The second version of the conflict between Russia and NATO is nuclear-free. According to the author, the chances that the countries participating in it will be able to refrain from using nuclear weapons, vanishingly small, where the likelihood of the start of a global nuclear missile war is higher, but still there is some scant chance of a non-nuclear conflict. Here the role of aircraft carriers will depend very strongly on how and under what circumstances such a conflict will begin. And if so, then let's postpone the aircraft carriers until the next article, but for now let's see what can lead to a full-scale non-nuclear conflict of NATO against the Russian Federation and what goals such a war can pursue.
Is it possible that the Russian Federation will become an aggressor? Historically, Russia has never sought to conquer Europe, the Russian people simply do not need this. Nothing like the invasions of Napoleon and Hitler. The Russian state never suited Europe, and why? No Russian tsar, general secretary or president has ever viewed the conquest of Europe as a deed useful to Russia.
However, the lack of desire to conquer Europe does not mean that Russia has no interests in Europe. These interests historically have been to:
1) To provide Russia with free trade with Europe, for which sustainable outlets to the coasts of the Baltic and Black Seas were needed, and the Straits on the Black Sea
2) “Reason” overly zealous neighbors who view the property and population of Russia as their legitimate prey (yes, at least in the Crimean Tatars in a certain period of our stories, Turks, Poles)
3) Support Slavic societies outside of Russia (brothers-Slavs)
In addition, Russia sometimes entered into European war conflicts, fulfilling allied obligations to any or several European countries.
Thus, it can be stated: Russia has never been (and will not be) a country that would like to conquer Europe. But at the same time, Russia historically is not very inclined to tolerate the peoples bordering on it and openly hostile to it. Those were conquered by Russia (Poland, Crimea), after which Russia tried to assimilate them, without suppressing, at the same time, national identity. Also, Russia may come into conflict for its local interests, if it sees that someone threatens these interests with open force.
In recent years, we have already seen several times how the Russian armed forces are involved in operations outside their native homeland, but the term “aggression” is of little use here. In the case of an operation to force Georgia to peace, or the 08.08.08 war, the Russian Federation had unconditional formal grounds for intervention in the conflict: Saakashvili’s armed forces attacked Russian peacekeepers, killing Russian soldiers. From no side call aggression and the actions of our videoconferencing in Syria — they are there at the invitation of an officially acting and completely legitimate government.
But with the Crimea it is already much more complicated, because under international law, the armed forces of the Russian Federation nevertheless invaded the territory of an adjacent, completely independent (and in something even non-ﬁ ne) state. But the thing is - apart from the letter of the law, its spirit exists, and in this case the following happened:
1) In Ukraine, a coup d'etat inspired from outside
2) The overwhelming majority of the Crimean population did not welcome this coup and wished to return to Russia
3) Under no circumstances would the new Ukrainian government give the Crimeans the right to self-determination
In other words, the foreign leadership of the Crimean people, which they did not choose, restricts them to rights that are absolutely legal from the point of view of international law. And now the armed forces of the Russian Federation absolutely illegally invade the territory of a foreign state ... and provide absolutely legal rights to the citizens living there. And then the Crimea, having conducted an absolutely legal referendum, is absolutely legally part of the Russian Federation. By the way, this is a legal incident that turned out to be not in the mind of Ksenia Sobchak - the entry of the Crimea into the Russian Federation is completely legal from the point of view of international law. Only the introduction of troops was illegal, but from the point of view of the same legislation, this input and the referendum in the Crimea are completely unrelated events.
An exemplary analysis of this situation is contained in an article published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The author, Professor Reinhard Merkel of the University of Hamburg, a teacher of legal philosophy, gave completely comprehensive explanations of all the nuances of the Crimea joining the Russian Federation from the point of view of international law:
“Did Russia annex the Crimea? Not. Did the referendum in the Crimea and the subsequent separation from Ukraine violate the norms of international law? Not. So they were legal? No: they violated the Ukrainian constitution - but this is not a question of international law. Shouldn’t Russia have to reject accession because of such a violation? No: the action of the Ukrainian constitution does not apply to Russia. That is, Russia's actions did not violate international law? No, they broke: the fact of the presence of the Russian military outside the territory they rented was illegal. Does this not mean that the separation of Crimea from Ukraine, which became possible only due to the presence of the Russian military, is void, and its subsequent joining to Russia is nothing other than a hidden annexation? No, does not mean. "
Of course, the reunification of the Crimea with the Russian Federation is completely legal. Nevertheless, this accession has shown with all certainty that the Russian Federation can and will defend its interests by armed force, even if this to some extent contradicts international law.
