy document by the US Center for Strategic & International Studies entitled Project Atom suggests that the country must be prepared to conduct "limited nuclear operations in a controlled fashion while maintaining the ability to escalate to full-scale war if necessary" in the interests of "providing leverage and advantage for the United States."
Going back to the chain of events which led to the escalation of military tensions between NATO and Russia, Jalife-Rahme argued that Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland's actions in Ukraine, which have resulted in the escalation of tensions in Eastern Europe, have effectively brought the European continent "to the brink of nuclear catastrophe."
In the expert's view, a real de-escalation will require that the area from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea must be declared a nuclear-free zone. The same status could be extended to the Baltic countries, and to Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Moldova. Otherwise, they may "become cannon fodder in the event of a military conflict between Russia and the United States involving the use of nuclear weapons."
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