Military Review

"Reflections on the impossible"

22
Sometime in the distant 60s of the last century, a frank and courageous book by the famous American scientist Hermann Kahn “Reflections on the Impossible” was published, adding to the sensational cycle of publications “On Nuclear War” and “2000 Year”, which were inaccessible to wide sections of Soviet readers (even the release in 1966 of the book “On Escalation” in Voenizdat ”with a minimum circulation was accompanied by a“ no sale ”note, and this edition itself was not honored to be included in the consolidated catalog of the Lenin Library in Moscow in order not to awaken societies nny interest).


After half a century, the works of this legendary American futurologist and military strategist seem not only not outdated, but surprisingly topical and modern due to the difficult Russian-American relations. Even if a nuclear war is impossible due to destructiveness and serious consequences, Kahn was not afraid to reflect on this topic, calmly and cynically counting the losses under various scenarios of hostilities.

He frankly wrote: “Most of us simply do not believe in war, at least in a deliberately initiated nuclear war, and many people do not bother with worries about accidents and miscalculations - but absolute confidence in restraint is an example of lightheadedness and carelessness.”

Thus, the discussion about the reality of nuclear war ceased to be the prerogative of a narrow circle of experts — broad sections of American society and, a little later, other countries joined it.

Some then and now the role of Kan's research is seen in taming the public towards the inevitability of war, thereby dulling the feelings of self-preservation and vigilance. However, the role of Hermann Kahn is not so clear and primitive for me. This is a complex personality and our worthy opponent.

STAGES AND STAGES OF MILITARY CONFRONTATION


Expanding the types of intimidation, political, strategic, moral-psychological and mobilization aspects of the war, the civil defense organization Kan singled out the 17 stages in the development of military-political conflicts, proving at what stages tactical and then strategic nuclear forces can be applied first. weapon.

To determine the intensity and scope of military-political crises, he introduced the concept of “escalation level”: the 44 steps in the scheme given by the author (in order of exacerbating the crisis, taking into account its military-political dynamics) are divided into seven groups corresponding to the phases of exacerbating crises.

According to the degree of increase in the intensity of the military-political conflict, we are talking, firstly, about “pre-crisis maneuvering”; secondly, the “traditional or standard crisis”; thirdly, “about an acute crisis”; fourthly, “about an unusual”, or rather “non-standard crisis”; Fifth, about the “diplomacy of nuclear pressure”; sixthly, about the “universal war” with strikes only on military targets; Seventh, about an “all-inclusive war” with strikes against civilian targets.

Hermann Kahn put a special meaning into the meaningful content of the notion of “acute crisis” in order to visualize the military-political situation and the state of public opinion, in which the number of people who are convinced that nuclear war is possible increases.

Commenting, we note: determining how many people should come to a similar conclusion, what their social composition and degree of concern should be, so that the crisis is seen as acute, is a complex sociological task.

However, the practical side of the issue, according to Kahn, is easier than the theoretical one. Much here will depend on the specific development of events.

If the majority of people in everyday life perceive the fact of nuclear weapons and the possibility of their use in a very abstract and even calm way, then in the face of aggravated international tensions, indifference disappears.

Specific figures about the stockpiles of nuclear ammunition and delivery vehicles suddenly turn into a real threat. Such a change in attitudes does not occur suddenly and does not simultaneously encompass the entire population, but a significant part of the political class can gradually come to the reality of nuclear war.

Summarizing, we note, firstly, Kahn's pragmatism, and not only militancy; secondly, the desire to rely on a wide range of scientific methods in assessing the state and prospects of the military-political situation in the world; thirdly, proof of the need for broad functions of the Ministry of Defense, including a significant block of mobilization tasks; fourth, increased attention to strategic military theoretical issues - macrosociological and geopolitical.

Imposing the conceptual scheme of H. Kahn on the situation of confrontation between the United States and Russia, we recognize that the main conclusion is confirmed by and large: the duration of the military confrontation, representing not just a one-time event (say, nuclear attack), but a process (process) of gradual in the military-political conflict, the deployment on a long-term basis of hostilities. The facts of the day confirm the procedural characterization of the military-political confrontation, but descriptions in the categories of “classic warfare” are a thing of the past, since not only hostilities, but informational and psychological warfare to “soften” the consciousness of a potential enemy, are of paramount importance.

