Because of the policy of tolerance, the Western world is not ready for war and sacrifice, and participation in hostilities is economically unprofitable
The previous articles dealt with the armed forces of the Russian Federation and its neighbors. Now about the armies of countries that do not border with Russia, but to one degree or another affect our security. In particular, for NATO countries, except for the previously described United States, Canada, Norway, Finland, the Baltic countries and Poland. But first about the North Atlantic alliance as a whole.
In matters of geopolitics and external threats, the Kremlin’s official position and public opinion almost do not diverge. At the same time, there are a number of frank double, if not triple standards.
The massive build-up of the combat power of the Chinese army is either silenced or otherwise distorted in the direction of understatement and is not seen as a threat to Russia.
The perennial cuts in the Russian armed forces are interpreted as a collapse, a catastrophe, and national treachery. The long-term and slightly smaller reductions in the armed forces of NATO countries are either, again, silenced, or interpreted as optimization, which only increases the military power of the alliance, which is aimed at preparing for aggression against Russia.
As it is easy to see, there’s nothing to do with anything. Arms buildup has always meant preparation for war, and their reduction is just the opposite. Writing off a large number of old equipment does not greatly undermine the military potential, but this applies equally to all (China, Russia, NATO). At the same time, if the old equipment leaves without any replacement at all, then, of course, this leads to a decrease in the military potential. An old tank (aircraft, ship) has limited potential, but those that are absent generally have zero potential.
In NATO countries over the past two decades, replacing old tanks 1 new vehicles went to new ones at a ratio of about 15:15, that is, for each tank received from industry, 1 vehicles irrevocably left. Moreover, not all of them were old. In artillery systems, the ratio is approximately 20:1, for combat aircraft 4: 1. The fact that one new aircraft can replace four old ones is primitive fairy tales, and even more so about tanks in a ratio of 15:XNUMX. Moreover, these values are averaged over NATO as a whole, after the end of the Cold War, some countries did not receive a single tank and combat aircraft at all, only equipment for counter-guerrilla wars was acquired: armored personnel carriers and transport helicopters.
A sharp reduction in combat vehicles in the same proportion reduces the amount of ammunition that they can use.
The current NATO, consisting of 28 countries, today has much less military equipment of all classes without exception than 20 years ago, when the Alliance had 16 states. Most European countries have already passed the "point of no return", when they alone are unable to wage any war at all. In the future, while maintaining current trends, and nothing indicates the possibility of their breakthrough, Europe will pass the next “point of no return”, having lost the ability to fight already and collectively. At the same time, the principle of collective responsibility in NATO imperceptibly changed the principle of collective irresponsibility - no one wants to protect anyone, everyone shifts the responsibility to each other and ultimately, of course, to the United States.
Back in Russia, the myth of the “NATO bases” surrounding our country for the preparation of aggression is popular.
But there is no clear description of the “base”. If this is an object that is permanently operated by several NATO countries, then they exist only in Afghanistan and will cease to exist this year. There are also objects that individual NATO countries have on the territory of other countries. Britain and France have several bases on the territory of their former colonies in Africa and Asia. The contingent of British troops in Germany will be fully withdrawn to its territory next year. The United States maintains several bases in Germany, Britain and Italy, while the grouping of their troops in Europe as a whole has decreased by an order of magnitude over the past two decades.
As for the new members of the Alliance, no “NATO bases” on their territory have ever appeared, unless they declare as such the facilities of the armed forces of these countries themselves. In particular, there are no bases in the Baltic countries, although they have been members of NATO for ten years and very actively urge the “senior comrades” to host these facilities.
Residents of Poduyevo greet NATO soldiers, 18 June 1999 of the year. Photo: Jeremy Selwyn / AP
What prevented NATO from deploying bases in Ukraine during the five years of Yushchenko’s presidency and, moreover, in Georgia during the ten years of Saakashvili’s presidency, who really wanted to? But the Alliance did not even have any plans to deploy "NATO bases" in these countries.
Many Russians, including among the country's leadership, are sincerely convinced that there is iron military discipline in NATO and that everyone obeyed orders from Washington unquestioningly. This was not quite the case even at the end of the Cold War; today, this view has nothing to do with reality. The NATO discipline was falling apart before our eyes, which was very clearly demonstrated during the wars waged by the Alliance.
Before the aggression against Serbia in 1999, 19 at the time of the NATO countries against the war was one Greece. She was mollified for almost a month and finally bought by the fact that she herself could not fight. Otherwise, there would be no consensus, without which such principled decisions are not accepted at NATO.
In 2001, the year before the invasion of Afghanistan, consensus was, of course, immediately. But it must be recalled that after the events of September 11 it was worldwide. In particular, the invasion of Afghanistan in every way welcomed Moscow. Even Pyongyang found the meager words of support for America at that time.
Washington did not even try to design the 2003 Iraq War of the Year as the NATO war, initially knowing that this was impossible.
In the operation against Libya in 2011, although she obviously did not threaten any losses, exactly half of the members of the Alliance - 14 from 28 - refused to participate in any form. The fact that a country that does not want to fight has the full right not to do this is now taken for granted in NATO, if only it would not impose a veto on a common decision.
