Just to such a state of affairs allows the article “Vasily Burenka and Yuri Pechatnova” “Unacceptable damage” (“NVO”, No. 4, 2013) to move. The position of the authors themselves is defined clearly and clearly, and their theses are impeccable, they can only be developed and supplemented.
ABOUT TYPES OF MILITARY ORGANIZATION OF THE STATE
The “nuclear zero” advertised in America is nothing more than a maneuver for the United States. It is intended to provoke Russia into a transformation of nuclear policy that would provide the United States with free hand in their policy towards Russia. In fact, the United States, ostensibly ready to abandon nuclear weapons (NW), will never abandon them as an indispensable tool for ensuring their global aggressive policy.
And here there is a certain subtle, at first glance paradoxical moment - the public attitude of the nuclear state to nuclear science today turns out to be the measure of its real peacefulness. Depending on the degree of peacefulness of the state, the role of nuclear weapons can be fundamental or complementary, and the less nuclear power is committed to nuclear weapons in its programmatic declarations, the more aggressive it becomes.
It is impossible to say this about the WTO, however, the way they look at the WTO in a nuclear state can also tell a lot about the essence of the state policy.
In principle, there are three types of military organization of a nuclear state. The first is an aggressive option: the military organization is designed to ensure an aggressive policy of coercive pressure and potential direct aggression. The second is a combined version: a military organization is called upon to ensure both the defense of one’s country against aggression and one’s own potential aggression against another country. The third is a purely peace-loving option: a military organization is called upon to eliminate someone else’s aggression.
The military organization of the USA answers the first option. There are no external military threats to America, and there can be none until it commits aggression against a nuclear-missile state. That is, the US Armed Forces are now becoming not even predominantly, but exclusively aggressive. The United States leads and intends to conduct real combat operations all over the planet. This requires powerful conventional weapons, since the use of nuclear weapons in the presence of similar weapons from Russia and China is impossible. Hence the emphasis on the all-out development of conventional means of warfare, including the WTO. In the long run, nuclear weapons are necessary for America, first of all, as a tool of impunity - under the “umbrella” of the US missile defense system - of a disarming first strike against Russia's strategic means of retaliation, as well as a tool to deter China.
What has been said about the USA can be attributed to England and France. There are no real external threats to their national territory, but the elements of greater or lesser aggressiveness are obvious. At the same time, both countries seem to support the idea of a “nuclear zero”; after all, they, too, are not averse to waging a real war, and they are waging it.
For China's nuclear, the second option is more characteristic, since for the Celestial Empire the task of eliminating the threat from the US is relevant, but at the same time foreign policy is not without elements of potential aggressiveness. China is more likely for Yav, but it does not take a tough position - he, too, is not averse to making war on occasion.
For Russia, only the third option is acceptable and vital. At the same time, an effective nuclear status makes it possible to eliminate the threat of any aggression against Russia and its allies and force a potential aggressor to peace without hostilities. Nevertheless, strangely enough, expert opinions in favor of the “nuclear zero” are also strong in Russia. I personally can’t consider such a position consistent and necessary for our country.
So, YaV can have both potentially aggressive and real defense functions. The genuinely defensive function of our nuclear weapons is to ensure the exclusion of external aggression against Russia.
The formal defense function of the United States is to exclude the effective response of the victims of American aggression with damage to the United States itself. Thus, the American nuclear weapons have a potentially aggressive meaning, and the formal defense function assigned to them serves the idea of unpunished aggressive actions. Unlike Russia, America, under the protection of YaV, plans the first strike, after which the “shield” of YaV will allow the United States to repel a retaliatory strike.
As a result, the military organization of the Russian Federation can perform the defense function only on the basis of the primacy of Russia's nuclear status, which should be understood: at the global level — the ability to provide a guaranteed deep retaliatory strike, causing unacceptable damage to the aggressor in any disarming of his first strike against Russia's strategic means; at the regional level, the ability to neutralize and eliminate the threat of regional aggression or to ensure the rapid de-escalation of aggression. At the same time, demonstration nuclear strikes of Russia against the aggressor are of paramount importance.