THE ROLE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

"Reflections on the impossible"

A limited-scale nuclear war to many Western experts does not seem to be the very embodiment of evil. 1954 Photo of the Year

Thanks to Kahn’s publications, two legitimate phenomena are visible. On the one hand, a high degree of activity by the US Department of Defense, which purposefully cooperates on a multifaceted subject matter, not only with government agencies and businesses, but also actively works with the non-profit non-governmental sector, including independent institutions that develop and update military-political concepts and programs as important semantic guidelines for civil society and government bodies.

On the other hand, such an important integral part of the US military power (along with military means) is the fundamental military and political developments based on macrosociological and geopolitical analysis, which is based on the sociology of conflict and the sociology of the state. Everything together expands the ability to solve a wide range of not only military, but conceptual, ideological, organizational and practical tasks, which is important for any sovereign state, including our country.

Hence the need to reread the works of Hermann Kahn:

- in order to better understand the American opponents in Russia, which turn out to be geopolitical opponents and competitors for us;

- to clearly remember the balance of the powers of the great powers as a subject of persistent and scrupulous monitoring by thousands of highly qualified American specialists who carefully compare each important and especially new parameter of the Russian military and intellectual power in the process of content analysis of huge data arrays;

- to identify a specific deficit in domestic science of deep and convincing research and publications on this subject based on macrosociological and geopolitical analysis using the latest scientific methods, including quantitative and qualitative research in the newest paradigm, called overseas AR (action research).

GOVERNING REQUIREMENTS


The works of Hermann Kahn are still of genuine interest in various countries, especially when the necessary requirements for the command and control system during the crisis are formulated.

In addition to the standard work of data collection and distribution of information to specific recipients (along with other organizational, technical and accounting work), Kahn emphasized the importance of refined assessment criteria for preliminary decisions, prevention and response within a single concept, direct coordination of actions, and also facilitating the organization of special conferences and consultative meetings.

The studies and published works carried out by Kahn have led to the adoption of tough policy decisions by the President of the United States. This refers to the active and consistent implementation of the command-administrative resource, including surveys of US enterprises by the US Department of Defense with the goal of concluding further contracts for the production of military products of the required quantity and quality and obtaining organizational and personal services by the Pentagon. Incidentally, the quartermaster service of the US Army in 1963, as reported in the closed Soviet sources of the time, agreements were concluded with 5 of thousands of firms and companies.

This is quite important, along with the determination and calculation of the duration of the mobilization period, during which the industry will be switched to military production to provide armed forces with weapons and equipment.

Another major area of ​​activity of the American authorities in those distant 60s is the organization of mobilization planning in order to identify existing production facilities, reduce new construction, evenly distribute the load of enterprises in case of war, and eliminate excessive competition.

These measures were supplemented in the United States by persistent and diverse activities (under the general guidance of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Supply) for standardization of weapons and equipment, for reducing the heterogeneity of small internal combustion engines in the 0,5 – 20 power range of horsepower used for military purposes. As a result, the number of parts required for the assembly and repair of such engines was reduced from 23 thousand to 800 names, which was especially noted in the special information and analytical note “Major measures to improve the mobilization readiness of the economy and rear of the US armed forces” USSR in 1964 year for the leaders of the CPSU and the government.

Under the influence of Kahn’s research and publications on nuclear war, escalation and others, the development of a five-year bomb shelter program, a four-year program to increase civil defense radiation monitoring network (with the creation and equipment of 150 thousand monitoring and measurement posts) was put on the US agenda. the end of 1963 of the year).

In the context of civil defense and increasing the mobilization potential of the United States in the first half of the 60-s, a series of measures to increase labor productivity in government institutions were developed based on the survey results, including the use of timekeeping, improved personnel management, and the effective use of automatic equipment and electronic computing equipment.