The apotheosis was the unsuccessful operation against Syria. 25 of 28 members of NATO refused to participate. To a large extent this is precisely why intervention did not take place.
In fact, repeated reductions in armaments, the principle of collective irresponsibility and the breakdown of discipline reflect the processes taking place in Western societies. Europe in this way is far ahead of the United States, which affects, in particular, the military sphere.
The famous American military theorist Edward Luttvak, at the end of 80, called the current psychological state of the West “post-heroic epoch”. Over the past period, the situation has been aggravated many times due to postmodernism and tolerance.
Such psychological attitudes preclude readiness for war. This was fully expressed in the total transition of the Western armies from the draft to the hired principle of recruitment under the slogan "the military profession is the same as everyone else." It is difficult to come up with a more brazen lie. The military profession is the only one that implies the obligation to die. And that is why it is categorically not the same as everyone else.
The current European values categorically do not imply the possibility of sacrificing life in order to protect even oneself, one’s family and one’s own country, and it’s simply out of the question to die to protect Ukrainians and Georgians.
It is logical that during the Iraqi and Afghan wars, as part of the European armies, only British Gurkhas and Italian Carabineers showed themselves more decently. Gurkha is from Asian Nepal, and the carabineers are accustomed to war on their own territory against the mafia.
In the event of war against Russia, even if for some unknown reason it does not use nuclear weapons, the victims will be gigantic. Apparently, the only rational cause of aggression could be the seizure of hydrocarbons. The version that the West (especially, of course, the United States) everywhere and always fighting for oil is extremely popular all over the world, including the Western countries themselves. But it seems that numerous adherents of this theory do not quite understand what they are talking about.
ISAF soldiers at a military base in Kabul. Photo: Musadeq Sadeq / AP
In the Yugoslav and Afghan wars, the underlying oil can not be found even with very high voltages. As for the Iraq war, the question arises: what is meant by the phrase "the United States seized Iraqi oil"? They rocked it for free from Iraqi bowels and took it overseas? Apparently, there is no need to specifically explain that this scenario has nothing to do with life. In fact, all Iraqi oil all the time belonged to and belongs to the Iraqi state, which sells it. Of course, the United States bought and bought oil in Iraq for money, without any discounts, including during the period when they occupied the country. At the same time, the United States spent about a trillion dollars on the Iraq war. Even with the price of $ 100 per barrel, this money could have bought over a billion tons of Iraqi oil. Taking into account the cost of the war, the price of Iraqi oil for Americans was at least seven times higher than the market.
Since 1996, the regime of Hussein, despite the sanctions, was allowed to sell oil. During the period 1996 – 2002, 150 million tons of oil was imported to the USA. That is, it would be more advantageous for the Americans not to touch Hussein than to capture and hold Iraq. If you go back to the only option in which the phrase “war for oil” makes sense - the export of resources from Iraq to the US is free, then in this case there would be a complete economic collapse of Iraq, almost the entire budget of which is formed from the export of natural resources. In this case, the US spending on the war would have increased even more, since then the resistance to the occupation would not be almost exclusively Sunni, but universal.
The situation is similar with Libya. At least 85% of oil produced in Libya before the start of the war was exported. 77% of Libyan oil exports accounted for Europe and 6% for the USA. Moreover, oil was extracted mainly by Western companies. Accordingly, the "seizure of oil" did not make the slightest sense for the West, it went to the West anyway. But now, after the intervention of 2011 of the year, due to the internal chaos, oil exports from Libya have declined several times, but NATO is not making the slightest attempt to seize it.
It is clear that, as applied to Russia, the seizure and retention of oil and gas fields and the ways of their transportation would cost such an astronomical sum that it will never be able to "repel" it. And the West does not need territories for living, the population of almost all NATO countries is declining, and if it is growing, it is solely due to migrants from Asia and Africa.
The expectation of military aggression by NATO is either paranoia, or incompetence, or propaganda. And after the Crimea, it should be clear finally. As one of the Polish newspapers wrote, “Thanks to Putin for another reminder to us that the current NATO is not even a paper tiger, but a soap bubble.”
Only two questions arise. Will we continue to bully ourselves with a soap bubble? And some countries of the former USSR will continue to hope that the bubble will ever protect them from anything? Surprisingly, the answers to both questions are likely to be positive. And most of all, it will be precisely those two countries that will tear themselves into NATO, of which the Alliance has been "thrown to the fullest extent": Georgia and Ukraine. And we will have to wait for “NATO bases near Kharkov” and count “American aircraft carriers in the Black Sea”. NATO is no longer a Western military organization, but our mental diagnosis of the entire former USSR.
At the same time, however, we must understand that NATO will never be our ally. Firstly, it is useless in this role precisely for the reason that it is senseless to consider it as an adversary — NATO is not going to fight. Secondly, it is impossible not to see that the West does not like us very much. Immediate neighbors (the Baltic countries, Poland, and to a lesser extent Norway) are seriously afraid, seeing in Russia a potential aggressor. The rest of the aggression is not expected, but they do not like us for ideological reasons. For the fact that Russia does not fit into the current Western ideological and political concepts, moreover, it begins to openly confront them.