Shy this in any case is not necessary. The modern world wanted to spit on international law - if laws could cry, then African deserts would become lakes of tears when the European coalition killed the statehood of Libya and the family of Muammar Gaddafi. We can only be proud that while the violation of international legislation by other countries leads to wars, mass deaths, rampant banditry and internal chaos, violation of the same legislation by the Russian Federation entails an almost bloodless restoration of law and historical justice, the fulfillment of the aspirations of two million people ...
However, such actions by Russia can at least theoretically cause an armed conflict in which the Russian Federation can be considered the aggressor on a formal basis.
Recall the regrettable episode in Syria, when the Turkish fighter shot down our Su-24. The Turks claim that our “drying” already entered the Turkish airspace for as many 6 seconds as they tried to contact the plane, that Su-24 was attacked while in the skies of Turkey. The Turks do not refute the fact that the plane was shot down in the sky of Syria. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation says that the Su-24 did not enter Turkish airspace and no calls of our pilots to the connection were recorded. In general, whether the rights of the Turks were formally violated or not is a moot point. But it is absolutely clear that if such a violation was, then it was just a formal one, since it did not contain any threats to Turkey - the entrance to its airspace was short-lived, the Russian aircraft did not represent any threat to the Turks, did not perform reconnaissance functions.
At that time, the Russian leadership did not consider the death of the Su-24 to be the reason for the reciprocal use of force - the embargo was confined, and it was quite quickly canceled. Interestingly, many compatriots (and the author of this article as well) considered such an answer to be incongruously small and unworthy of the Russian Federation. But at the same time, it should be recognized: if the Russian Federation had undertaken a power rally of retaliation, this could be the beginning of a full-scale conflict between the Russian Federation and Turkey, and she, as you know, is a member of NATO.
For good or for ill, but it did not come to a reciprocal strike against Turkey - the leadership of the Russian Federation did not decide on such actions, but this does not mean that the other Russian president will do the same in the future. In other words, in the future, in a similar situation, Russia may escalate the conflict, and this, in turn, may entail a large-scale military confrontation (although, of course, it may not entail).
That's actually all the reasons why the Russian Federation could be the "instigator" of the conflict with NATO, as the author sees them. As for Europe, everything is easier. Our country endured two terrible pan-European invasions in 1812 and in 1941-45: Napoleon and Hitler.
Interestingly, there is quite a lot in common between Hitler and Napoleon - they were not completely human, and were guided by different motives, but their actions turned out to be utterly similar. Each of them made his country the strongest European state, and then conquered Europe. But, being the strongest in Europe, they automatically became opponents of England, whose whole European policy for centuries was to prevent any power from strengthening to the ability to consolidate Europe, because in this case England had a quick end.
So both Hitler and Napoleon were enemies of the British, both of them had powerful armies that could easily crush the British troops, but both did not fleetcapable of delivering these armies to England. As a result, both were forced to switch to indirect methods of warfare. Napoleon came up with a continental blockade in order to discourage European trade with the British and strangle the British economically. Russia did not want and could not at that time stop trading with England, it could not support the continental blockade of Napoleon, and this led to the Patriotic War of 1812. Hitler suggested that the destruction of the last powerful country that remained on the continent, such as the USSR, would help him achieve peace with Great Britain, since in the person of the USSR it would lose the last possible ally in Europe.
Therefore, it can be considered that both invasions were undertaken as actions due to the confrontation with Great Britain, but it should be understood: even if no England existed, Hitler and Napoleon would still invade Russia, although this probably would have happened later. The only realistic way if not to avoid, then at least delay the invasion was the vassalization of Russia, i.e. our recognition of ourselves as a second-class state and the rejection of an independent role in politics.