Thus, the conclusions and calculations of Herman Kahn led to the strengthening of the mobilization potential of the United States, the experience of which should be seriously studied today in our country.

Kahn combined in himself as an analyst, strategist, geopolitics, sociologist, and even a philosopher. He is a patriot of his country, ready to defend the national interests of the United States in various ways, and this is also instructive.

The significance of the research and publications of Hermann Kahn, perhaps, is that, on the one hand, a system of criteria was developed and tested for assessing the level of military-political confrontation between the two great powers - the USSR and the USA, and on the other hand - in the acute and convincingly raised the question of the price of inevitable losses, even minimal ones: with the development of events favorable for the USA - from 20 to 50 million Americans for destroying a significant part of the USSR, rejecting it from 60 in 40 or even 20 years of the twentieth century.

Canov's estimates and projections in the context of the current price of a possible victory over Russia remain the subject of sharp controversy both in Europe and in the USA itself. The role of publications in this context of Hermann Kahn is great, since it is a question of scientific work with shocking conclusions for practitioners.

The writings of this American expert have to be remembered, since the underestimation of a nuclear and even conventional war is fraught, as has been said, not only with bitter insight, but with terrible retribution for carelessness and frivolity.
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http://nvo.ng.ru/concepts/2015-10-09/1_thoughts.html
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  1. RU-Officer
    RU-Officer 11 October 2015 06: 14 New
    +4
    Very informative publication. yes
    The question naturally arises: how long will the genius of mankind be directed in a destructive direction? fool Why offer suicidal individuals belay with zero experience (laying on the hands of a loved one wink ) типа: "Смотри ка, болезный, сколько способов есть для решения твоей...проблемы!" Не лучше ли было этому Герману Кану направить свой талант в конструктивную сторону, показать нам (неразумным wassat ) выходы из всех кризисных ситуаций? Если он такой офигенный философ и прочая, то и доказал бы возможность "бытия, определяемого сознанием", а не наоборот... tongue Although - what to take from him? Paid - wrote. Capitalism, his mother ... hi
    1. 17085
      17085 11 October 2015 07: 53 New
      +9
      Whom were they condemning without reading? so it does not matter...

      Кан - один из последних аналитиков СГА. И он показывает способы решения кризисных ситуаций, переходов из одного состояния в другое, при каких условиях. Я сам правда читал только брошюру о его книге, довольно сжато там все было... Но достаточно конструктивно...И совсем не важно, что он писал по заказу, именно его оценки легли в основу политики СГА в после сталинскую эпоху. Политбюро бы вовремя понять, что будет скорее "информационно-психологическая война по «размягчению» сознания потенциального противника", глядишь и не прос... СССР.
      1. gridasov
        gridasov 11 October 2015 11: 42 New
        +6
        Это только в "ламинарных" процессах можно прогнозировать . Высокодинамичные , высокопотенциальные про своему противостоянию процессы меняют и уровни скоротечности изменения событий. Поэтому все кто прогнозируют нечто это банальные дилетанты. Можно моделировать ситуации только по уровню их оперативного анализа и чем он более емки , тем более приближены к нашему настоящему. Поэтому все прежние методы анализа становятся бесполезными на уровне планирования и моделирования геополитических трансформаций взаимоотношений между различными общественными формациями. Нужны новые фундаментальные математические методы. И мы говорим о них как необходимости . Это методы основанные на функции числа выраженном его постоянным значением. Анализ построенный на двоичной логике по сути и не может быть анализом как таковым.
        1. cherkas.oe
          cherkas.oe 11 October 2015 17: 46 New
          -2
          Bullshit, even if you correctly place the commas in this text.
          1. gridasov
            gridasov 11 October 2015 17: 50 New
            +4
            So you want to say that this is a meaningless set of words? Then it’s business. I allow you to consider me a fool.
      2. WKS
        WKS 11 October 2015 12: 07 New
        +3
        Quote: 17085
        Политбюро бы вовремя понять, что будет скорее "информационно-психологическая война по «размягчению» сознания потенциального противника", глядишь и не прос... СССР.

