Recently, a curious article “European security in crisis: what to expect if the US leaves NATO” has been published on the “War on the Rocks” resource. What is written about in this material and what can be said about this?
Political Command Post Couch Exercises
Authors on War on the Rocks: Liana Fix, Program Director for International Affairs at the Körber-Stiftung Berlin Office (a German nonprofit think tank specializing in Eastern Europe mainly), and Dr. Bastian Giegerich, Director of Defense at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS, known for Military Balance directories, unfortunately very incompetent, especially in relation to the Russian Armed Forces, by the way, he leads the team that this Milbalance is releasing). These two organizations some time ago held a kind of command-and-staff game, or rather, a political game, on the topic of what would happen if the US collects things from NATO and withdraws its troops from Europe, breaking pots goodbye.
Say it’s unrealistic? We live in a time when much becomes real. 6 years ago, many believed in the imminent return of Crimea? And in the civil war in Ukraine? And in the possible exit of Turkey from NATO, and Britain from the EU? So with the US withdrawal from NATO. Moreover, Mr. Trump, as the New York Times wrote earlier this year, several times discussed with his aides and military the exit from NATO over the past year. Congress even issued a law supporting NATO, which banned spending money on activities to pull the United States out of NATO and troops from Europe. However, this is not a panacea, and история with the "Trump Wall", for which Congress also did not give money, but they were pulled out of a pile of military programs, an example. So, what kind of game is this, how has it ended, and what should I say about this?
Home, time to go home!
The game took place this summer in Berlin with the participation of five expert groups from the United States, Britain, Germany, France and (suddenly) Poland. After re-inauguration in February 2021, Donald Trump, having crushed Biden in the elections, declares that, due to the fact that the European women keep wanting to do nothing themselves and pay for nothing, relying on the overseas dad, the United States leaves the alliance and withdraw troops from Europe in an emergency. Aviation flies first, then the tactical nuclear bombs B61, parts of the air defense missile defense and all the others are taken out.
Then, according to the scenario, after some short time, in the stub left from NATO without the US, a crisis occurs in the Western Balkans, where a “pro-Russian coup” occurs in one of the countries of the alliance. Obviously, I mean the story about the attempted coup in Montenegro, allegedly inspired by "GRU officers" - the story of the level of legends about "Petrov and Boshirov" and "Novice", which in reality is more toxic than VX / VR in 4-8 and has no antidotes, and then they could not kill two people with a horse dose. According to the scenario, Russia supports this coup and even organizes a blockade by the forces of its Navy at the approaches to this country. It is unclear why the sea blockade, the country of NATO core on the island, is exactly what?
Fifth article that no one to apply
Some expert groups participating in the game expected the application of 5 articles of the charter of the collective defense alliance, but instead agreed on the application of only 4 articles, which provide only consultations with the country at risk and the provision of indirect assistance. The expert groups noted that without US security guarantees, "trust in the 5 article and in mutual defense obligations is doubtful." That is, no one will fight for anyone. However, there are great doubts in NATO and the United States that everyone will happily go to war with such a terrible enemy as Russia. Including the USA itself, it is not the first time to "throw" its allies.
Also considered was the scenario of Russia’s deployment in the west of the country of land-based missiles extended to 4500 + km range (obviously, we are talking about something like the Caliber-M missile, which is now undergoing tests transferred to land, which can be done quite easily). It is noted that in view of the underdevelopment of the European air defense system, this threat to Europe "seriously and permanently" in the context of the withdrawal of American units is a threat to the very existence of Europe. True, there immediately arise questions for the organizers of the game.
And if there were American air defense and missile defense units, would they protect against this threat? It is unlikely that, especially given the low combat qualities of the Patriot air defense system, even the latest versions, more than once shown in Yemen (you can, of course, blame everything on the Saudis, but this is not entirely true). And the fact that neither the THAAD theater defense system, nor even the Aegis Ashore with the SM-3 anti-missile defense against the Kyrgyz Republic are not helpful. And why only land-based Kyrgyz Republic confuse you so much, and numerous and fertile, like mushrooms after the rain, carriers of sea-based KR or aviation are not a threat to Europe? And why only the increased range, because Europe and the ordinary will be enough with the head? And finally, why only the KR? After all, there are also Iskander-M missile systems (which are clearly now expected to increase range). Finally, there are hypersonic missiles, the same “Daggers”, for example. Is this not a threat to Europe? By the way, the Americans are not a cure for this threat either - there is nothing to oppose them, but the presence of their units in the country automatically turns it into a target for this and other weapons, including thermonuclear. The cure here can be one thing - not to dance to the tune of Washington and maintain good relations with Russia. And then a threat would not be a threat. But this is apparently too complicated. It’s easier to act on the well-known saying that Europeans have a strange tradition - once in a hundred years, everyone gets together and goes to get in the face from Russia. Only in our time such a trip will end fatally.