Possessing almost absolute power in Europe, both Napoleon and Hitler would sooner or later turn their eyes to the east, not suffering alongside a powerful and leading independent policy power. Napoleon could well do without invading 1812 if Alexander, with slavish obedience, accepted his conditions and made every effort to fulfill them. True, in this case, with great probability, Alexander himself would have suffered an “apoplexy blow to the head” that had befallen his father, Paul I. Later, a new king would come to power, ready to ignore Napoleon’s “continental blockade” and war all the same would take place. But even if he had not come, the whole logic of the reign of Napoleon led to the fact that he absolutely did not need any militarily strong neighbors.
As for Hitler, he finally decided to invade the USSR, when negotiations with Stalin showed him that the USSR absolutely did not accept the role of junior partner, “without speeches” content with allowing the hegemon to allow it. It can be assumed that if Stalin had assumed such a humiliating role for the USSR, then perhaps the invasion of the USSR would have taken place not in 1941, but a little later.
Thus, we come to the fact that the necessary prerequisite for a global invasion of Europe into the Russian Federation is a certain militarily strong state capable of consolidating Europe and placing it under centralized leadership. With some reservations, we have such power - this is the United States and NATO.
Of course, Napoleonic or Hitler’s Europe has fundamental differences from NATO, at least in the fact that NATO is, in essence, a conglomerate that cannot agree among themselves. This is not a united Europe, because each of its members is trying to pursue their own interests and is trying to shift the purely military aspect to the hegemon, that is, the United States.
But with all of this, today's NATO has at least two features that are frighteningly similar to Napoleonic and Hitler’s Europe:
1) NATO reacts extremely painfully to all political independence of Russia. That is, NATO would absolutely suit the Russian Federation, lagging behind European politics and not having its own voice in anything, but our every attempt to show independence (not to mention protecting our own interests) is perceived in the most negative way.
2) NATO sees war as a normal, natural way of solving its political problems (we are looking at the same Libya)
Thus, we have to admit that it is not that a threat, but the prerequisites for a large-scale invasion of NATO into the Russian Federation do exist. But why does the author consider such a possibility as vanishingly small? For one simple reason: a country can only become an aggressor if, as a result of the war, it can achieve a better world than before the war.
Napoleon was dissatisfied with the fact that Russia continues to trade with England and it is possible that British goods (already under Russian brands) penetrate Europe. If he had forced Russia to join the blockade, he would have been able to prevail over his main enemy, England, and would thus consolidate his final hegemony on the continent. In the event of a victory over the USSR, Hitler also got the opportunity to settle his affairs with England and eliminated any continental threat to Germany, and also received his Lebensraum. Thus, both of them hoped to achieve a better position for their empires than by the war.
In a non-nuclear conflict, NATO can count on success. The military potential of NATO today far exceeds that of the Russian Federation. Therefore, if the US and NATO, having properly prepared and concentrated their forces, undertake a “non-nuclear” invasion, it will hardly be possible to stop it with conventional weapons. But today Russia is a nuclear superpower. And although, as we wrote in the previous article, its nuclear arsenal is completely insufficient to wipe out Europe and the United States, or at least the United States alone, but the Russian Federation is quite capable of causing unacceptable damage to both.
Unacceptable damage is not at all "the whole world is in dust" and not "we will kill all Americans eight times." This is such damage, which completely excludes for the aggressor the attainment of peace, better than the prewar one.
If the US and NATO armies invade the Russian Federation, the Russian Federation may well use the first nuclear weapon. NATO will answer that Armageddon will still be left for them: it is quite likely that in this case the United States and NATO will prevail. But at the same time, they themselves will suffer so heavy losses that they will need dozens (and maybe hundreds) of the hardest work, not just to return, but to at least approach the pre-war level. In other words, if a large-scale invasion of the Russian Federation automatically entails Armageddon, and he, in turn, will bring the US and NATO nothing but "blood, sweat and pain", why start all this?
