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Theodore Postol. Courtesy of Theodore Postol.

‘The Russians Have Won: The Only Question Is, How Will It End?’

Dr. Postol is Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and National Security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This is an edited transcript of an interview of March 20, 2024, conducted by Paul Gallagher for EIR. Subheads have been added.

EIR: Professor, you were for years a professor of Science, Technology and National Security at MIT, and consulted quite a bit as an expert on weapons technologies. Would you like to describe your other experiences with regard to the subject we’re discussing tonight, which will be concentrating on the NATO-Russia war over Ukraine?

Professor Postol: Well, I got into this activity quite through a series of accidents, when I started out really intending to have a career in pure science.… I found the environment not very personally satisfying. There are certainly good reasons why other people would stay at it, but I found it a little bit more personally competitive. And there’s a lot of concern about inflating, or selling the work, you know, the research that people were doing. And, and I didn’t find that satisfying.…

And I was becoming increasingly concerned about the nuclear arms race, which I had had some interest in before I came to the national laboratory I worked at. I had attended some seminars, while I was at MIT, with several senior members of the [World War II] Manhattan Project; and they were physicists, and they described their experiences. And that had increased my interest greatly in the dangers from nuclear weapons, mainly.

What I found so illuminating and disturbing in these seminars was the way very distinguished scientists, who were idols to me at the time, would openly acknowledge how little they understood about the effects of nuclear weapons until they actually saw the effects of these weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And that impressed me, because people like these people were certainly trained to have a deep knowledge of the physical universe, to not be surprised by what they saw. And they were surprised. And that caused me to feel that this is a serious—this is an area where people don’t really understand it. If these people didn’t understand it, the average person is certainly not going to understand it.

And I became increasingly concerned about the large numbers of nuclear weapons that both the Soviet Union and the United States were building at that time. They were getting into tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, so tremendous growth in the nuclear arsenals of both countries. And that’s what started getting me into this business. Through a series of accidents at the national laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, where I worked.

I got involved in a legal confrontation between the U.S. government and a left-wing magazine called The Progressive magazine. It’s a magazine out of Madison, Wisconsin—was started by the famous progressive politician [Robert] La Follette. The magazine was attempting to publish an article that was titled, “The Secret of the Hydrogen Bomb, How We Got It, and Why We’re Telling It.” And, I had talked to the author of this article, well before it became an issue of confrontation between the U.S. government and the magazine itself.

He showed me this diagram of a nuclear device, which he then explained how he thought it worked. And I told him it couldn’t possibly work the way he thought. And I explained how it would have to work, if it worked. In fact, I did not have any clue that this was a working device until I got involved with the court, and I was told it was a working device by weapons laboratory people who were also filing affidavits…. But I then told the court how this weapon would have to work if it was a working weapon.

And it turned out that my description of how it would have to work, was “secret, restricted data” that the U.S. government was trying to protect. And … I basically didn’t know why, because I had no clearances and I had no understanding of why it was classified.…

So, you’re classifying; your classification has no meaning. And that’s what got me into thinking maybe I should be working in public policy…. I couldn’t understand how the U.S. government could be claiming something was classified that was obviously not protectable information…. And so, I wrote a letter to John Glenn, who was then the Chair of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Committee in the Senate, explaining to him what I learned, and why I was concerned that the information was not protectable…. And it turned out that he then wrote the Department of Energy about my letter; and they classified my letter “secret restricted data” when they received it from him.

It’s the first and only case [of] an attempt to bypass the First Amendment and stop the publication of an article before it was published—and it failed, fortunately. And the reason I was involved, in fact, was because of the First Amendment.… And in that sense, it was a successful outcome.

Revealing Case of the MX ‘Peacekeeper’ Missile

It seemed to me that since I wasn’t enjoying my activities in science, it might be a reasonable thing for me to take a leave of absence from the laboratory and see if I could do something useful in Washington. And through a series of accidents, I wound up at the Office of Technology Assessment, where there was a very large study I was a participant in, on the MX missile and how the MX missile would be based. The MX missile was a large ICBM, about a 100-ton ICBM, and carried ten warheads, and the U.S. Air Force was trying to get it deployed as a follow-on to the Minuteman III missiles that we had. We still have Minuteman IIIs. We no longer have MX missiles, or “Peacekeepers,” as they were called.