For some reason, during the game it was found that the US withdrawal from NATO and the evacuation of troops constitute a threat to existence, especially for Germany. Why this is so is difficult to understand. Germany does not border Russia. Germany does not take a frankly cowardly-hostile hysterical attitude towards Russia, like the Baltic states or Poles. And she’s not trying to “run into” trouble, as they are, they have not forgotten the last time. On the whole, despite the fact that Germany is forced to follow the wake of the United States and acts to the detriment of its own interests with regard to Russia, it takes a relatively neutral position, and it is not clear how Russia is “threatened” by it. Or everyone, or nobody! To us, in general, if they "get" us, it doesn’t matter how many European countries burn out nuclear weapons - 1 or 20. And so - yes, we do not need either Germany or Poland. Except as buyers of gas, oil and other goods and as trading partners.
Once Swan, Cancer and Pike decided to play an alliance ...
The German expert team suggested exploring the possibilities of the Franco-German Aachen treaty, signed at the beginning of 2019, Merkel and Macron and asking France and Britain to "extend" their "nuclear umbrellas" to other European countries. Under this agreement, the FRG and France undertake to provide any assistance to each other, including military means, in the event of an armed attack on their sovereign territories. He was also criticized both by the American "Atlantists" and a number of European countries, especially the "neophytes" of the EU and NATO. Like, why do you need such an agreement, if there is NATO? True, it is not very clear how to "expand the umbrellas" of France and England. The latter has a small and undeveloped potential; there is no TNW, for example, as a class, and the carriers, to put it mildly, are not entirely British. And they are leaving the EU, and it is not a fact that they would remain in NATO with the departure of the United States.
France is doing better, but their nuclear deterrence strategy is more likely to never be opposed to Russia or China, which was written in black and white in a number of their official publications on security issues. And also it is designed for some relatively small unacceptable damage that nuclear forces can cause, so that France is not worth it. But this is France, and for the whole of Europe such a price may be acceptable. And, having exactly one SSBN at a time on combat patrols, the French generally run the risk of being left without the potential for retaliation if this boat is tracked and drowned. France does not want to expand its nuclear potential, and it cannot, and is unlikely to want it, even if the Germans or the whole EU want to pay it. So the idea of "expanding the umbrella" can only be promoted verbally. Like, now France is defending all of Europe with nuclear weapons and is responsible for this.
Building the potential of nuclear deterrence in Germany during the game was considered an unlikely and unnecessary option due to internal opposition. As if the opposition is the only thing! Even a highly developed state is not always able to solve the task of creating nuclear weapons, this is an extremely expensive project, and it is not for Germany, with its Bundeswehr, which is in the state that they say "they put it in a coffin," to take on this task. After all, then there may not be enough for benefits and housing for bearded refugees - and who will rape Germans in the streets of cities for the New Year? And there will be no money for solving other important tasks, such as converting the energy balance to extremely costly and inefficient green technologies or “reducing greenhouse gas emissions” (the myth of global warming will not support itself, it is necessary to feed flock constantly to nonsense).
But the French team said about the same thing as Macron, saying that NATO without the US is dead and unnecessary, and proposing some kind of European model of collective defense, built on a system of bilateral agreements. Moreover, both the French and all other European teams of this political game at the beginning, when the USA announced their withdrawal from NATO, took the “wait - see” position, aimed at convincing the USA to return to NATO, offering concessions that were unthinkable before (from trade to energy). In general, "come back, I will forgive everything." Europeans began to take active steps only after the security situation in the scenario deteriorated significantly and when it became clear that the US decision to withdraw troops was irreversible and the train left. Before that, they were all waiting, and suddenly, they say, the owner changes his mind.
