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U.S. Imperialism’s Depraved and Insane Buildup for Nuclear War:

One More Urgent Reason We Need Revolution!

The motivation, on the part of the U.S./NATO as well as Russia, is very much that of gangsters—gangsters who claim “legitimacy” because they are heads of governments, rulers of countries. But these gangsters are not just fighting over turf in a city—the “turf” they are fighting over is the whole world. And these are gangsters who control powerful arsenals of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons with the capacity to kill off all of humanity.


The U.S. government is in the middle of a huge “upgrade” of its massive nuclear arsenal, almost completely away from the eyes of the public. New deadly warheads are being built, new and more deadly weapons developed. Just a few examples:

  • The U.S. is building a whole new class of nuclear submarines, replacing their current fleet which has been patrolling the oceans since the 1970s. These new subs strengthen the U.S. fleet, which hides deep in the ocean, very hard to detect or locate, capable of launching nuclear missiles at the enemy even if the world is already incinerated by nuclear exchanges. A single submarine has all the firepower of all of the bombs dropped in World War 2.1
  • The three U.S. nuclear weapons labs,2 which develop new and more dangerous nukes, are expanding their work. In recent years they have set their sights on hiring thousands of people and have been recruiting on college campuses.3
  • The plutonium and uranium “triggers” for nuclear weapons are now being produced again. (A “trigger” is an atomic bomb which goes off and then causes an even more powerful explosion using mainly hydrogen—the “hydrogen bomb.”) The last time these triggers were made in significant numbers was the 1980s, when the threat of nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was the greatest it has ever been.

This only touches on the massive “upgrade” and expansion of the U.S. nuclear force that is going on.4 Estimates of U.S. investments in new nukes over coming years range from $1 to $2 trillion dollars.

“90 Seconds to Midnight”

This huge, hair-trigger arsenal makes it more likely that a nuclear holocaust could start by accident.5 The insane and dangerous logic: there are powerful nuclear weapons on top of extremely fast missiles, sitting in silos, and those in the U.S. are pointed to take out those in Russia, and those in Russia are pointed to take out those in the U.S. The U.S. has received many false electronic signals over the years that say Russian missiles or planes are attacking—sometimes it has been a flock of geese, or just a mistake in the system—and this signal leaves only a few minutes to decide whether to launch a massive nuclear exchange at Russia, or possibly “lose” all the U.S. missiles. This kind of “accidental” launch is even more possible in this world of rising and very dangerous tension. The “Doomsday Clock” of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which warns how close we are to nuclear war, is now at 90 seconds to midnight—the closest it has ever been. 

The grave danger of nuclear war is posed again and again in recent crises:

The U.S. is not the only power building up its nuclear weapons right now. Russian nuclear weapons are being massively revamped and built up into an even more deadly force. And China, late in this horrific game, is racing to catch up and building up its own nuclear arsenal.6 It is a crime against humanity that these weapons even exist and the threat of mass extermination hangs over the globe. It is a further crime that imperialist powers are threatening to unleash them now.



The U.S. Policy of “First Use” of its Nuclear Arsenal Is ITSELF a Great Crime 

The U.S.’s explicit policy is that it will use nuclear weapons first in a crisis or confrontation where its interests are threatened, whether or not the power it is confronting even has nuclear weapons or is threatening to use them.7 The U.S. has repeatedly refused calls that it pledge to reject first use of nuclear weapons. And keep in mind: the U.S. now has in its arsenal bombs that are 80 times more powerful than those it dropped on Japan in World War 2. The decades-long proclaimed U.S. strategy—that the massive arsenal is just for “deterrence” of other, bad, powers—is a big fat lie. The real, publicly stated policy that the U.S. is willing to use nuclear weapons first in a confrontation is a sign of the utter depravity of U.S. imperialism (and Russia has the same policy). This shows just how much danger humanity is in. And this is not just policy—the policy backs up a very long history of the U.S. threatening to use nuclear weapons.

And of all the powers wielding nuclear weapons, it is the U.S. that has brought them into the world, and it is the U.S. that is the ONLY power to use them. The U.S. has repeatedly threatened to wield them in crises—a potential massive club in global confrontations. 

A recent major article in the New York Times sounded an alarm about nuclear weapons and the horrific dangers they pose. But the NY Times presented this as if it was the U.S. which was the decisive force for good in the world. And that the U.S. has a unique role to play in reducing the danger of nuclear war: “Today the nuclear safety net is threadbare. The good news is that it can be restitched. American leadership requires that Washington marshal international support for this mission — but it also requires leading by example.”8 We should be very clear about what the Times is arguing for: its goal of “restitching” a precarious and dangerous “safety net” is itself horrific and utterly bankrupt. That “safety net” was never more than a “balance” of terror between nuclear powers. And American “leadership” has led, is leading, and can only lead to grave danger of nuclear catastrophe.

What is urgently needed is the soonest possible end to the system that has brought these weapons into the world and used them to enforce global domination, and, above all, an end to U.S. imperialism. What we need is a real revolution which overthrows this system and opens the path to a whole new system—a new revolutionary socialist government that repudiates any use of nuclear weapons, and actually struggles to end their use in the world.

Card Building Up the Basis


It’s This System That Is Completely Insane!

The current build-up of U.S. nuclear weapons has proceeded through Democratic and Republican presidencies, with very little controversy9 inside ruling class circles. (Although Trump raised a stink about how Obama was not building up nuclear weapons fast enough and accelerated the development of new weapons. Biden has continued Trump’s trajectory.) The shocking and horrific truth is this: these weapons are a core part of U.S. plans for coming out of the current global crisis as the number one oppressor and exploiter of the planet. 