Nobody could find a way to base the “Peacekeeper” in a way that would not be subject to a pre-emptive attack from the Soviet Union. And at that time we had a much more responsible Congress, actively involved in the debate over whether or not the “Peacekeeper” missiles should be deployed in a mode that would make it susceptible to a pre-emptive strike. There was a long, complex series of debates [in] which I wound up participating, first as one of the team who published a study for the Congress. And then afterwards I … got hired by the U.S. Navy to be an advisor to the then Chief of Naval Operations, Jim [Admiral James] Watkins.

And I spent two years in the belly of the beast, learning a tremendous amount about our nuclear forces and our nuclear procedures. I would spend nights … reading classified documents about different weapon systems, and learning about the technologies used in them. It was a great opportunity for me. And I also did some useful things while in that job. I convinced three of the five Joint Chiefs of Staff to vote against a scheme for deploying the MX missile that would have been disastrous for the United States, known as [inaudible] based MX. And I showed the chiefs how this system would not be capable of launching, that the Soviets could actually stop it from launching, because—it had some peculiarities. And he went to the Joint Chiefs and he got three of the five Joint Chiefs to join him in voting against it….

NATO Escalates a War Russia Has Won

EIR: I want to ask you about this situation in which several NATO nations’ leaders are now publicly discussing providing, at arm’s length supposedly, long-range missiles to Ukraine, in order to escalate and strike Russia directly, even so far as Moscow and so on. And now it appears, also discussing sending their own troops into Ukraine. And another person who has extensively studied the impact the results of a nuclear war would have… informed us a couple of days ago that the French discussion now included the direct deployment—discussion of direct deployment—of a large number of troops, perhaps as many as 20,000, into Ukraine. We pursued this and found that a French lieutenant colonel—and I’m presuming this is a retired lieutenant colonel—named Arbarétier was interviewed a couple of days ago on French TV, and actually proposed that the French put thousands of troops along the Dnieper River in Ukraine. And with those troops, to stand off Russian advances into Ukraine.

This is obviously not official, but nonetheless, the president of France, [Emmanuel] Macron, has also been speaking along these lines. So I want to ask you where you think this escalation is going to lead. And even more important, perhaps: Are these leaders, who are talking this way, rational?

Professor Postol: Well, let me be both crass, and then more subtle. Let me, first, be crass. If the French do this, the Russians will kill those forces. They’ll kill them. They have no chance against the Russians at this time. And it would be a murderously reckless action on the part of Macron to put his soldiers in the way of the Russians at this time. They have, absolutely, the most capable army in the world now—unambiguously so, even against the United States. And to put the French troops in the path of the Russians will definitely result in them being essentially destroyed.

Mr. Macron ought to understand that.

Now, in a less crass way. I think the odds of that happening are not zero, but are low. Because I think when the French public gets faced with the prospects of having their own soldiers go and be massacred for no constructive outcome, there’s going to be an outcry that is extremely large and serious. Any honest technical assessment of the situation with regard to French troops against the Russians, leads to the conclusion that they will suffer tremendous casualties and will be overrun.

Macron was given that information by his own military. He was given documents, they leaked out [in Marianne magazine—ed.]. And he was told. So, he’s going to have to face an angry electorate, where he’s going to have to explain how his own military told him that doing this kind of thing is going to result in the loss of a tremendous number of French soldiers, and have no constructive effect on the war in Ukraine. I think this is a very unfortunate development.

More important than Macron’s unbelievable recklessness and ignorance, is that he’s not alone. When you look at the behavior and the lack of leadership, and the lack of understanding of what they’re dealing with, by Western leaders in Europe! Our president [Biden] is also not in touch with reality. But the fact of the matter is that the Russians have won this war. It is already won. The only question is, how will it end? The Russians have superior numbers of forces. And they have all of the equipment they need to defeat Ukraine and anybody else who’s foolish enough to put themselves in the way of the Russians.

The Russian Air Force now controls the air over Ukraine, which is a very important development. It wasn’t the case initially in the war, but the Russians have worked assiduously to destroy the air defenses that the Ukrainians have. And now they can fly their aircraft at will. Okay, that’s important, because the Russians have these glide bombs they have introduced in the Ukraine war. And these glide bombs are up to 3,000 pounds each, that can be pinpoint-delivered against targets. There is essentially no concrete and steel target that can survive one of these bombs. And any attempt to build defensive positions by the Ukrainian army will be defeated, because [the Russians] have the ability to deliver these fantastically destructive and accurate glide bombs, by aircraft which do not have to contend with air defenses.