As a matter of fact, this is why the global nuclear missile Armageddon, according to the author, is more likely than a large-scale non-nuclear conflict. The fact is that the exchange of nuclear strikes is extremely transient and leaves almost no time for joint consultations and decision-making. There have already been cases where early detection systems erroneously reported the start of a nuclear-missile attack, fortunately, until now, it was possible to deal with this before a full-scale response follows. But no system guarantees 100% failure free. And therefore there is always a non-zero likelihood that one of the parties, being absolutely (albeit erroneously) confident that she has undergone an unprovoked nuclear attack, and having time to make a decision at best within 15-20 minutes, will give no less full nuclear response. The other side, already without any mistake and in the same scale will answer and ... there you are, grandmother, and St. George’s day.
Therefore, the first (and, perhaps, the only real) cause of nuclear Armageddon is a mistake.
But perhaps, if there is (and it exists!) The probability of the death of hundreds of millions as a result of a banal mistake - maybe it makes sense to abandon nuclear weapons in general? In no case. Because due to the current political situation (independent Russia and consolidated Europe) and in the absence of a “great peacemaker”, such as the nuclear arsenal, the Third World War is, in fact, inevitable. It is worth remembering that the instigators of the first and second world wars did not suggest the apocalyptic carnage that followed their start. Nobody expected that the First World War would drag on for years, and the creator of the Second World War, Hitler, relied on a blitzkrieg. But the result - the years of battles, tens of millions of victims.
So it will be in the third (even if nuclear-free) world, if we allow it. At the same time, the power and capabilities of modern non-nuclear weapons are such that everything that the armies of the first and second world wars fought against are simply children's toys. Accordingly, there is no point in abandoning nuclear weapons due to the extremely unlikely Apocalypse, almost guaranteed to pay for it with tens of millions of lives lost in yet another world war.
The United States and NATO can take the risk and still carry out an invasion of the Russian Federation only on one condition - if their leadership is absolutely certain that Russia will not use its nuclear arsenal. And where can such confidence come from? She has nowhere to take.
"Disarming blow"? Not funny, the flight time of cruise missiles to the missile mines of Siberia is more than enough to make a decision on nuclear retaliation. The use of hypersonic non-nuclear weapons? Completeness, if suddenly the detection system will fix a large-scale launch of missiles in the direction of our country, no one will understand, nuclear warheads on them, or not, and nuclear weapons will be immediately applied. Missile defense Today, all that the creators of such systems can count on is a reflection of the impact of several ballistic missiles, and even then ... far from one hundred percent probability. In other words, today there are no technical means capable of protecting or preventing a large-scale nuclear strike. And will not exist in the foreseeable future.
What other weapons do our enemies have? Dollar? This is definitely serious. Many commentators at the IN claim that our domineering elite would prefer to surrender their own country, saving their lives and savings in offshore companies. But the thing is ... even if it were so, all the same, nothing like this would have happened. Oddly enough, the reason for this is the extremely short-sighted policy of the United States and NATO.
It is possible to reproach the leadership of the Russian Federation with anything (whether it is justified or not — another question), but no one has ever refused him the instinct of self-preservation. And what should this very instinct suggest? How did the leaders of the states that invaded the armies of the West end their lives? They spent the rest of their days enjoying life in villas by the sea, spending billions earned by "honest labor"? By no means.
What happened to Slobodan Milosevic? He died of myocardial infarction in a prison cell. What happened to Saddam Hussein? Hanged. What happened to Moammar Gaddafi? Killed by an angry mob after hours of violence. Who among the leadership of the Russian Federation wants to follow their example? A rhetorical question ...
Here it can be argued that, in the end, the same Gaddafi was killed not by NATO soldiers, but by his own countrymen, and this is certainly so. But does anyone really think that the crowd of our oppositionists, give her power, show more mercy?
No matter who takes the post of the President of the Russian Federation in the future, whatever personal qualities this person possesses, he will be firmly convinced that Russia's loss of war means his personal physical, and perhaps very painful death, and, most likely, , death of relatives and friends. Needless to say, one can expect a lot from a person put in such conditions, but never a surrender.
