The nuclear “war” in Ukraine may not be the one we expect.

by Joshua Frank, Tom Dispatch

In 1946, Albert Einstein shot off a telegram to several hundred American leaders and politicians warning that the “unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.” Einstein’s forecast remains prescient. Nuclear calamity still knocks.

Even prior to Vladimir Putin’s bloody invasion of Ukraine, the threat of a nuclear confrontation between NATO and Russia was intensifying. After all, in August 2019, President Donald Trump formally withdrew the U.S. from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, long heralded as a pillar of arms control between the two superpowers.

Cooling towers of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station near city Enerhodar, Ukraine

“Russia is solely responsible for the treaty’s demise,” declared Secretary of State Mike Pompeo following the announcement. “With the full support of our NATO allies, the United States has determined Russia to be in material breach of the treaty and has subsequently suspended our obligations under the treaty.” No evidence of that breach was offered, but in Trump World, no evidence was needed.

Then, on February 21st of this year, following the Biden administration’s claims that Russia was no longer abiding by its obligations under the New START treaty, the last remaining nuclear arms accord between the two nations, Putin announced that he would end his country’s participation.

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