Paris carnage and the reaction to it from almost every corner of the world has somewhat overshadowed the increasing danger of U.S.-Russia rivalry, which has entered a new phase in recent times. This rivalry could turn out to be even more terrifying than the inhumane terrorist attacks on Paris carried out by ISIL, especially in the wake of Russia’s plans to develop nuclear torpedoes.
New weapon of terror
Russian state media recently disclosed Moscow’s plans for developing these types of nuclear torpedoes which are more of an underwater drone. These torpedoes are designed to swim around 6,000 miles underwater, just like long-range ballistic missiles could do in the air. This weapon will be capable of detonating a warhead such as a Hydrogen bomb equal to a million tons of TNT and the explosion would create a radioactive tsunami in the sea.
According to Russian TV, this weapon would be used to shatter the enemy’s economy in a coastal area and will impose unimaginable damage to that country’s territory by creating areas of wide radioactive contamination. This would force the enemy to abandon that coastal region and it won’t be able to use that region for military, economic or any other activity for a long time. This weapon is a throwback to the dark days of the Cold War when creation of such inhumane and insane weapons was a norm. This weapon is designed to deliberately target and kill innocent civilians and turn cities into barren radioactive wastelands which will be unsuitable for any living creature.
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In short, such a weapon will simply render a country’s sovereignty meaningless and will expose it to all sorts of external threats that lead to states crumbling under pressure.
During the Cold War, US General Douglas MacArthur requested permission from the President to drop cobalt bombs on the Korean border in order to stop Chinese troops from advancing. However his request was forcefully rejected by Washington since the leaders did not want to face yet another nuclear fallout so soon after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki ‘experiments’. US nuclear scientists had designed a neutron bomb during the 1970s which would have increased the number of causalities but would have not done much damage to buildings and infrastructure. Usage of such weapons was also rejected and they were never developed by the United States.
The legacy of Cold War
General opinion around the world is that such weapons are a thing of the past and should have been buried with the end of Cold War. However, latest developments in Russia indicate otherwise. Such weapons are very much alive and are a part of our world. And unsurprisingly, Moscow wants the US to know about its dirty H-bomb. This could put Russia and America back to the position of inconvenience with all roads leading to ‘nuclearville’.
Russia is building new nuclear armed missiles along with bombers and submarines. These will replace the ones it built in the 1980s, which are near to the end of their operational lives. Russian stance on this is that they are not doing anything out of the ordinary and are just modernizing their arsenal. Moscow has increased the role of nuclear weapons in its military doctrine in order to create a balance of power with United States and counter U.S. missile interceptors that are positioned in Europe. Russia believes that this will guarantee the country’s safety and will not allow Europe and the United States to dominate the former Soviet Republic.
An endless rage
The United States is already preparing for an apt response to Russian advances. Washington is planning to spend more than $1 trillion in the next three decades on the upgrading of its nuclear arsenal that includes nuclear bombs, bombers, missiles and submarines. These upgraded weapons will replace the ones built during Ronald Reagan’s time. Obama administration has reportedly given a go ahead to this plan in a complete contrast to the president’s claims of putting an end to Cold War thinking.
According to this plan, the US will deploy more than 200 new and advanced nuclear bombs in Europe, replacing the ones already positioned there. These new installed weapons will be more accurate and more usable in the event of a war in Europe. US Navy on the other hand, is busy developing a dozen new submarines to scavenge oceans around the globe. These submarines will be equipped with 1,000 warheads on missiles capable of hitting any spot on the planet. And the United States Air Force is believed to be developing a new strategic bomber and is looking forward to acquire 1,000 new cruise missiles to go with those strategic bombers. A new fleet of more than 600 ICBMs is also on the cards for the US Air Force.
However, these weapons will still not match the Russian nuclear torpedo individually but can cause destruction on a massive scale if used collectively. All of these systems will be using hydrogen bombs weapons. Hydrogen bombs are 20 to 30 times more powerful than the atomic bombs America used against Japan during the World War II.
William Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, has termed the situation as very dangerous and alarming. In his book, “My Journey at the Nuclear Brink”, he has asserted that a new arms race is about to start. However, Perry has some advice for US president, Barrack Obama. Instead of indulging in a direct arms race with Russia following the latter’s plans of developing nuclear torpedoes, United States should not build a wide range of weapons, rather it should build fewer.
Perry wants Obama to instead ban such weapons and that US should champion such an effort against this destabilizing inhumane weapon. US should take the lead in denouncing these weapons and lead the line against this weapon which is totally irreconcilable with the modern civilization.
It would be a surprising move that could isolate Russia in the world even further. However, Obama and his administration needs to act quickly if a solution is to be found before it gets out of the hand. Obama should remain true to his legacy of putting an end to Cold War politics and it would be better for the United States and the entire world if another terrifying arms race is avoided. If not, the world will see an arms race more terrifying than the crimes carried out by terrorists on a daily basis.