In addition, the Russians have essentially an unlimited number of 155-millimeter artillery shells which they can use in combat, while the Ukrainians are nearly down to nothing. Now these artillery shells, in combination with aircraft, mean that any movements on the part of the Ukrainians, particularly with equipment, will quickly be identified and destroyed by the Russians—because both sides have a very high level of knowledge of what the other is doing, because both sides have all these drones.

This is a new development in warfare. The drones not only perform the function of attacking vehicles (those drones are typically called kamikaze drones), but they also have the function of surveillance. So, for example, there are certain drones, their only job is surveillance. They sit at … a few kilometers altitude. They survey the scene, and they have communication links to these other types of drones, which are—typically, the most common that the Russians are using is a drone called “Lancet,” which is completely different from the “Geranium” drones that are doing surveillance.

And the Geranium drones look down. They see things on the ground. They communicate directly to the Lancet drones. They’re not launching Lancet drones; the drones are being launched from somewhere else. Then the drones fly, under the communications information from the Geranium drones, and they attack the targets on the ground.

In the case of air defense what has happened is, the Russians have very effectively used their version of an AWACS, an airborne warning and control aircraft. And those aircraft have been provided with direct links, communication links to very long-range, highly capable surface-to-air missiles that are in the S400 and S500, and actually S300 air defense systems. This allows the Russian air defense systems to shoot at aircraft that are below the radar horizon because the Earth’s curvature does not allow the radar to see beyond a range of, maybe, 100–150 km. But the aircraft can track the Ukrainian aircraft, and the Ukrainian aircraft doesn’t even know it’s being tracked. The ground system gets the tracking information and can attack the Ukrainian aircraft while it’s in flight.

And they’ve destroyed a vast part of the Ukrainian Air Force. The Russians have shown a great deal of innovation that has completely surprised the West. And that is, in part, because Western political and military leaders have underestimated them. They have not realized what a capable adversary we’re dealing with.

The Peace Available Two Years Ago

And it can only get worse. [The] Russians are expanding their army; they’re going to probably have 1.5 million soldiers within maybe the next six months to a year, under arms. And the West has nothing: The French have 180,000 soldiers under arms, and they send 20,000 to be murdered in Ukraine? For what? If I were French, I’d be outraged.

I’m outraged as an American, that this war has been a slaughter of innocent people on both sides, both Russians and Ukrainians; because this war did not have to be fought. This was a war that was instigated by the Western political leadership. And then, when there was an agreement reached between Russia and Ukraine in March of 2022, literally a few weeks after the initial Russian invasion, the United States blocked the agreement.

This agreement was initialed by both Ukrainian and Russian representatives who negotiated it. And Zelensky was told, “If you don’t reject this agreement, you’re on your own. We won’t help you in any way.” So … he pulled out of the agreement. And the United States had people like Lloyd Austin, our Secretary of Defense, making statements like, “We want this war to go on because we think we can do strategic damage to Russia.”

This is a proxy war that was started and maintained by the United States, who also led NATO, which was followed by the Western leaders of NATO. They deserve blame for being so naive and reckless themselves, just following the U.S. And now they have really infuriated the Russians—which in my view is understandable—and they’re going to get much less for this. The war is lost. The Ukrainian army has lost over 400,000, maybe 450,000 soldiers. It was originally the size of maybe 800–850,000 at the beginning of the Russian incursion. There’s tremendous resistance in the Ukrainian population to further people being drafted. Who knows what’ll happen?

There’s been discussion about it for months, but the government has been afraid, as far as I can tell, to announce conscription, because Ukrainians are beginning to figure out that they’re not fighting and dying for their country. They’re fighting and dying for nothing now, because this was a war that did not have to occur, and they are being thrown at the Russians and being massacred by the Russians.

EIR: You brought up the earlier negotiations in the Spring of 2022, that if the French wanted to put their forces on the Dnieper River and block the Russians there, they could certainly have had that by simply negotiating, without deploying any of their forces!

Professor Postol: This war was not and is not about territory. It was about NATO expansion…. In the [Spring 2022—ed.] agreement that was negotiated—that Zelensky then backed out of—Putin basically said, “You can take back all the lands. We have taken all of them almost immediately. We will withdraw our troops”—except for Crimea, because Crimea is so fundamental to the security of Russia, that he wasn’t going to give that back. He did make it clear that he wasn’t. Other than that, he said, “Just don’t join NATO and we’re out of here.”

