The end of the Cold War was supposed to bring peace. When the Berlin Wall came down thirty years ago, on 9 November 1989, there were hopes that it heralded the dawning of a new era, freed from superpower rivalry, arms races, paranoia, and the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). We were promised a “peace dividend”, and told we had reached the “end of history”.

What went wrong? In a recent BBC interview, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned that tensions with Russia are once again putting the world in “colossal danger”:

As long as weapons of mass destruction exist, primarily nuclear weapons, the danger is colossal. All nations should declare – all nations – that nuclear weapons must be destroyed. This is to save ourselves and our planet.

The infamous “Doomsday Clock” of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which measures how close the world is to the apocalypse, is currently set to two minutes to midnight (the closest it’s been since the 1950s). In August 2019, the United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, prompting analysts to warn of a new nuclear arms race with Russia (and China).

Is the world in ‘colossal danger’? Are tensions with Russia putting us all at risk? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

Image Credits: Public Domain

17 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    Life remains risky!

    Just recently (15th Oct) the DE posed the question: “Who’s responsible for saving our planet? Governments, businesses or you”? The youthful answer: …“Individuals” True or false?

    There are MANY ways the world needs savings! We all & everyone is looking “inwards”- no exception! Even the DE/EU & Friends!

    Another measure: “The most good for the world country- index” : (18min) (12min)

    or: “Who are the “goodest” countries on Earth”?

    Inward looking solution:….. “EU army”?

  2. avatar

    Yes ,Cultural Marxism is dangerous

  3. avatar

    yes it is, because you are doing nothing to fight corrupted politicians including inside EU states and EU parlement.

    • avatar

      While there is a human in this planet there will be corruption and coming from the country of the we all abuse power if we can is even more interesting.

    • avatar

      ¡Sí, Señor!

  4. avatar

    No, it’s all fear-mongering with purely political purposes. Pollution IS a huge problem for humanity and nature, but creating a doomsday cult won’t solve it.

  5. avatar

    Yes. With nothing more to add as a cause or why.. It is. And that should be enough to change goverment and society.

  6. avatar
    Catherine Benning

    Is the world in ‘colossal danger’?

    The world has always been in colossal danger. And what do you believe mankind will or can do anything to save it from itself. A Messiah complex is a mental health issue.

  7. avatar

    When Hitler and Goebbels made Germans to think that only they are Ubermenschen, and all others are Untermenschen, and their lives, dignity and independence cost nothing, they put the world into big danger.

    Now the new “Ubermenschen” are formed with the mainstream propaganda and Hollywood production. They even call themselves “great nation”.

    They (and you too, by the way) watch the movies and they (and you too, by the way) really believe that they save the world of monsters, aliens, zombies, Russians, Chinese, Muslims, Africans, Latin Americans, and all other similar “dangers for “democracy”.

    Do not hope, that you there in EU are not Untermenschen to them too. Your life, dignity and independence also cost nothing to them. They not consider you there as equal to them human beings, something like what you there, I guess (I am not allowed to check this, but I read the western propaganda instead.), consider Russians and, for example, Palestinians.

    Be careful with all this Hitlerian heritage – it is the mentioned here danger.

  8. avatar
    Corrado Pirzio-Biroli

    The US withdrawal from the IRNF Treaty is only one more US decision that reflects the paranoia that has taken America over since 9/11.That paranoia, combined with a protectionist America First Policy is today’s biggest danger to international peace. NATO has become irrelevant to help stop the Doomsday Clock. It is made ineffective by its unanimity rule, by the doubts raised by Trump about the validity of art. 5, by US negligence to consult, let alone inform its partners (take Trump’s authorization of Erdogan’s invasion of northern Syria), by US institutional disfunctionalism in foreign policy decisions. NATO is also made ineffective as a peace instrument by the incapacity of the Europeans to: a) understand that they have no interest in fully entrusting their defence to anybody else, b) oppose US trade wars based on illegal sanctions (notably creating a European financial market and hence a Eurobond, c) establish a close all-encompassing relationship with Russia. This could actually help avoid an accident between Russia and the US (and inevitably its allies) provided a strengthening of NATO decision-making capacity based on qualified majority. is reached at the same time. As the most likelly nuclear accident will NOT be caused by Russia or the US, but arise in the Middle East, the priority should be for a nucelar deal in two successive steps: 1) Submitting al M-E nuclear producers (INCLUDING ISRAEL) to international inspections (this would of course require preservation of the Nuclear deal with Iran); 2) Denuclearize the M-E in exchange for the resumption of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, including the progressive reduction of the nuclear arsenal of the big nuclear powers. Neither of these requirements to limit the risk of nuclear war is likely to be fulfilled anytime soon. The main risk in all this is not Russia, but i) US institutional disfunctionalism that allows a paranoid president to take initiatives without internal, nor inter)Allied consultations, ii) the refusal of Israel to submit to nuclear inspections (which leads of course other M-E countries to keep, or wish to go nuclear), and, last but not least , iii) the EU itself that seems incapable getting its defence act together (although the UK’s departure offers an opportunity to do so) and of accepting to innovate (like Macron is trying to do, only to be vilified by Merkel who does not dare to open her eyes or say so).

  9. avatar
    Barry Curtis

    Fellow Europeans,
    Since the the wall came down back in 1989, the past twenty years has shown that the European continent has not fully recognized the true cold war legacy. Old wounds are still not fully healed between nations,the only way the continent can move forward, is for all former foes to leave the past behind them, and to build trust with each other, that promotes lasting peace to our continent. NATO I feel can still play a major part in bringing Europe closer together along with Russia, to remove once and for all, past cold war thinking. By accepting Russia into NATO as an equal member, will open up new opportunities in reducing conventional armed forces from 11,5 million (regular and reserve) personnel, and to also resolve the most sensitive of all issues – nuclear weapons, I feel that a modern version of the START talks could take place, the main difference this time will be for the United Kingdom and France, and hosting members Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey to come to the table as well, and for all nine countries to sign a treaty of intent to reduce the current nuclear arsenal to a more acceptable level that also covers future basing in Europe.

    United States – Warheads (deployable 1,600 currently – reduce to 800)
    (total 6,450 currently – reduce to 3,225)
    Russia – Warheads (deployable 1,600 currently – reduce to 800)
    (total 6,490 currently – reduce to 3,225)
    France – Warheads (deployable 280 currently – will not deploy operationally)
    (total 300 currently – will be dismantled and to destroy stockpile)
    United Kingdom – Warheads (deployable 120 currently – will not deploy operationally)
    (total 215 currently – will be dismantled and to destroy stockpile)
    Host Members – will sign to make their countries nuclear free compliant in the future.
    Its long overdue for Europe to be at peace with its self, and work more towards showing the way for other continents to make the world a better place.

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