Russia-US atomic war threatens nuclear annihilation: Chomsky

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Leading American political analyst and philosopher Noam Chomsky says the rising tension between Russia and the United States might lead to a nuclear war that could cause the end of mankind.

In an interview with Democracy Now! published on Monday, Chomsky warned that the recent of “near collisions” between Russian and US forces amid a growing Western military buildup on Russian borders may bring about nuclear annihilation.  

“The nuclear threat is the threat of—on the Russian border,” he said, adding later on that “both sides are acting as if an atomic war is thinkable.

“The US has just sharply increased; it quadrupled military expenses on its side. The Russians are doing something similar. There are constant near collisions, jets coming close to colliding with one another. A Russian jet a couple months ago virtually hit a Danish commercial airliner. US troops are carrying out maneuvers virtually on the Russian border. That threat is escalating and very serious,” Chomsky added.

Russia does not look favorably upon the North Atlantic Organization Treaty (NATO)’s growing deployment of missiles and nuclear weapons near its borders.

Seemingly angered by US and NATO’s move to activate a so-called missile shield in Europe last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to neutralize any threats by the complex against his country’s security.

Tensions between Russian and American military forces surged in April, after two Russian Sukhoi Su-24 warplanes performed multiple simulated attack passes over the US Donald Cook destroyer off Russia’s coast in the Baltic Sea.

A few days later a Russian supersonic Mig-31 aircraft intercepted a US Navy P-8 spy aircraft over Russia’s Far East, flying within several feet of it.

Chomsky said tensions between Moscow and Washington have put the world on the verge of “termination for the species.”

He said the symbolic Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which represents a countdown to possible global catastrophe, is moving closer to Midnight, the threat of a nuclear war.

Established in 1947, the founders of the clock, who are advised by 18 Nobel Laureates, said that the clock stood at three minutes to midnight, due to “[un]checked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals.”

That setting was maintained in January 2016.

According to the Federation of American Scientists, an organization that assesses nuclear weapon stockpiles, in 2013, Russia had around 8,500 total nuclear warheads, 1,800 of them strategically operational, compared to  America’s estimated total 7,700 nuclear warheads of which 1,950 were deemed operational.

Chomsky said aside from nuclear proliferation, climate change also posed a grave threat to humanity.

“The threat of global warming is very serious. Every time one reads a science journal, there’s an even more alarming discovery,” he warned.

US presidential elections, another threat

Chomsky also weighed in on the ongoing race for the 2016 presidential election in the US, saying that the threat of nuclear proliferation and climate change are directly affected by the outcome of the November vote and yet are ignored in debates.

“To make it worse, of these two huge threats, we have an electoral—the quadrennial electoral extravaganza is going on right now, of course. And it’s pretty remarkable to see how the worst threats that the human species has ever faced, the most important decisions it must make—and soon—are virtually absent from the discussions and debates,” he explained.

Chomsky has made it known that he supports Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders but is willing to support possible Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

In March, Chomsky warned that Trump poses a threat to humanity if he “means what he is saying.”

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