Now, I think his attitude is different. A lot of lives have been lost by the Russians, just as the Ukrainians. And, he’s angry and he doesn’t believe the West can be trusted in any treaty. He’s made very detailed and significant statements about why the West has basically reneged on almost all of the promises they had made to the Russians. And let me tell you, the facts are correct that he cites. The New York Times won’t tell you that, but go and look at the historical statements, in the documents.

And, so we have this environment in the West where fake news is governing the population, the understanding of the American people and many Western Europeans. But it’s beginning to break down now, because the Russians have done so much damage, you can’t hide it.

EIR: So let me ask you about the other form of the war, the sanctions. They were publicly believed at the time by everybody from Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary of the U.S., to the Foreign Minister of Germany, [Annalena] Baerbock, to be capable of fairly quickly reducing the Russian economy—even ruining it, in the words of Baerbock. That clearly hasn’t happened.

Professor Postol: Baerbock needs a lesson in economics, but go ahead.

EIR: It obviously hasn’t happened, but they still talk about it as if it still could happen. What’s your take on that?

Sanctions and Russian ‘Protectionism’

Professor Postol: Baerbock must know that the GDP growth of Germany now is minus 0.3%, and that the GDP growth of Russia is now somewhere around 3% or higher. I would think she should start asking herself, “What did I not understand?” I’ll be honest with you, I know so little about economics. Literally, any time I read something, I learn something, because I’m a physicist by training.… But what appears to be happening, if you take the trouble to read a little, … is, the sanctions inadvertently caused Russia to become a somewhat—like practicing protectionism in the United States, where you don’t allow, let’s say, Chinese foreign goods to come into your country, and it allows for your own industry to flourish, because they’re not competing against somebody who has an advantage in terms of being able to undersell you.

But in the case of Russia, what happened is that the West imposed sanctions on them, which, in effect, closed the Russian economy to trade with the West. Well, it turns out that the oligarchs are restricted from sending money out of the country now, under Putin. He’s said, you can’t rape the country if you have money. If you make money, you invest it here. So, these guys have nowhere to invest the money. Except that now, all of a sudden, there are all these products that people want and need, that you can manufacture at home. And so, you have this tremendous growth of manufacturing that’s now going on in Russia that’s fueling its civilian economy.

On top of that, you have, of course, this war. Military spending is never as effective for improving your economy, you know, because you’re manufacturing something and you’re basically dumping it into the ocean…. But you do pay people money, and that money goes into your economy. And they then have buying power that feeds demand for the civilian goods that are now being manufactured.

Plus, you have tremendous trade going on between Russia and China and it’s growing. It was, I think it was about 200 billion [dollars equivalent—ed.] last year, but wouldn’t surprise me at 300–400 billion by the next year. These countries have lots of things to trade, including oil. The West decided that Russia couldn’t sell its oil. Well, how were they going to enforce that?

You have now, the Global South, which Jerry [Belsky of the Schiller Institute] has talked to me about, but in fact, I do know something about, although I agree with what he’s pointed out to me. And you have the Global South, and they’ve been looking at the United States and saying, “You know, you’ve been bullying us for a long time. We’ve had it.” The Indians get a good deal on oil from Russia. They want it. The Russians sell it to them at a bargain rate. Although now, the cost of oil has gone up to the global level. Interestingly enough, the United States has not been able to keep it down.

And the Indians benefit from this…. They say, “We’re not your enemy, U.S., and we’re not your enemy, Russia; we’re your trade partners.”

You know, this statement, this naive and intentionally insulting statement that really revealed the ignorance of people in the West, was calling Russia “a gas station” with nothing else. Well, you’re wrong. It’s a rich, vibrant society—which does not have a government I would want to live under. I want to be very clear. I would never want to live in Russia…. But because you don’t like something that a another country does, doesn’t mean you have to assume that they’re idiots, that they have no culture of their own, that they have no innovation of their own.

