Christopher Ruddy, March 12, 1999
Since 1917, "capitalist warmongers" in the US and Europe have been the principal targets of hatred by Russians and the Chinese. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, those campaigns of hate subsided briefly, and authoritarian communists stepped out of the spotlight. Today, with Russia reported in desperate economic straits, the Russian people are again being told, "it's the fault of America and Europe." Brutal communist leaders are again publicly talking, dissent is again being banned, and hatred against the West is soaring.
During the past year, my concerns about Russia have been greatly increased as a result of an interview I conducted with Jeffrey Nyquist -- an independent researcher on Russia and author of The Origins of the Fourth World War.
Nyquist believes Russia has been planning a surprise nuclear attack against the United States, and that this attack will come sooner rather than later -- quite possibly within the next year if the US continues on its present reckless course. I would have scoffed at such suggestions had Nyquist not made such a convincing case and demonstrated such a powerful intellect.
During our conversations, Nyquist listed signs that would indicate a Russian attack was being planned.
NYQUIST'S STARTLING PREDICTIONS
In early 1998, Nyquist predicted that authorities in Russia would deliberately implode their own economy to advance their political and military agendas. There were several reasons. First, that would divert attention from the theft of billions of dollars by government officials from "privatized" companies, and provide a convenient explanation why none of them were making any money. Second, by engendering Russia's economic collapse and blaming the West, the necessary psychological atmosphere for war against the US would be created.
Another outcome of Russia's economic collapse, Nyquist said, would be the emergence of a series of progressively stronger and more militarist Russian leaders. Primakov -- Yeltsin's Prime Minister -- perfectly fits Nyquist's prediction. He's a former hard-line, anti-American KGB general.
Nyquist also predicted that Russia would ally with China. That, too, has now taken place, as you'll see below.
Finally, Nyquist predicted that Russia would stockpile huge quantities of food and other supplies for war, and begin moving their nuclear weapons on to their naval ships where they are much more difficult to monitor and deter. All of this has occurred.
SPY WARNS OF RUSSIAN WAR PLANS
Nyquist is not the only astute observer of Russia who believes Russia may be preparing for war against the US. Stanislav Lunev -- the highest-ranking GRU (Russian military intelligence) officer ever to defect from Russia -- also warns that Russia is preparing for war against the United States.
Lunev's book Through the Eyes of the Enemy (published last summer by Regnery) states categorically that the Cold War is not over and that Russia continues to plan for a nuclear war. "Russia remains terrified of the power of America, and Russian military intelligence does everything it can prepare for a war that it considers inevitable," he wrote. This war, Lunev details, would employ nuclear, biological and chemical weapons against America.
RUSSIAN PLANS: KILL US LEADERS; USE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS ALREADY IN US
Lunev explains war would begin with the infiltration of Russian special operations troops into the US, who would kill top political and military leaders. Lunev also warns that Russian GRU (military intelligence) agents have already deposited, near key water reservoirs, deadly poisons and toxins which would result in millions of civilians being ravaged by disease. Lunev says, for instance, that the Russians have determined that they could wipe out a significant part of the population of Florida by polluting water sources in the Carolinas.
Another part of Russia's plan, according to Lunev, is to deploy suitcase nuclear bombs at strategic points throughout the US. Lunev says he personally scouted a site in the Hudson Valley just above New York City for one such suitcase nuke.
Lunev has also told me that the democracy movement in Russia was a charade and part of "a plan" to get the West disarm -- achieving through deception what the Soviet Union was never able to achieve militarily. Lunev explained that China was pursuing parallel policies, absorbing as much Western aid and technology as possible before a final confrontation, which Lunev regarded as imminent.
RUSSIA'S ECONOMIC COLLAPSE INCREASES RISK OF WAR
The collapse of Russia's economy greatly increased the chances of war with the West. With 29 times Finland's population, Russia's budget barely matches theirs. According to news reports, millions of ordinary Russians are now struggling just to stay alive, selling family heirlooms and chopping up their furniture for kindling.
Russia's political leaders and economic czars, of course, will never admit that they and their failed totalitarian system are responsible for this widespread misery, and increasingly the West is being blamed.
This is particularly dangerous, because despite economic desperation, Russia continues is still a nuclear superpower. Victor Olove, director of Moscow's Center for Policy Studies, told the Los Angeles Times, "People who have nuclear warheads in their hands have not gotten their salaries for three or four months and are literally hungry."
Some press reports show how close to war we have already come. Britain's Panorama news program reported that in 1995 the Yeltsin government came within minutes of a full nuclear attack on the United States after Russian defense systems failed.
US DETROYS NUCLEAR ARSENAL, RUSSIAN ARSENAL EXPANDS
Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been systematically destroying its nuclear arsenal. In 1991, the US had approximately 30,000 strategic and tactical nuclear weapons. Under Clinton, that arsenal has fallen nearly 60%. In 1997, the United States had only 12,500 (tactical and strategic) nuclear weapons. Of these, only 8,750 were active, 2500 more were on reserve, and 1,250 were slated to be destroyed. Moreover, our nuclear arsenal has a limited "shelf life," and year by year, more and more weapons become unusable. The Clinton administration has only recently taken belated steps to produce tritium, a necessary component for the maintenance of nuclear weapons.
In contrast, the Russians may now have as many as 50,000 strategic and tactical nuclear weapons -- ranging from small suitcase bombs to large warheads suitable for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM's). The lion's share of these weapons remain targeted at the US. And Russia is quickly building even more weapons.
Never before has the strategic nuclear balance been so greatly in Russia's favor. From a military standpoint, this creates a unique window of opportunity for Russia to launch a successful first-strike against the United States at minimal cost to themselves.
"USE IT OT LOSE IT"
Like America's nuclear arsenal, Russia's is degrading as it gets older and requires expensive, periodical servicing.
The Russian government is well aware of this problem. In a recent report to the Duma (Russia's Congress), First Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Masluyokov (a former Soviet military-industrial planner) states that because of obsolescence, Russia's nuclear arsenal will decline quickly, and Russia may "be able to field only 800 to 900 nuclear warheads seven years from now."
Because of Russia's economic problems, Russia may never again enjoy the huge strategic advantage it now has over its old enemies in the West. For die-hard communists, the huge, but temporary, military advantage may represent an irresistible opportunity to "use them before we lose them." Indeed, Bruce Blair, a well-known liberal from the Brookings Institution, stated last summer in The National Interest, "Russia's conventional forces have declined ... and into this vacuum has rushed a growing reliance on nuclear weapons -- including their first use in any serious conventional conflict."
Recognizing the limited shelf-life of Russia's nuclear arsenal, Blair adds, "The nuclear forces themselves have become vulnerable.... Consequently Russia today faces far stronger pressures to 'use or lose' its nuclear arsenal than at any time since the early 1960s."
RUSSIA PREPARES FOR A FIRST STRIKE
An even more disturbing possibility has not been reported by the press: That is the possibility that the Russian general staff -- which is well aware of their Y2K and economic problems -- may have already decided to strike the United States before their defense systems fail on January 1, 2000.
Thus, in an extremely ominous sign, on December 17, 1997, President Yeltsin, issued a 37-page policy statement, reneging on previous pledges not to use nuclear weapons first.