        There were no such thinkers in the Politburo. There were analysts in the structures of the subordinates of the Politburo and possibly reported upstairs, but there (in the Politburo) most likely they did not understand.
    2. Rus2012
      Rus2012 11 October 2015 10: 06 New
      -2
      Quote: RU-Officer
      The question naturally arises: how long will the genius of mankind be directed in a destructive direction?

      Attempt to Answer -
      "The king is dead, long live the king." The hegemon is tired, he leaves his post to reboot and rehabilitation after years of hard work. In its place, the world will not put forward a single force. She will be divided. Russia will become the controller of peace in the power field, based on fundamentally different control principlesthan before this USA. And in the global economy, the role of the “main” will be played by China.

      At the same time, the management of world finance will most likely remain with the Rothschild clan. They will ensure the representation of the future system of the interests of the Anglo-Saxon clans. With finances, this state of affairs will continue for some time. For a longer period, the option of collective control over the monetary sphere, as well as the basis of the monetary value on gold, are more likely.

      And the United States will have to come to terms with all this. And apparently resigned, having received certain guarantees from Russia, China and the Rothschilds.

      http://oko-planet.su/politik/politiklist/295798-korol-umer-da-zdravstvuet-korol.
      html
  2. EvgNik
    EvgNik 11 October 2015 06: 20 New
    +5
    ""от 20 до 50 млн американцев за то, чтобы уничтожить значительную часть СССР""
    Since then, much has changed. And these numbers will no longer be minimal. Rather, there will be a global destruction of humanity, and this must be taken into account.
    1. Egoza
      Egoza 11 October 2015 06: 29 New
      10
      Quote: EvgNik
      ""от 20 до 50 млн американцев за то, чтобы уничтожить значительную часть СССР""

      Угу! А если б они знали, сколько людей хотят уничтожить США....И пусть потом не вопят:"А нас за что?"
      1. sl22277
        sl22277 11 October 2015 08: 06 New
        +6
        A plus. I’ll also put in my 5 kopecks. There is no period in history where the two countries hated each other as much as they do today. Even during the Cold War, there was no such tension as it is today. 82 percent of Russia's population does not even mask their aversion to the American way of life and US politics. Recent US sanctions against Russia only increase this hatred .... This is only for Russia, I think in every country there are enough sober-minded people who do not want to betray their country to please Washington.
        1. Gardamir
          Gardamir 11 October 2015 11: 31 New
          -2
          . 82 percent of Russia's population does not even mask their aversion to the American way of life and US politics.
          Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Chevrolet, Google, VISA, Santa Claus ...
          1. dali
            dali 11 October 2015 23: 50 New
            +1
            Quote: Gardamir
            Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Chevrolet, Google, VISA, Santa Claus ...


            For more than 20 years I haven’t been using Coca-Cola, I don’t go to McDonald’s (although I was once, at the very beginning), and about Santa Claus laughing - I wonder who in Russia to their children this undernourishment Frost invites ?! laughing