Americans have this problem, they think that everybody else is stupid, except for them. It’s not true. Americans are very clever and innovative. And by the way, so are the Japanese. So are the Chinese. So are the Koreans. So are the Indians. And we have a world, now, that’s becoming industrialized. And it’s at a tipping point. It’s now industrialized enough that you have highly educated people in countries that, only a few decades ago, were helpless and did not have enough of wealth and technology base to bootstrap into something more capable. But now they’re in a state where they do have enough technology, and wealth base, and educated people, to start bootstrapping…. I’ve been working with scholars who are from India, in the United States. I’ve met scholars from India. These are very capable people. If they have enough money and resources to be able to go ahead and build things, they can and will. And that’s what we’re seeing. China, you know, most amazing of all.

Western Leaders Should Confess and Change Course

EIR: Speaking about the nations of the Global South, and particularly, India. I think this is where the Janet Yellens and Annalena Baerbocks and so forth, the Mario Draghis, this is where they still think that the sanctions are working, in holding back nations like India from doing more. You’ve obviously made clear that the nations in the Global South have not bought any of this, that they have remained neutral in the conflict at least, and that they have by all means taken advantage of trade with Russia and with China in the course of this. How important do you think this could be in terms of creating a possibility for ending the escalation of the war?

Professor Postol: This war could be stopped immediately if the leadership of Western Europe and the United States made the decision to do so. I’m not optimistic, because I think they are ignorant, and they have been reckless and they don’t want to admit it. It’s not clear they even know how wrong they are. Of course, the problem with understanding what they might actually believe, is that they’re afraid of their electorates.

I mean, Joe Biden is running for election. And if he knew what was happening and was totally transparent with the American electorate, he would have to say, “I got you into a war that was totally avoidable. We spent enormous amounts of money on this war. We killed, you know, three-quarters of a million innocent people who didn’t have to fight. It was a war of choice. We used the Ukrainian population as meat for the meat grinder. We destroyed their society for decades, because the demographics of the society is going to be [older]. People between 20 and 40 are going to have been depleted.” This affects birth rates later on, you know? I don’t think he would get re-elected making those campaign statements.

And you look at [German Chancellor] Olaf Scholz. I mean, when I heard that the Nord Stream pipeline had been destroyed by the United States—and it was destroyed by the United States. I actually learned that from a conversation with Seymour Hersh. Hersh and I are old friends, and I have helped him out in the past. He’s a brilliant journalist, of course. And Sy calls me up one day, and he starts asking me about all this underwater technology…. I say, “What’s this about, Sy?” So, he says, “The United States destroyed the Nord Stream pipeline.” And my immediate reaction was, “You’re crazy. Nobody would do something so stupid. It’s going to destroy the German economy.” Well, it turns out they did, and Scholz was apparently informed of it, as far as we can tell. And he allowed it to occur. Well, he didn’t object, I guess.

Now, this is going to come out, you know, sooner or later. It’s only secret because these guys did something so reckless; and it was an act of war, but it was an act of war that was more effective against Germany than it was against Russia.

I think if you look at the knowledge and mindset of the political leadership in NATO and the United States, you have to ask yourself the question, how could these people be so ignorant?...

Soldiers Read History To Learn from It

I mean, the CIA told the Biden Administration that there was a very high chance that this military operation [in Ukraine] would fail. It was reported by the Washington Post, but I’m not sure it was reported totally accurately, because the Post said that the CIA said it was a 50-50% chance that it would fail. My guess is the CIA, at least privately at the highest level, said this has no chance at all. Because when you look at the planning that these people did, and what they adopted for a plan, you have to look at it and say, how could these people do this?

The Ukrainians were given less armor and armored vehicles and soldiers than the allies had at Normandy [in 1944] when they broke out, in Operation Cobra, from the Normandy Peninsula. They had 11 divisions. That was 30-odd brigades. We gave the Ukrainians nine. [The World War II allies] had more than 2,000 tanks they used for this breakout. They dropped 10–12,000 bombs in an area of three miles by one mile, to be able to punch a hole through the defense. The Ukrainians had nothing.

The one thing that soldiers do, is they read history, history, and history. And when I first encountered a lot of soldiers, I said to myself, because was naïve, “Why are these guys reading all this history? Technology advances and you should be studying technology.” Well, I was totally wrong. Because technology advances, that causes tactics to change; that causes, you know, the way you apply the available tools you have for warfare. But the historical conditions tell you a lot about how to apply modified capabilities, that advance as you become more capable.

