Mikhail Gorbachev: It Appears 'the World Is Preparing for War'
By Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that it appears “as if the world is preparing for war.”
In an op-ed published Thursday at Time magazine, Gorbachev, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for his role in ending the Cold War, writes that the most pressing problem facing the world is “the militarization of politics and the new arms race.”
State budgets, he continues, claim austerity to sacrifice social spending, but easily back funding for weapons of war. At the same time, he writes of the buildup on Russia’s borders: “NATO and Russian forces and weapons” are now in close proximity “as if to shoot point-blank.” He continues:
Politicians and military leaders sound increasingly belligerent and defense doctrines more dangerous. Commentators and TV personalities are joining the bellicose chorus. It all looks as if the world is preparing for war.
While he and President Ronald Reagan agreed in 1985 “that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” now, “the nuclear threat once again seems real,” with “advocates for arms build-up and the military-industrial complex […] rubbing their hands.” And that, he declares, is absolutely the wrong direction to solve the world’s ills. Instead, war of any kind must be abolished, he writes:
In modern world, wars must be outlawed, because none of the global problems we are facing can be resolved by war—not poverty, nor the environment, migration, population growth, or shortages of resources.
He called on the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution—which should be put forth by U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin—that restates that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
More recently, in 2016, he said, “The window to a nuclear weapon-free world…is being shut and sealed right before our eyes.”
“As long as nuclear weapons exist, there is a danger that someday they will be used as a result either of accident or technical failure or of evil intent of man, an insane person or terrorist,” Gorbachev said.
Trump, however, out of step with most of the world, used Twitter to call for an expanded U.S. nuclear arsenal—a fact that contributed to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists this week moving its symbolic Doomsday Clock closer to midnight.
Andrea Germanos is a staff writer at Common Dreams.