WTO - TYPICAL "NOT THAT"
Through the prism of the aggressive policy of the United States, it is necessary to consider both the “relationship” of nuclear weapons and the non-nuclear WTO. For America, the WTO is the possibility of a “non-nuclear” implementation of long-standing ideas regarding the use of tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) in local wars. Since the Korean War, the United States has been tempted to provide an immediate decisive advantage and victory through the use of tactical nuclear weapons. Actually, this did not happen once, primarily due to the tough position of the USSR. However, in itself, even the limited use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries was fraught with serious political costs. Therefore, the United States began to actively develop WTO systems, which are capable of largely replacing TNW as a “battlefield weapon” in the course of local wars against non-nuclear countries.
For decades, US tactical nuclear forces have participated in regional conflicts only “virtually” as a hypothetical threat. Today, the US WTO is called upon to actually participate in regional conflicts and ensure the success of aggression. For Russia, the WTO does not have and cannot have such a meaning. WTO systems cannot replace Russian nuclear weapons even at the regional level, not to mention the global one. It follows from this that the nuclear two-level armaments of Russia are the everlastingly important and in no way replaceable guarantor of the military-political security of Russia. High-precision weapons can only be a complementary element of our Armed Forces.
The aggressive US armed forces are called upon to wage widespread regional wars, including those initiated by America. Therefore, conventional weapons, including WTO, are of primary importance to the United States. Nuclear weapons for the United States are complementary.
The defense forces of Russia are called upon to ensure that Russia is not involved in any major armed conflict, or that it can be quickly curtailed, therefore its nuclear weapons are of primary importance to Russia. Conventional weapons, including WTO, are complementary.
America is waging local wars all over the world, because otherwise it will not be able to exercise political control over the world situation, which will ensure its economic control. For such wars, the WTO systems are effective.
Local conflicts, in which Russia may be involved, objectively have a narrow geography. All possible conflict zones lie on the periphery of the Russian geopolitical space, which coincides with the borders of the USSR 1945 of the year. Successful de-escalation and curtailment of hypothetical conflicts such as the Russian-Georgian one do not require either long-term or large-scale hostilities. WTO systems here will not increase the effectiveness of the actions of the RF Armed Forces. The reduction of the conflict is within the power of the conventional armed forces, and Russia's nuclear status should be a guarantee against the intervention of a third force in the conflict, whose power is comparable to or exceeds the capabilities of the Russian armed forces.
If we keep in mind a hypothetical conflict of type, for example, Russian-Turkish as a result of regional aggression by Turkey against the Russian Federation or its allies, then such aggression, without a doubt, can be quickly and successfully curtailed with a limited use of the nuclear factor at the regional level.
Separately, it is necessary to dwell on such a unique quality of Russian nuclear weapons as the provision of the necessary psychological deterrent effect. It is on the psychological uncertainty of the result of aggression against Russia that such a situation arises when any large-scale aggression against our country with the use of both nuclear and conventional weapons becomes impossible. In contrast to nuclear weapons, high-precision weapons, even to a small extent, are not capable of providing such a psychological effect, which excludes the temptation to attack Russia.
As long as large arrays of weapons exist in the world, Russia's nuclear weapons as a guarantor of its security cannot be replaced by anything, including precision weapons. The WTO, even in the long term, is not able to take over any of any significant systemic tasks or the military-political functions of nuclear weapons. Attempts to give the WTO an important meaning for Russia are in fact attempts to uncritically transfer the Western and American concepts of the WTO and the principles of the aggressive strategy of the United States to the defense strategy of Russia.
If the US leaders are so sure that the WTO will replace the Nuclear War, that the World Trade Organization is more efficient than the Nuclear War, then why should America not abandon their supposedly "obsolete" Nuclear War, unilaterally, replacing the systemic niche that was formed with these or other types of WTO? However, the United States will never take such a step.