And, you know, all you have to do is look at Operation Cobra, and then look at the Surovikin Line [Russian commander Gen. Sergey Surovikin’s defenses in Ukraine—ed.]. This is a terrifically capable defensive structure that was built by the Russians against the so-called counteroffensive. How could any soldier who knows any history and has two neurons to rub together, think that this kind of operation could have succeeded? And the answer is, a boatload of soldiers knew it couldn’t succeed, but their higher-level officers were dreaming. I think there were rooms filled with colonels and lieutenant colonels watching these three- and four-star guys reliving the Gulf War of ’91, where they were dealing with a third-world adversary with a third-class army, and saying to themselves—these colonels—my God, we’re going to have a massacre. And we have a massacre.

Threat of Nuclear War?

EIR: But with the forces that are organizing the provocations—political, and some military—do you think there’s more than a national security danger in this? Is there a danger of a World War III?

Professor Postol: I think there is.

EIR: I think you’ve said in the past that if any nuclear weapon is used anywhere by one of the major nuclear powers, that it will go to the use of them all....

Professor Postol: I think that’s overwhelmingly likely. It’s not an axiom, but it’s overwhelmingly probable.

I’m less worried about the chance of an unwanted nuclear escalation since it became very clear that the Russians have won. Because the Russians would be the most incentivized to use a nuclear weapon, if they were losing. The Russians see this war as a war of national survival. Whether that’s true or not, could be a debated question. But the Russians see this as a war that determines whether they can survive as a nation. And because they see the stakes are so high, I think that it’s reasonable to guess that they might, under serious enough circumstances, use a very small number of nuclear weapons, that would almost certainly lead to an uncontrolled escalation. I don’t think they’re in that situation now.

There’s no way the Russians would use nuclear weapons, unless something totally unpredictable [occurred]. Putin is much, much too smart. And, in fact, this upsets a lot of people when I say it, because I’m surrounded by people who see the Ukraine war in a different way. But what I tell people is, I’m less concerned about nuclear war, because at least I know Putin is the guy who would most likely be the one to have an overwhelming pressure to initiate something. And he’s much too smart, and he’s much too reasoned, much too careful. He has no need to.

EIR: On the French or British side; on the U.S. side …

Professor Postol: Well, the one sense, thank goodness, that Biden has shown, in his reactions to things, has been to absolutely rule out the use of nuclear weapons. I mean, he’s been very clear about that and very repeated. Now, I don’t know if he’ll change his mind; but it would be a catastrophe. And frankly, I don’t know—if he ordered the use of nuclear weapons—if people would follow his command. You know, it’s not as cut and dried as people like to think.

EIR: Let me ask you a more general question, or on another level. You were for many years, as I said at the beginning, a Professor of Science, Technology and National Security. What do you think should be the right relationship between scientific and technological progress on one side, and national security or international security on the other?

The ‘Chip War’ vs. China Is Futile

Professor Postol: Well, I think that’s more of a political and cultural question than it is having to do with science and technology. Of these communities of scientists and engineers and mathematicians and, you know, they just do their work and they’re happy doing their work. Certainly, there are many very capable people in the industry and academia who are doing fantastically innovative work…. And if you give them resources, they’ll do it to build an optical sight on a tank or an optical sight on an astrophysical telescope. So it’s a matter of politics and culture.

And if we look at China, for example, this is a country filled with highly educated people in the sciences and engineering and mathematics and technology. I’m very proud of one of the few things I’ve done that I really like to brag about shamelessly. Two of my former students are full professors and tenured at Tsinghua University, which is their “MIT”. And I met their students, and they’re superb, and they go out and they do good things.

Well, anyway, the government, through its own mechanisms in China, makes certain technologies a priority. So, for example, what the West has done to Russia, is now happening in China. We decided, in our wisdom, that we’re not going to let the Chinese have any advanced microchips. We’re going to strangle them. Well, I got news. You didn’t strangle them, you stimulated them.

Because now the Chinese are now already building five-nanometer microchips. We can still build three-nanometers, which are much faster and denser. But the five-nanometer microchips they’re building are faster than the three-nanometer chips we build, because they have streamlined the process. They have brought their own innovation. They didn’t use the traditional architectures that we are using. They came up with their own innovative architectures for these more advanced chips. And let me tell you, they’re going to be making three-nanometer chips, too, in not too long a time, because they made it a national priority.

