NATO's notion of War With Russia Illustrates the Weakness of West

NATO's notion of War With Russia Illustrates the Weakness of West

0 0
Read Time:9 Minute, 52 Second

Many countries of central and northern Europe are not threatened by a direct Russian invasion, but they could be threatened by Russian missile strikes if they take part in the defense of the front-line NATO states. And this creates a dilemma for the alliance – it is likely that many members will not be willing to take such a risk. In addition, public pressure can create unpredictable effects within NATO countries. For example, during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Italy quickly refused to participate in this operation, although there was nothing militarily threatening this country.

Russia and NATO Image © The Radical Outlook

By Leonid Savin

©RO and Geopolitica.ru

RAND continues to conduct and publish research on the containment of Russia. One of the most recent such reports was a 30-page text titled “Compete with Russia in a Military Style. Consequences of Conventional and Nuclear Conflicts.” Judging by the approach, the United States is quite seriously considering the possibility of a full-scale war with Russia, while this is not a conflict between the two countries, but a confrontation between NATO and Russia.

The authors refer to previously published reports by the RAND Corporation on identifying the strengths, weaknesses, and risks of the United States, NATO, and Russia in a large-scale war. On their basis, they come to summarize that although Russia has a number of key advantages in the early stages of the war that could pose serious problems for NATO’s response, its current structure, and deployment of ground forces does not provide a clear defeat for NATO in a protracted conflict. In addition, nuclear escalation is not ruled out. The authors believe that NATO has the potential to strengthen deterrence and form in Russia an idea of ​​NATO’s ability to respond militarily in anticipation of a possible crisis scenario.

The old song begins about Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014, while providing statistics on the number of military personnel of the Russian Federation, the possibility of mobile transport of troops to the conflict zone, as well as the advantage of Russian artillery systems over NATO counterparts. Finally, the authors write that “Russia, unlike the adversaries typically faced by the United States, has the ability to launch large-scale strikes both in the war zone and behind enemy lines, often from deep within its territory.

Taking into account the fact that the study was prepared earlier, it can be assumed that the recent provocation of the British destroyer Defender, as well as the monthly Sea Breeze exercises in Ukraine with the participation of NATO troops, is both an attempt to form the aforementioned idea, as well as a kind of signal. Since Russia has responded quite harshly to these “probing” (to which one can add NATO aircraft approaching the Russian borders), it can be assumed that NATO has no illusions about Russia’s readiness to use military force.

With regard to military-strategic calculations, the authors write that there are certain difficulties regarding NATO’s ability to break through the Russian air defense network at an affordable cost due to the density of long-range strategic surface-to-air missiles in Kaliningrad and the Western Military District of Russia, as well as NATO lacks the necessary ammunition for ground-based systems to effectively suppress Russian air defenses.

In addition, Russia’s electronic warfare, cyberspace, and space-based capabilities will pose a threat to critical command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities, without which some of NATO’s key combat functions will be weakened. Russia can also use vulnerabilities in NATO’s infrastructure to try to undermine NATO’s ability to conduct counter-offensive operations. Finally, the geographic landscape is beneficial to Russia, because the country can use short lines of communication that will facilitate the rapid movement of personnel, weapons, and equipment under cover of air defense and long-range firepower to slow down the flow of NATO forces that move over much more long routes.

Despite the extremely negative development of the situation, the authors still believe that limited nuclear strikes against NATO from Russia are quite possible. And not because of the “capability gap” in low-yield nuclear weapons (since Russia has the world’s largest arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons), but rather because of the “gap in vulnerability” for likely targets for limited nuclear retaliation against Russia.

These findings, accordingly, have a number of implications for NATO strategy and plans. While Russia’s outer line of air and coastal defense is relatively dense, it is not impregnable. American experts suggest that Russia will rely on these assets the most, but since they are subject to risk, the estimated costs may be increased. One way or another, strengthening these components together with electronic warfare and strengthening air bases will be one of the options for reducing NATO’s ability to establish air superiority. As a result, NATO must be prepared for the fact that air superiority will be impossible, and that it will have to fight the Russians without it.

At the same time, the authors express confidence that at present there are no signs that Russia is seeking a major conventional conflict with the United States or other NATO members. As they write, “Russia’s overall military strategy is focused on the defense of the homeland and the ability to coerce or occupy states on its periphery” True, a clause is immediately made that“Such a position could quickly move to an offensive position if Russian leaders deem it necessary. While Russia has limited global power projecting capabilities, it can quickly deploy decisive force on its borders, especially from its Western and southern military districts. As NATO members.” “The Baltic states, in particular, occupy a geographic space where Russia’s conventional military advantage could seriously undermine US security commitments. This scenario deserves careful scrutiny as it represents the most stressful case for a routine NATO-Russia confrontation.”

