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Taboom! When will nuclear war become normalized?

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Unless there is a swift change of direction, we shall soon enter an age of atomic wars. When the first tactical nuclear weapon has been used it will break the 79-year-old taboo.

‘I thought at first I was still reading Littlejohn,’ said my wife as she read the next Mail printout I gave her today – the one reporting Moscow’s furious reaction to David Cameron’s 3 May authorisation for Ukraine to use British-supplied missiles inside Russian territory.

Do our leaders truly understand what they are doing? The last UK Prime Minister to have served in the Armed Forces was James Callaghan, who ended his premiership 45 years ago. The present one and his former-PM Foreign Secretary have not, as my late ‘Forgotten Army’ father-in-law would have said, seen so much as an angry char-wallah. Yet they seem determined to endanger the people of this country, risking Russian retaliation on our own soil.

Britain’s ‘escalation’ as the Kremlin has put it merely extends an official strategy. On 12 January Rishi Sunak signed an ‘Agreement on Security Co-operation’ with the President of Ukraine which states that we are jointly ‘determined to end forever’ Russia’s attacks and are committed to ‘Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its borders, which have been internationally recognised since 1991.’ In last Friday’s visit Cameron also pledged £3 billion a year in aid to Kiev for ‘as long as it takes.’

Britain is not alone in this. France agreed a ‘security cooperation’ pact with Ukraine on 16 February, ratified by the Assemblée Nationale on 12 March. The preamble echoes ours in asserting that Russia’s aggression was ‘unprovoked’ and committing France to helping Ukraine restore her 1991 borders and to deter ‘any future aggression.’

Both outsiders appear to be doing even more than offering money, matériel and moral support. Allegedly UK special forces were seen inside Ukraine over two years ago. On Saturday (4 May) former US Assistant Deputy Secretary of Defense Stephen Bryan reported that France has now sent combat troops in-country; this was officially denied by the French though Brussels-based commentator Gilbert Doctorow says the first detachment was sent over a month ago and Russia has already killed seven Légionnaires there.

Where will it end? At what point do we cross the line from NATO faux-neutrality to open warfare with Russia?

War has been this country’s unnecessary and ruinous love since 1914. According to Peter Hitchens’ tweet a month ago, the Anglo-Belgian 1839 Treaty of London ‘absolutely did not oblige Britain to go to war’ and ‘Great Britain had already committed itself to the war before a single German boot trod the soil of Belgium.’

Similarly we used Poland as our pretext for entering World War Two. We had previously given verbal assurances to the Polish government but only made a formal treaty on August 25, 1939, six days before the Germans invaded their country. The Secret Protocol made it clear that Germany was specifically and exclusively the ‘European Power’ we committed ourselves to oppose.

On 29 January I wrote to my MP about Sunak’s 12 January pact, calling it a ‘de facto declaration of war, war with the world’s most heavily-nuclear-armed State’; to her credit she took the trouble to reply (on 7 March), saying:

‘I don’t think that this is a de facto declaration of war between the UK and Russia. It is an agreement for the UK to support Ukraine’s operations to restore their sovereign boundaries. From my reading, it is consistent with the Opposition’s policy towards the conflict and support for Ukraine’s freedom and sovereignty, which translates into protecting the eastern borders of NATO and Europe from Russian aggression.’

I think she is wrong, it goes much further than mere arm’s length ‘support’; but if I am right it is possible that one or both of us may not be around much longer for me to tell her so. Sixty-three years ago, on 2 July 1961, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev told UK Ambassador Sir Frank Roberts six atom bombs could ‘put Great Britain out of action’ – and nine, for France. Armaments have progressed since then.

Declaring war is by tradition a royal prerogative, but now that it could result in the complete annihilation of our people surely we should have the right to be formally consulted. Since we had a referendum on exiting the EU, could we please have one on this matter?


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