Accordingly, a massive invasion of the US and NATO into the Russian Federation with the use of non-nuclear weapons is extremely unlikely. But if all of the above is true, then is it even possible to have a situation in which the powers - the owners of the most powerful nuclear potentials of the planet - come into conflict without using nuclear weapons?
Theoretically, this option is possible. But only in the unlikely event that Russia and NATO collide in a kind of local conflict that is not resolved at the diplomatic level, despite the fact that the goals of such a conflict do not justify the use of nuclear weapons for either side.
The fact is that neither the Russian Federation, nor the United States and NATO are completely eager to release a nuclear shaitan into the wild. Even after losing in Korea and Vietnam, the Americans did not use atomic bombs. Great Britain, after the capture of the Falkland Islands by Argentina, could well send a “Resolution” or “Revenge” to the Atlantic, shuffle the Polaris with a nuclear warhead across Argentina (away from the United States, so as not to have problems with the hegemon) and repulse the President’s telegram with the following contents “If the Argentine warriors do not leave the Falkland Islands in a week, Buenos Aires and a couple of cities at the Queen’s discretion will be wiped off the face of the earth.” But instead, the Crown started a very risky and costly military expedition designed to recapture the Falklands with non-nuclear weapons. Despite the fact that, in all honesty, the Royal Navy formally did not have superiority in the conflict zone, and was technically not ready for such feats (the absence of minesweepers, imputed deck aviation etc.).
Therefore, the most likely (with all its improbability) version of the conflict between NATO and the Russian Federation is a sudden outbreak of military conflict outside the Russian Federation, which no one expected. Scenario? Yes, at least the same Su-24, shot down by the Turks. The Russian Federation is conducting a kind of military operation on the territory of Syria, the Turks shoot down our plane that allegedly invaded their airspace, in response to this, the Russian Federation announces an operation to force the Turks into the world and burns a military base with cruise missiles from which the interceptors took off. Turkey does not agree ... And let us imagine that after all this, NATO has already announced the start of an operation to force Russia to peace. An operation strictly limited to specific countries - in our case - Turkey and Syria.
The space for such a scenario is ready - some are making serious efforts to increase the degree of Russophobia in the countries bordering the Russian Federation. Here we recall the same Ukraine ... And this is fraught with military conflicts - of course, as long as everything is limited by anti-Russian rhetoric, nothing can happen, but someone can move from words to deeds, as happened with one Georgian president ...
And yet, the above scenario of confrontation between the Russian Federation and NATO is almost unbelievable: simply because such an escalation of the conflict could easily turn into a nuclear Armageddon, and no one wants this. But if somehow politicians manage to agree on the localization of hostilities and the non-use of nuclear weapons, then ... still, a much more likely option under such conditions is the sudden outbreak of a non-nuclear conflict between Russia and NATO at its later stages will still develop into a nuclear one.
And one more condition - the period of tension preceding the conflict. A situation is possible in which no “preparatory period” will happen, because the start of a conflict may be completely unexpected, sudden for all parties involved in it. Erdogan, giving the go-ahead to the destruction of the Russian aircraft, clearly did not count on a full-scale war with Russia. He just wanted to demonstrate his own significance and hoped that he would get away with it. Russia, focusing on Syria’s affairs, did not expect Turkey to intervene. But (here we are already talking about a possible scenario) by launching a missile strike, the Russian Federation will give an adequate, from its point of view, military response and expect Turkey not to go on further escalation. And if it goes, then for NATO, all the events we have invented will be a completely unexpected and unpleasant surprise, but something must be done ...
But it can happen in a different way - the political tension between the Russian Federation and NATO reached the highest point for any reason, both sides decided to confirm the seriousness of their intentions by “iron rattling” near the borders, the United States carried out a massive transfer of its armed forces to Europe, the Russian Federation and NATO "in the grip of the grave" is looking at each other at sights across the border ... and suddenly something provokes the beginning of a conflict.
In our next article, we will look at the use of US aircraft carriers in a sudden full-blown non-nuclear European conflict, and in an equally large-scale, but one that was preceded by a multi-month period of aggravation of relations. But if dear readers see some other options, then the author asks to speak in the comments - your suggestions will be taken into account.
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