SYNONYM ACCEPTABILITY - CATASTROPHE
The program article “The World Without Nuclear Weapons” by former US Secretary of State Kissinger and Schultz, ex-Secretary of Defense Perry and Senator Nunn, mentioned by Vasily Burenok and Yuri Pechatnov, launched a campaign for global “nuclear zero”. However, it does not hinder to recall the words of the famous US military-political ideologist Zbigniew Brzezinski: "The plan for the destruction of nuclear weapons is a plan for creating a world in which the United States will be able to wage a normal war safely." Proceeding from this thesis to the exact opposite, one can say that the preservation and consolidation of the effective nuclear status of Russia ensures the existence of such a world where Russia will not need to wage both conventional and nuclear war.
Theoretically, the nuclear deterrence regime should be considered as having a trigger character. That is, theoretically, there are only two possible positions: deterrence or ensured or not. However, in the mode of containment, a psychological moment is really important, whose quantitative formalized assessments are objectively impossible. Therefore, it is possible to distinguish two “gray” zones of quantitative parameters of the nuclear arsenal of Russia both above and below the conditionally quantitative “W” value. The parameters of the arsenal in these zones provide unsustainable deterrence, that is, a regime in which the temptation of a forceful solution can prevail over a potential nuclear aggressor over fears of receiving a retaliatory strike. In military-technical terms, it is extremely important not to even approach the upper boundary of the “gray” zone lying above the “W” value.
Ultimately, the nuclear deterrence regime is based on the principle of uncertainty of the result of full-scale real-world use by all parties involved in the conflict of the entire volume of their nuclear weapons. The result of a full-scale nuclear war is uncertain in principle. In order to have it, it is necessary to conduct a full-scale nuclear war, which neither side can allow as long as the other side has advanced nuclear weapons, which have guaranteed retaliatory strike capabilities.
And here we come to such an important concept as "the criterion of unacceptable damage." This side of the matter in the article by Vasily Burenko and Yuri Pechatnova rightly received much attention. But I would especially emphasize the most important, in my opinion, authors' conclusion that “the subjective criteria of unacceptable damage cannot be considered as requirements for the prospective grouping of strategic nuclear forces when planning its development.” One can not disagree with the idea that the discussion to determine the agreed amount of unacceptable damage in practice is fruitless. But here you can clarify something ...
The subjective “Mao Zedong criterion” (90% of the population of one’s own country) can only be mentioned in purely historical terms - such a criterion is unacceptable even for China simply because mass death of the population is impossible without catastrophic damage to material values. Subjective “criteria” of de Gaulle (several warheads), Kennedy (several or one war block), Reagan (one war block) also cannot be considered seriously, they are a political propaganda bluff.
The criteria of McNamara and Sakharov are completely objective and systemically consistent, but it is stupid, in my opinion, to argue long about the percentage of the destruction of the military-economic potential that the damage should be considered unacceptable. The objective criterion of unacceptable damage is to take such damage, which has long-term catastrophic consequences for all spheres of state life.
I am especially close to the authors' idea that as a criterion for deterrence, it would be more expedient to take an approximate balance of response potentials. This idea is absolutely indisputable, although it can hang in the air without a correct understanding of the form under which the Russian strategic nuclear forces ensure a guaranteed retaliatory strike when delivering at least 200 warheads to targets.
Acceptable, of course, is the adoption of "substantially reduced damage criteria." But only with the complete refusal of all nuclear powers from missile defense systems, with the exception of active defense systems for missile launches against warheads in the final part of their trajectory. In response to the plans to deploy the US NMD, the only sensible approach would be to massaging nuclear weapons. Actually, it was necessary to begin the day before the new massing of the SNF. Only in this way is the regime of guaranteed nuclear deterrence of aggression retained on the basis of a guaranteed retaliatory strike, with causing unacceptable damage to the aggressor.