Kyle Orton Profile picture
Jul 28, 2018 12 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
In Dec. 1950, U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur requested that the authority for the use of tactical nuclear weapons be handed to him as battlefield commander. All indicators are he planned to use them in areas of North Korea and Red China. Truman refused and fired him in April 1951.
(It's not entirely clear what MacArthur proposed to hit with nuclear weapons in Korea and China: he did at some point publicly deny he ever intended their use. Other documents suggest he wanted to create a line of nuclear fallout to sever the Korean Peninsula from China.)
What MacArthur had got right, strategically, which Truman and the State Department had not, was that Communist China was not simply a satellite of the Soviet Union but its own entity, and an American attack on the Peking regime was not akin to an attack on the Soviets.
Eisenhower replaces Truman in Jan. 1953 and is determined to end the Korean War. In May 1953, his Sec. State John Dulles relays a message to Red China through India that if peace talks break down nukes are on the table. An armistice is signed in July 1953.
The Eisenhower administration also agrees in December 1953 that if South Korea is attacked again, a total war, including nuclear weapons, will be launched against Communist China. #pt
In March 1955, as Red China is threatening to overrun Formosa, the Eisenhower administration says the island will be defended, with nuclear weapons if necessary. The Communists back down; the ceasefire resumes between Peking and Taipei.…
When another crisis erupted over Taiwan in August 1958, with the Communists threatening to destroy the Nationalist government, the U.S. military had assumed Eisenhower would order tactical nuclear strikes on the Chinese mainland. He refused.
Red China decided sometime in 1955, it seems convinced by the U.S. threats during the first Formosa crisis, to which the Communists had to accede, that it had to develop nuclear weapons. Peking knew it couldn't become a strategic threat like the Soviets, but it could add leverage
The Chinese already had a nuclear infrastructure from 1944, assisted by the Soviets, and that lasted until the expulsion of Soviet technicians in 1961, after which Red China raced for the bomb, detonating an [undeclared] test on 16 Oct. 1964.…
Communist China declared its first nuclear test in June 1967 as Mao retook the reins as part of the Cultural Revolution. Apparently "conservative" scientists had wanted to wait, but the "progressive" Maoists had bested them. Another test the same year, undeclared, failed. #pt
It is believed China was threatened with nuclear weapons for the fourth and final time on 11 Sept. 1969 by Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin during a meeting to settle inter alia the border after the clashes along the Ussuri in March 1969.…
// End of random Saturday evening thread.

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More from @KyleWOrton

Sep 9, 2018
A U.S. diplomat met three times with military officers in #Venezuela plotting a coup against Nicolas Maduro; he refused to give the officers even an indication of support, let alone the communications devices they needed to bring off their conspiracy.
Some saw #Venezuela's military as a means of stabilizing the situation, allowing practical things like aid deliveries. Others "saw considerable risk in building bridges with leaders of a military that...ha[ve] become a pillar of the cocaine trade and human rights abuses." #pt
There's nothing to complain about in the U.S. gathering intelligence by establishing communications with mutinous officers in #Venezuela. The question is whether Maduro is considered a threat: if he is, then do what's necessary to bring him down. If not, leave it for Venezuelans.
Read 5 tweets
Sep 5, 2018
More details on the schism between the Hazimis and lesser-extremists in #IS: Abu Anisa al-Dagestani, an Azeri commanded and Hazimi, blames the caliph's insufficiently stern position on takfir for the loss of land and men last year.
According to Abu Anisa al-Dagestani, the caliph reversed the May 2017 expansion by the Delegated Committee of the takfir ruling after his wife had a dream in which Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, and Abu Muhammad al-Furqan came to his house and ignored him. #pt
The caliph reversed the May 2017 takfir ruling by a deft institutional manoeuvre: he invited its author, Ismail al-Ithawi (Abu Zayd al-Iraqi), to a meeting in August 2017 and threatened to kill him if he didn't reverse himself. #pt
Read 5 tweets
Sep 4, 2018
If true, would seal the case for getting rid of Mattis.
Whatever the truth of Woodward's stuff, Mattis used his influence in April to work Trump down from a strike package that would have targeted the Asad regime itself and also killed some of the Russian and Iranian forces that abet its criminality. This was a disastrous mistake.
This is the reaction you want a Western leader to have:

After Assad gassed the kids again in April 2017, Trump said: "Let's fucking kill him! Let's go in. Let's kill the fucking lot of them."

Mattis blocked this response, and again this past April.…
Read 4 tweets
Aug 25, 2018
We mock Owen Jones for silence now #Venezuela has ended as socialism always does, but having just read a Leftist argument that #China's internment of Muslims is invented by USG fronts like @HRW, the "corporate media", and "reactionary" oppositionists, OJ's looking quite good.
As a side note: I simply do not know where to start with the accusation that @HRW has an "excessively disproportionate focus on designated enemies of Washington". Whatever criticisms of HRW one might have, that one seems completely delusional.
Amazing what one can learn from Western Leftists who are back to defending #China. For example, there is a species of "imprisoned hard-right neoconservative Chinese dissident". Naturally, he is also a "hardcore libertarian" at the same time. And fully deserves to be in the GULAG.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 21, 2018
21 August 1968: The Warsaw Pact [USSR, Bulgaria, GDR, Hungary, and Poland] invade Czechoslovakia, where a reformist leader had taken power in January and in April a reformist government took office, intent on "socialism with a human face". Moscow regarded this as a mortal threat.
Yuri Andropov, the KGB chief, advocated invading Czechoslovakia from early in the "crisis". The KGB made innovative use of Illegals, all of them posing as Westerners, to try to kidnap leading Czech reformists and to disseminate active measures to discredit the Prague Spring.
The KGB line was that "Rightists" and "imperialists" were preparing a coup in Czechoslovakia, hence the need for a preemptive invasion. Stories of American arms caches were disseminated. This despite solid information that the US had nothing to do with the Czech reformists.
Read 5 tweets
Aug 7, 2018
The #YPG/#PKK announces that its operatives have murdered Akash Ahmad Ali, a member of the ruling council in Efrin. #Syria
The #YPG/#PKK put out a video of its sleeper agents in the Efrin zone assassinating a member of Faylaq al-Sham in a drive-by shooting on 28 July. #Syria
The #YPG/#PKK also put out a video yesterday from the EUPHRATES SHIELD zone of its forces killing a rebel fighter, ostensibly a member of Ahrar al-Sham. #Syria
Read 4 tweets

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