And they have the people—it’s not just money. You have to have individuals who have the tech, who have the motivation, the knowledge, the expertise, the innovative spirit. And anybody who thinks the Chinese are just monkeys who copy things, has no idea what they’re talking about. This was the mythology with the Japanese, you know, after we leveled Japan at the end of World War II. Everyone thought of the Japanese as making little rubber ducks that were low-quality things that, you know, you give to your children. Now they’re a great industrial power.

Naturally, South Koreans, too. I’m sorry to say this, but I think it’s kind of a subtle form of racism, in my view. “They’re not white and rational like we are. They’re different.” I was really offended when Les Aspin was Secretary of Defense. This was quite a few years ago. And he starts this discussion with all these other idiots who are supposed to be experts in national security: “Well, can other countries be deterred like we would be?” But of course, you go near a cow who just had calves, and she’ll run you over. What makes you think that people who are brown-skinned and yellow-skinned aren’t smart enough to know what’s in their own interest? I mean, it’s racist….

But we see all the civilizations that have been built in the past. And you understand, if you know anything about human history, that we are a civilization that’s tremendously powerful and advanced; but we’re the top of the line now, and it’s not clear we are the top of the line, because China may very shortly be the top of the line.

EIR: I have read … that China is working on generating the UV light necessary for this chip production, in cyclotron fashion—almost like a free electron laser. Or in order to operate quite a number of stations, so to speak, simultaneously, as if around a cyclotron. Does that make sense to you?

Professor Postol: It makes sense. I don’t know if it’ll achieve it, but it sounds like a plausible approach. I mean, it’s not scientifically ridiculous. I’m sure they did assign, you know, what they would do—because I know, I know all these scientists from China. I spent many hours with many of them.

First thing they would do, is get their most theoretical and capable people to look at whether the technology can be pushed, to be able to produce the necessary ultraviolet. That seems to me to be straightforward, actually; because you can produce X-rays with these things [and] X-rays are much higher energy and require much more energetic cyclotrons, or free electron lasers. So that once they settled that question, there would be the question of intensity and the question of control of the wavelengths, and the spread of wavelengths, because there are diffraction problems and methodologies for laying down the UV radiation.

That would all be done by various-level engineers with various levels of scientific background. Then eventually, you get to working with the industrial engineers, who would figure out how to make this into a mass-producible line of production. And I doubt very much that the Chinese would not be up to the job of doing this. If it’s doable, I’m sure they will do it. No question about that. I can’t say it’s doable, because I haven’t looked at the details.

‘People Who Keep Us on the Guidelines’

EIR: The founder of the Schiller Institute, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, in her Ten Principles for a New International Security and Development Architecture, says she considers the most important principle to be that the human being is naturally good and that evil is a result of a lack of development.

And specifically in the sixth and seventh principles, she says: “The new economic order must be focused on creating the conditions for modern industries and agriculture, starting with the infrastructure development of all continents, to eventually be connected by tunnels and bridges to become a world land-bridge. The new global security architecture must eliminate the concept of geopolitics by ending the division of the world into blocs. The security concerns of every sovereign nation must be taken into account.”

Would you agree that these are building blocks to a durable peace and survival?

Professor Postol: Well, I agree with her latter statement that a cooperative world, where there’s mutual respect and commercial intercourse, in place of geopolitics.

I do not agree that people are naturally good. I think people are capable of extraordinary evils. And that’s one of the reasons why I think the political stability, in a positive sense, not repressive sense, is so important; because I think people are capable of doing anything. I have a daughter in Germany. I come from a Jewish background. And I go to Germany, and I see [what] an extraordinarily civilized and cooperative, and helpful to each other society it is. And I think what was going on there in the ’30s and ’40s. And they’re not the same people. They’re generations removed, but the same culture. That was real evil.

You look at China. Mao Zedong helped China break free of all these terrible exploitations of the West. But it’s not clear to me whether, in the end, he was more negative than positive. You look at his Cultural Revolution. I talk to people who suffered under the Cultural Revolution. It was horrifying by every measure I can take from my personal discussions with people who were subjected to these attacks. I believe that a very large number of people will believe anything, if you indoctrinate them effectively enough. And they will do tremendous evil because of that.

And there are certain people whom you meet—whom I meet—I just know they’re deeply civilized. When I meet them, I just start talking to them and it just happens instantly. And there are very few such people. And those are the people who help keep us on the guidelines. And then we need a system that allows people who are on the guidelines, to influence the way we do things and the way people are encouraged to behave.