Putin Accuses U.S. Government of Obtuse Unilateralism
At a security conference in München, Bayern, Germany on February 10, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke out against U.S. foreign policy, accusing the world’s “superpower” of strong-arming its way through global conflict and thus creating more, not less, uncertainty and suffering in the world at large.
The Guardian reports:
Vladimir Putin delivered the strongest attack of his seven-year presidency on the US yesterday, blaming it for fanning conflicts across the world through the unilateral use of ‘hyper-force’. He said America was seeking to impose its standards on other nations, triggering new arms races and the spread of nuclear weapons, and threatening Russia through new missile shield programmes.
In a blistering assault that reflected the Kremlin chief’s self-confidence and conviction that he has restored Russia’s international clout after years of decline, Putin told a security conference in Munich that America was destroying the international system and seeking to eliminate nuclear deterrence through the uncontained use of its power. ‘One state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way,’ he told dozens of Western ministers and policy-makers including the US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, and a likely Republican presidential contender, Senator John McCain.
This is very dangerous. Nobody feels secure any more because nobody can hide behind international law,’ Putin said. ‘This is nourishing an arms race with countries seeking to obtain nuclear weapons… We’re witnessing the untrammelled use of the military in international affairs… Why is it necessary to bomb and to shoot at every opportunity?’
The Russian leader accused Washington of plotting to evade its commitments to cut nuclear arsenals – already made through US-Russian arms treaties – and raged against the Pentagon’s plans to site parts of its missile shield project in Poland and the Czech Republic. ‘I don’t want to suspect anyone of aggressiveness,’ said Putin. ‘But if the anti-missile defence is not targeted at us, then our new missiles will not be directed at you.’
Both Russia and China, among other nations, have rapidly escalated their arsenal developments and general defense expenditures in recent years in response to U.S. military offensives in the Middle East, the strategic positioning of U.S. nuclear arms throughout Europe and Asia, and other multi-billion dollar U.S. initiatives designed, per Washington’s usual rhetoric, to “bolster the cause of freedom.” Critics of the Iranian government have lambasted Tehran for its refusal to back down from its own nuclear development program; although Iran’s leaders claim that their program is targeted solely for peaceful nuclear energy, it is hard to miss the obvious circumstances: Iran is a nation which is almost completely surrounded by nuclear powers, including Israel, which enjoys the diplomatic benefits of a sizeable nuclear arsenal without any sort of international responsibility or accountability for those weapons.
Many Americans and their allies seem to feel, quite laughably in my opinion, that the United States can somehow be “trusted” to use its nuclear arsenal only for “good” whereas other “less stable” regimes are not to be wagered upon. While the best world would be a world in which there were no nuclear arms available at all, it does not escape even the most superficial scrutiny that the United States remains the only nation ever to have deployed nuclear arms against a civilian population. U.S. policymakers’ insistences that their government is somehow innately entitled to nuclear arms—usually in complete contradiction of the U.S.’s own arms reduction treatises, which it habitually ignores—leads other nations to deduce that they, too, are entitled to those weapons.