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(FILES) A picture taken on March 18, 2008 shows Russian Topol ICBMs missiles during a rehearsal for the nation's annual May 9 Victory Day parade, 50 km outside Moscow in Yushkovo. Russia on August 28, 2008 successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile designed to overcome anti-missile systems, news agencies reported, citing Russia's strategic nuclear forces. The Topol RS-12M, similar to Topol-M, missile was tested "to develop equipment for potential combat use against ground-based ballistic missiles," Alexander Vovk, a spokesman for the forces, was quoted as saying by Interfax. AFP PHOTO / FILES 6 DIMA KOROTAYEV (Photo credit should read DIMA KOROTAYEV/AFP/Getty Images)

International

Will there be nuclear war because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?

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ARTHUR G.O. MUTAMBARA

NO. The Americans will never attack the Russians. And vice versa. The British will never attack the Russians and vice versa.

No nuclear power will attack a nuclear power. None of the countries involved in a nuclear war will survive such a conflict. All the nuclear powers know this, and they are not stupid. It is called mutually assured destruction (MAD).

So, all nuclear powers are safe from attack. It is called nuclear deterrence. It is a special privilege that nuclear powers enjoy.

They do not want it spread to too many countries, hence the doctrine of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Once a country has acquired nuclear weapons, they become immune to military attacks; that is why there are feverish efforts to stop such countries as Iran and North Korea from attain nuclear weapon capacity.

Of course, South Africa was unwise to listen to Western advice to dismantle its nascent nuclear weapon capacity at the dawn of freedom in 1990. It was OK for a racist apartheid South Africa to have nuclear weapons and not OK for the free self-governing African people of South Africa to have nuclear deterrence.

What nuclear powers do is to mislead non-nuclear powers like Ukraine to be in confrontation with nuclear powers such as Russia. Nuclear powers can attack non-nuclear powers at any time (without any serious consequences), such as the invasion of Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.

When a nuclear power attacks a non-nuclear power, no nuclear power will militarily intervene. They will talk about imposing ineffectual sanctions that, in some cases, hurt their own economies as well. It is all just self-serving posturing meant for the gullible.

 Do not be misled by the current troop build-up in Europe by Nato (nuclear) countries. These armies are there to defend Nato territories, not Ukraine. Also, they are trying to fool the world that they are seriously concerned and are doing something about the invasion of Ukraine.

The Nato antics will convince only children and the naive. No. There will be no nuclear war because of the invasion of Ukraine. That is why the United States was so categorical from the beginning: “If Russia invades Ukraine, we will not intervene militarily.”

No nuclear power is prepared to invoke MAD because of Ukraine. Putin knows this. That is why he just invaded that country to protect his interests. Putin is just following the exam[1]ple of his fellow nuclear powers in Nato who invaded Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan with impunity.

 On a lighter note, if there is to be a nuclear war, the protagonists would have to kill off all the Africans first. Why would they nuke each other to death and leave the Africans to inherit and enjoy the world!

*About the writer: Professor Arthur Guseni Oliver Mutambara is an intellectual and Zimbabwe’s former deputy prime minister

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