WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Last week, NATO completed its largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War. Named ANAKONDA, the exercises, which were clearly aimed at Russia, involved 31,000 troops from 23 countries.
"The most important thing the United States could do to reduce tensions with Russia is to provide a guarantee of no further NATO expansion," University of Arizona Professor of History David Gibbs told Sputnik on Monday.
However, Gibbs pointed out that it was the massive expansion of NATO to cover all of Central and Eastern Europe since the collapse of the Soviet Union that had been the main cause of the growing tensions and fear of war across Europe.
"The continual expansion of NATO since the end of the Cold War has been a highly destabilizing factor in European politics," Gibbs added.
AntiWar.com senior analyst Jason Ditz agreed with the assessment and added that the next US president also needed to scrap the enormously expensive nuclear weapons modernization plan that current President Barack Obama had ordered.
"The first thing the United States should do, not just to reduce the threat of nuclear war but as a matter of economic practicality, would be to abandon the planned ‘modernization’ of the nuclear arsenal."
"It makes no sense to spend hundreds of billions of dollars building new versions of weapons we aren't going to use," Ditz maintained.
The next US president should also reverse Obama’s decision to deploy anti-ballistic missile radars and interceptors in Romania and Poland, Ditz added.
"Getting Russia back to the talks on arms reduction is likely as simple as abandoning the European missile defense system, which is of little to no utility to begin with, and seemingly exists just to spite Russia's opposition to having such a system in place."
The United States had such an enormous nuclear arsenal that no one would start a war on the risk that half or three quarters of the nuclear weapons might not be fully reliable, Ditz concluded.