Then the old song begins about Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014, while providing statistics on the number of military personnel of the Russian Federation, the possibility of mobile transport of troops to the conflict zone, as well as the advantage of Russian artillery systems over NATO counterparts. Finally, the authors write that “Russia, unlike the adversaries typically faced by the United States, has the ability to launch large-scale strikes both in the war zone and behind enemy lines, often from deep within its territory. However, Russia’s long-range surface-to-air” are capable of easily hitting German air and seaports, warehouses, and assembly/deployment points. In general, many countries of central and northern Europe are not threatened by a direct Russian invasion, but they could be threatened by Russian missile strikes if they take part in the defense of the front-line NATO states. And this creates a dilemma for the alliance – it is likely that many members will not be willing to take such a risk. 

if Russia uses nuclear weapons, then NATO’s ability to wage conventional war against Russia will be significantly reduced after such attacks, which will radically improve the balance of power for Moscow and allow it to secure a military victory over NATO that would otherwise be unattainable. 

In addition, public pressure can create unpredictable effects within NATO countries. For example, during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Italy quickly refused to participate in this operation, although there was nothing militarily threatening this country. Regarding the scenario of a nuclear war, the RAND experts speak rather evasively and refer to the classic works of Herman Kahn and Thomas Schelling on conflicts. public pressure can create unpredictable effects within NATO countries. For example, during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Italy quickly refused to participate in this operation, although there was nothing militarily threatening this country. Regarding the scenario of a nuclear war, the RAND experts speak rather evasively and refer to the classic works of Herman Kahn and Thomas Schelling on conflicts. public pressure can create unpredictable effects within NATO countries. For example, during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Italy quickly refused to participate in this operation, although there was nothing militarily threatening this country. Regarding the scenario of a nuclear war, the RAND experts speak rather evasively and refer to the classic works of Herman Kahn and Thomas Schelling on conflicts.

But these are all speculative scenarios, and the reality is always different. Despite the extremely negative development of the situation, the authors still believe that limited nuclear strikes against NATO from Russia are quite possible. And not because of the “capability gap” in low-yield nuclear weapons (since Russia has the world’s largest arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons), but rather because of the “gap in vulnerability” for likely targets for limited nuclear retaliation against Russia. If NATO countries are vulnerable to Russian nuclear attacks on key military and infrastructure facilities, then almost all significant Russian military assets are located on the territory of the Russian Federation, and, rhetoric aside, a NATO attack on Russian territory could lead to a much greater escalation than a Russian attack on targets in a non-nuclear NATO state such as Germany or Italy.

A limited nuclear strike on Russian territory, regardless of the results, could also trigger retaliatory actions against targets in the continental United States. Therefore, expanding NATO’s arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons is not a solution to this problem.

NATO should take steps to reduce vulnerability to attacks on critical NATO assets. These can include strengthening, dispersal, redundancy, and active defense systems. NATO should also, where practicable, try to reduce its dependence on unique, high-value targets that can be targeted by Russian precision-guided strike weapons. 

At the same time, the new supersonic missiles of the “Dagger” type, which Russia has, will be an effective tool to disable NATO airbases located in the non-nuclear powers of the alliance. And if Russia uses nuclear weapons, then NATO’s ability to wage conventional war against Russia will be significantly reduced after such attacks, which will radically improve the balance of power for Moscow and allow it to secure a military victory over NATO that would otherwise be unattainable. In other words, the nuclear scenario of a war with Russia is also not suitable for NATO. Given this unfavorable perspective, the authors suggest a number of possible solutions.

First, to strengthen the means to suppress the outer western border of Russia, where air and coastal defense systems are located, which will increase NATO’s ability to quickly establish air superiority in the event of a crisis. At the same time, the United States and NATO must be prepared for contingencies in which they will have to fight directly with Russian forces, without air superiority. And the acquisition of additional medium and short-range air defenses could strengthen NATO’s ability to conduct operations within the Russian zone of suppression and denial of access. Second, NATO should seek to shorten deployment times by increasing logistics capabilities so that troops can conduct a more reliable deterrence using conventional means.

Third, strengthening the C4ISR infrastructure against EW assets would reduce the impact of Russian capabilities and ensure NATO’s information superiority throughout the conflict. Fourth, NATO should take steps to reduce vulnerability to attacks on critical NATO assets. These can include strengthening, dispersal, redundancy, and active defense systems. NATO should also, where practicable, try to reduce its dependence on unique, high-value targets that can be targeted by Russian precision-guided strike weapons. The authors also believe that NATO’s overall military and economic superiority and Russia’s lack of reserves make Russia relatively vulnerable to a protracted conflict. However, this assumption is most likely not true. And for any NATO activity.


Author

Leonid Savin is a Russian geopolitical Expert and the deputy head chief of the International Eurasia Movement


Republishing is allowed with a copyright credit to © The Radical Outlook

About Post Author

The Radical Outlook

The Radical Outlook is an online news web Portal designed for in-depth news analysis from the Eurasian region and beyond. It is Founded by a geopolitical analyst Shahzada Rahim.
Happy
Happy
100 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter below and never miss the latest product or an exclusive offer.

Covid-19 Update 😷Stay Home Stay Safe!

Because of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, our in-person services are closed until further notice. You can subscribe to our newsletter below to get regular updates on our availability.

Optimized with PageSpeed Ninja