World domination through threatening and quite possibly using nuclear weapons which might destroy humankind!? It sounds completely insane. Wielding nuclear weapons in this way IS completely insane from the vantage point of the interests of humanity. But it is “rational” from one and only one perspectivethe big-time gangster logic of capitalist-imperialist empires. They WILL risk the planet to try to dominate the world. They DO put their own interests as capitalist-imperialist powers above everything, even the possible end of the human race. And this IS coming to a head in this time. Nuclear weapons are only one part of it: the U.S. budget for nuclear weapons is only about 10% of the immense U.S. military budge overall. That budget is larger than the military budgets of the next 10 countries combined—to enforce a global empire of plunder and exploitation. 

It is truly a crime for imperialists to have these weapons at all, ever, and much worse at a time of sharply rising tensions. A further sign of the danger the world faces is the failure and abandonment of the nuclear arms control treaties that put some limits on and temporarily decreased the numbers of nuclear weapons. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently warned of an emerging “three-way nuclear arms race as the world’s arms control architecture collapses.” 

What Bob Avakian says gets right to the heart of the matter:

We, the people of the world, can no longer afford to allow these imperialists to continue to dominate the world and determine the destiny of humanity. They need to be overthrown as quickly as possible. And it is a scientific fact that we do not have to live this way.

Bob Avakian, “The Bob Avakian Interviews

Abolishing Nuclear Weapons, Finally Abolishing War, and Systematically Addressing the Environmental Crisis

The new socialist government will not develop or use nuclear weapons and will take concrete steps and wage determined struggle to abolish nuclear weapons everywhere, with the ultimate goal of finally abolishing wars among human beings, with the abolition of the capitalist-imperialist system, and all systems and relations of exploitation and oppression, which are the basis for wars. This new socialist government will move, quickly, systematically and effectively, to address the already acute and fast accelerating environmental crisis, with the aim of bringing into being a world where humanity can truly be fit caretakers of the earth.

We Need and We Demand : A Whole New Way to Live, A Fundamentally Different System




1.  The U.S. alone dropped bombs which were the equivalent of 2 million tons of TNT in World War 2. The Doomsday Machine, by Daniel Ellsberg, p. 52.  [back]

2.  The three U.S. nuclear weapons development laboratories are Los Alamos in New Mexico, Lawrence Livermore in California, and Sandia in New Mexico.  [back]

3.  LA Times, Dec. 23, 2020, “Under Trump, America’s Nuclear Weapons Industry Has Boomed.”  [back]

4.  This article from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists offers a more complete picture of all of the “enhancing” of the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal going on: “Why the Biden administration’s new gravity bomb is tragic”  [back]

5.  One of the things that scientists have come to understand about nuclear war is that even if a nuclear exchange didn’t kill off humanity immediately, if it were large enough it would likely send up massive dust and debris that would block sunlight for years, over almost all of the planet, making agriculture impossible and killing off most of the people and many animals and plants. This is what is called “nuclear winter.” The current understanding is that even if a major nuclear strike was “successful” and one nuclear power completely destroyed the other power’s ability to respond, that one “successful” nuclear strike would likely cause “nuclear winter” and likely end humanity.  [back]

6.  The complete list of countries that now have nuclear weapons is: the United States, Russia, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, France, Britain, and North Korea. But the vast majority of the weapons are in the hands of the U.S., Russia and China. Both the U.S. and Russia have been part of nuclear arms treaties that significantly reduced the insane number of deployed nuclear weapons they each have, and at the same time they have kept many more than needed to destroy humanity. Russia has announced it is no longer part of the most recent major treaty, New START, but says it will stay within its limits for deployed nukes.  [back]

7.  From “Biden Policy Allows First Use of Nuclear Weapons,” Arms Control Association, April 2022: “Senior U.S. officials said that Biden has decided not to follow through on his 2020 pledge to declare that the sole purpose of nuclear weapons is to deter a nuclear attack against the United States or its allies. Instead, he approved a version of a policy from the Obama administration that leaves open the option to use nuclear weapons not only in retaliation to a nuclear attack, but also to respond to non-nuclear threats.”  [back]

8.  “At the Brink,” March 7, 2024: This is the editorial announcing a major series on the danger of nuclear war in the New York Times. The Times is both sounding an alarm, and presenting this extremely dangerous situation in a way that lets the U.S. off the hook for responsibility for this, and instead presents the danger as coming from the imperialist rivals of the U.S., particularly Russia.  [back]

9.  While there has been little controversy within ruling circles and little public attention to this weapons buildup as a whole, some of the different weapons systems that have been proposed and some that have been cut have become controversial.  [back]

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From the genocide in Gaza, to the growing threat of world war between nuclear powers, to escalating environmental devastation… the capitalist-imperialist system ruling over us is a horror for billions around the world and is tearing up the fabric of life on earth. Now the all-out battle within the U.S. ruling class, between fascist Republicans and war criminal Democrats, is coming to a head—likely during, or before, the coming elections—ripping society apart unlike anything since the Civil War. 

Bob Avakian (BA), revolutionary leader and author of the new communism, has developed a strategy to prepare for and make revolution. He’s scientifically analyzed that this is a rare time when an actual revolution has become more possible, and has laid out the sweeping vision, solid foundation and concrete blueprint for “what comes next,” in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

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