            Ну а шевроле, гугл, Visa - так у положительного опыта надо учиться(шевроле, Виза). А гугл ... так чего там хорошего, в последнее время они всё более превращаются в манипуляторов информацией(даже поиск в найденном отключили, а казалось бы за чем, ведь простой и эффективный инструмент поиска "поиск в найденном" был ...)
    2. Vladimir Petrov
      Vladimir Petrov 11 October 2015 21: 36 New
      0
      Many Russians also do not mind wiping the United States. Personally, I would be happy to blow up the caldera of the Yellowstone Super Volcano so that the awakened giant would forever destroy the entire nation of parasites parasitic on humanity ... How many are there, 350 million?
  3. Alexander Romanov
    Alexander Romanov 11 October 2015 06: 26 New
    +5
    He frankly wrote: “Most of us simply do not believe in war, at least in a deliberately initiated nuclear war, and many people do not bother with worries about accidents and miscalculations - but absolute confidence in restraint is an example of lightheadedness and carelessness.”
    Oleg professor, did it seem to me or is it about you?
    Commenting, we note: determining how many people should come to a similar conclusion, what their social composition and degree of concern should be, so that the crisis is seen as acute, is a complex sociological task.
    Done .... excellent
    If the majority of people in everyday life perceive the fact of nuclear weapons and the possibility of their use in a very abstract and even calm way, then in the face of aggravated international tensions, indifference disappears.
    He made a mistake, we all live, live one day.
    with the development of events favorable for the USA, from 20 to 50 million Americans for destroying a significant part of the USSR, dropping it from the 60s to the 40s or even the 20s of the XNUMXth century.
    I recall New Orleans, there was no nuclear warrior, just a hurricane and complete chaos. Zadornov is right.
    1. Mikhail Krapivin
      Mikhail Krapivin 11 October 2015 08: 59 New
      +1
      One unfortunate Ferguson shook the whole country for half a year. And if there are five? Or ten? And there, work will be carried out to unite the dissatisfied against the government, training and armaments? Should Mexico begin anti-American policy under our strict guidance? There are many if, quite achievable and capable of complicating the life of the star-stripped for the most can not ...
  4. PlotnikoffDD
    PlotnikoffDD 11 October 2015 06: 29 New
    +5
    Are naive citizens suggesting that you can drop a few atomic bombs and then express concern and sculpt other excuses? Will not work!!!! In response, everything that is there will fly, and it will not seem enough!
  5. Neophyte
    Neophyte 11 October 2015 08: 40 New
    +4
    One eminent NATO man called for a humanitarian nuclear strike against Russia! A word is something humanitarian! The answer is by no means humanitarian!
  6. akudr48
    akudr48 11 October 2015 10: 00 New
    +4
    "Reflections on the impossible"

    This impossible became impossible only after the creation of the USSR of nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles.

    And before it was quite conceivable, possible, remember Hiroshima.

    Russia's only argument in intellectual conversations with the hegemon remains our thermonuclear power and the means of its guaranteed delivery to the interlocutor’s territory. And not democracy, human rights and the free market, as our fifth column insists on this.

    Only then do these thoughts become unthinkable for the USA.
  7. roskot
    roskot 11 October 2015 10: 37 New
    +1
    Quote: Neophyte
    One eminent NATO man called for a humanitarian nuclear strike against Russia! A word is something humanitarian! The answer is by no means humanitarian!


    As for the humanitarian nuclear strike.
  8. Alexart
    Alexart 11 October 2015 11: 48 New
    +4
    It is enough to recall Yellowstone to understand: in the post-war reality, the United States simply will not be.
    1. Meta-65
      Meta-65 11 October 2015 20: 29 New
      0
      very well! Watch and watch. Dreaming is not harmful.
  9. Indifferent
    Indifferent 11 October 2015 17: 48 New
    0
    It is not clear to whom the author’s article is addressed. If to us, then we are with two hands and we do not need to agitate. And if for the Americans, then you need to publish it in the local press, in English.
    1. gridasov
      gridasov 11 October 2015 17: 56 New
      +4
      If you know that there is a concept of information space, then the conclusion is simple. The article is part of the analysis, on the basis of which everyone will make a conclusion. And at the same time, your opinion is also part of this info. space.
  10. ssn18
    ssn18 11 October 2015 19: 54 New
    0
    Quote: sl22277
    82 percent of Russia's population does not even mask their disgust for the American way of life and US policy


    Excuse me generously, but where are these numbers coming from? If this is reality, I’m only glad, but not unreasonably vague doubts torment me.
  11. Vasisualiy
    Vasisualiy 11 October 2015 22: 39 New
    0
    Very relevant material. It will become even more relevant when in Europe the population is 90 percent composed of blacks and Arabs. This will happen in about 20 to 25 years. It’s amusing for me now to imagine how it will be on the street on September 17 in Berlin, after 5 years they will hold an international pederast parade with fagots and lesbians, this is next to the Turkish district of Wedding and a couple of meters from the Bundestag.
    But 20 years ago, walking around Wedding, I could not imagine that there would not be a single German in the normal area, that it would be dangerous to walk here in the evening.