The British said they would only stay in NATO if they played a leading role in planning and management there. That is, replacing the United States. But only here the British military potential can be considered "significant" only gentlemen from these two institutions, which were conducting a simulation game. In order to claim the throne that has not yet cooled down, the British are weak, to put it mildly. In general, there is an unjustified revival of imperial ambitions for no particular reason. But the Poles remained loyal to the suzerain, even if the master left his slaves. The Polish team said it does not believe in any European security guarantees and joint military projects, but wants to conclude a tough bilateral military treaty with the United States. They say that we are at the forefront of "Russian aggression", we need a special approach. Apparently, also 6 years are fighting off tank armies, crushing divisions on Facebook in dozens, like their unreasonable neighbors. In general, this is no longer political science, but medicine. And there is no doubt that shrill NATO neophytes can take a position similar to the Polish one, which could eventually lead to the formation of a "neo-NATO" from all these almost useless in military terms, extremely vulnerable, but very loud, "toxic" and "odorous "states led by the United States. But will the United States need it if they leave NATO?
Tale is a lie, but a hint in it
The authors of the article write that when thinking about the wider consequences of the political game, it becomes clear that without guarantees of US security, the principles of European unity and mutual solidarity in defense were quickly called into question, and Europe was seriously threatened by a split into various camps (with the inevitable rise of the old resentment and contention). While the Europeans, in principle, were ready to organize their own defense, but only in words, because they had insufficient military capabilities, as well as firm desire. All this impeded meaningful actions and led to the rapid emergence of separation and split ("NATO without the US"). This can also happen in conditions not related to the withdrawal of US troops such as a reduction in its European power presence or the US’s willingness to really protect someone. Moreover, Trump himself very evasively declared at the NATO summit that he was ready to defend a certain state (if he pays well (to spend money on defense and the purchase of primarily American weapons at frantic prices), they can protect it, so any reduction US commitments will thus exacerbate European divisions, which we are already witnessing.
It is curious that all the teams in the game rejected Russian proposals for resolving conflicts in exchange for security concessions, such as the development of a European security treaty based on the proposals of D. A. Medvedev of 2008 of the year. This suggests that Russia was not considered to be a reliable provider of security services in Europe. Although the participants suspected that Germany might be tempted to engage in a separate dialogue with Russia on this issue. However, these are experts, not politicians, and what rotten hay often fills the brains of representatives of the "expert" community in the West is generally known. Politicians can behave both more wisely and more unreasonably.
Of course, it was just a game, but much of it is very similar to the real scenario of future events.
Isolationism as an increasing desire of a simple American
And I must say that in the US there are more and more supporters that the United States leave the alliance. Of course, in a democratic empire of democratically acquired alien goods, they usually know how to manipulate public opinion well, but they must take it into account, especially before the elections. And this is what comes out with the "voice of the people" of the United States.
US public support for NATO is declining, according to polls. For example, Mark Hannah, senior fellow at Eurasia Group Foundation, said:
“For the second year in a row, when the respondent is presented with a hypothetical scenario of a Russian invasion of, say, Estonia, a NATO ally, the Americans are very divided on whether they want the United States to take retaliatory military measures. And this is after the respondents were reminded about the 5 article of the NATO charter, which obliges the United States to respond to such aggression, and after they were told that US actions may be the only way to push Russia back. "
In other words, even wording the question in such a way as to provoke a positive response, and without mentioning the potential nuclear risk associated with the US military obligation to the NATO ally, the survey shows that there is no clear public support for the need to protect the US ally. Hannah came to the following conclusion:
"In other words, it’s not only President Donald Trump who is skeptical of the North Atlantic Alliance. NATO is also skeptical of the American people. To the extent that US citizens generally think of NATO, they doubt whether the obligations are worth the risk."
If respondents were directly told about nuclear risk, it is highly likely that there would be a surge in anti-NATO sentiment even stronger. And if they would describe a real situation where the Americans are either defeated or the exchange of blows takes place not at the level of nuclear weapons, but at the level of strategic nuclear forces, those who wish would be reduced by an order of magnitude.
One way or another, but American politicians need to take into account the growing isolationism in public consciousness. The same Trump, the fact that he ended up in the White House is a consequence of this isolationism itself. Another question is that during his first term he was unable to do almost anything of what he promised to do, including on the isolationist line, in effect, losing the battle to “people with diplomats,” as Russian President V.V. called them. Putin That is, the "shadow government of the United States," the apparatus bureaucracy.
But what Trump can do by winning the re-election, he himself does not know.