Halfway into this November, the world population reached the 8 billion mark in the backdrop of an ongoing bloody war, threatening to expand and annihilate other parts of the world, between Ukraine and Russia. With no end in sight to the deadly war, the world was in danger of witnessing a nuclear genocide, a few days ago. Wiped out would have been half the world’s population.
A missile reportedly hit a border village in Poland, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bordering the war- torn country Ukraine. The incident could prove a turning point in the unending war. Earlier at the start of the war, it was feared that the conflict was likely to escalate into a nuclear clash in case a stray missile hit a NATO country on Ukraine’s border. The NATO, it was speculated, can possibly not shy away from siding with Poland—hit by a missile knowingly or unknowingly—to take on the nuclear weapons powerhouse Russia. Under the articles of the agreement, Poland can receive active backing from NATO against Russia.
On its part, Russia would feel pressured to save itself from a humiliating defeat at the hands of NATO and consequently is likely to use its nuclear weapons in its attack. The warring country has already threatened to put into operation its nuclear arsenal if need be; but to preempt this attack, NATO could make the first strike. Thus MAD, the Mutually Assured Destruction will be the result.
However, not many people would remain alive to witness the aftereffects of a nuclear war. Even the war fueling leaders would not be alive and those who may survive will be half-alive, held dead. No region, no person even in the distant regions of the world can dream of remaining unaffected. Millions of deaths are possible because the environment would turn lethal for life to sustain. Radiations, hunger, thirst and food shortage will be enough to kill people. A horrible scenario!
The blessing is that the nuclear war has not been triggered in response to the Poland episode although the president of Ukraine Mr Zelensky sought to use the mishap to advantage. Rising to the occasion and sensing the potential manipulations of the incident, Russia and the top leadership of NATO ensured restraint and acted sensibly. A miscalculation here could have pushed the world into a vortex.
US president Joe Biden raced to hold emergency meetings with top advisers and western leaders. The leaders had gathered to attend the Group 20 or G20 summit. Biden was wise enough not to accuse Russia but the Ukraine president and some sections of the media pointed finger at Russia , asking Poland to invoke article 5 of the NATO agreement . The article says that an attack on one member nation is an attack on all the members and calls for a collective response against the attacking hands. They ostensibly sought to pit NATO against Russia in a direct confrontations with not an atom of regard to the possibility of a nuclear war no one can win.
Although well aware that their missile had hit Poland, Ukrainian leaders —the president included — did not stop from blaming Russia. In September, Russia’s under sea Nord stream gas pipelines were blasted and immediately Russia was held responsible for it. But evidence later on showed that the blasts were conducted by Ukraine with the help of Britain’s MI6. Following the Russian allegation and evidence pointing to a Ukrainian role in the Nord Stream blasts, the recent missile attack —whose roots have been traced to Ukraine— could be deliberate and executed to put NATO directly in the war, a move giving no consideration to the global apprehension about another world war; a nuclear war possibly.
Days before the present phase of the escalation in the Ukraine-Russia war, analysts opined that there were 25 percent chances for the war to shape into a nuclear conflict. To end the war and restore peace, a necessary condition is to stop — the warmongers.
Preventing the nuclear conflict is the best option. For this to happen, the key is to bring Russia and Ukraine, the two warring nations, on the negotiation table. America can play a big role. During the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, the US and the Soviet Union reached a secret deal to prevent a nuclear war in time. It is time to strike such a secret deal between the US and Russia to end the many month long Ukraine war. And to ensure that a nuclear war is averted well in time.
(Author is RK Columnist and can be reached on: email@example.com)