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What War With Russia Would Look Like

Consortium News, January 10, 2022   Wendy Sherman thinks her aim in talks with Russian officials starting Monday is to lecture them on the cost of hubris. Instead she’s set to lead the U.S., NATO, and Europe down a path of ruin, warns Scott Ritter.By Scott Ritter


Special to Consortium News If ever a critical diplomatic negotiation was doomed to fail from the start, the discussions between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine and Russian security guarantees is it.

The two sides can’t even agree on an agenda.

From the Russian perspective, the situation is clear: “The Russian side came here [to Geneva] with a clear position that contains a number of elements that, to my mind, are understandable and have been so clearly formulated—including at a high level—that deviating from our approaches simply is not possible,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the press after a pre-meeting dinner on Sunday hosted by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who is leading the U.S. delegation.

Ryabkov was referring Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands to U.S. President Joe Biden in early December regarding Russian security guarantees, which were then laid out by Moscow in detail in the form of two draft treaties, one a Russian-U.S. security treaty, the other a security agreement between Russia and NATO.

The latter would bar Ukraine from joining NATO and rule out any eastward expansion by the trans-Atlantic military alliance. At the time, Ryabkov tersely noted that the U.S. should immediately begin to address the proposed drafts with an eye to finalizing something when the two sides meet. Now, with the meeting beginning on Monday, it doesn’t appear as if the U.S. has done any such thing……….

All the U.S. has been willing to do, it seems, is to remind Russia of so-called “serious consequences” should Russia invade Ukraine, something the U.S. and NATO fear is imminent, given the scope and scale of recent Russian military exercises in the region involving tens of thousands of troops. This threat was made by Biden to Putin on several occasions, including a phone call initiated by Putin last week to help frame the upcoming talks.

Yet on the eve of the Ryabkov-Sherman meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken simply reiterated these threats, declaring that Russia would face “massive consequences” if it invaded Ukraine………..

Lessons of history

It is as if both Biden and Blinken are deaf, dumb, and blind when it comes to reading Russia.

Ryabkov has alluded to a fact already made clear by the Russians—there will be no compromise when it comes to Russia’s legitimate national security interests. And if the U.S. cannot understand how the accumulation of military power encompassed in a military alliance which views Russia as a singular, existential threat to its members’ security is seen by Russia as threatening, then there is no comprehension of how the events of June 22, 1941 have shaped the present -day Russian psyche, why Russia will never again allow such a situation to occur, and why the talks are doomed before they even begin.

As for the American threats, Russia has given its response—any effort to sanction Russia would result, as Putin told Biden last month, in a “complete rupture of relations” between Russia and those countries attempting sanctions. One need not be a student of history to comprehend that the next logical step following a “complete rupture of relations” between two parties that are at loggerheads over matters pertaining to existential threats to the national security of one or both is not the peaceful resumption of relations, but war.

There is no mealy-mouthed posturing by Foggy Bottom peacocks taking place in Moscow, but rather a cold, hard, statement of fact—ignore Russia’s demands at you own peril. The U.S., it seems, believes that the worst-case scenario is one where Russia invades Ukraine, only to wilt under the sustained pressure of economic sanctions and military threats.

Russia’s worse-case scenario is one where it engages in armed conflict with NATO……………

The Shape of War  What would a conflict between Russia and NATO look like? In short, not like anything NATO has prepared for. ………………….

Given the overwhelming supremacy Russia has both in terms of the ability to project air power backed by precision missile attacks, a strategic air campaign against Ukraine would accomplish in days what the U.S. took more than a month to do against Iraq in 1991……….

While the U.S., NATO, the EU, and the G7 have all promised “unprecedented sanctions,” sanctions only matter if the other side cares. Russia, by rupturing relations with the West, no longer would care about sanctions. Moreover, it is a simple acknowledgement of reality that Russia can survive being blocked from SWIFT transactions longer than Europe can survive without Russian energy. Any rupturing of relations between Russia and the West will result in the complete embargoing of Russian gas and oil to European customers.

There is no European Plan B. Europe will suffer, and because Europe is composed of erstwhile democracies, politicians will pay the price. All those politicians who followed the U.S. blindly into a confrontation with Russia will now have to answer to their respective constituents why they committed economic suicide on behalf of a Nazi-worshipping, thoroughly corrupt nation (Ukraine) which has nothing in common with the rest of Europe. It will be a short conversation.

NATO’s Fix…………

Russia won’t wait until the U.S. has had time to accumulate sufficient military power, either. Russia will simply destroy the offending party through the combination of an air campaign designed to degrade the economic function of the targeted nation, and a ground campaign designed to annihilate the ability to wage war. Russia does not need to occupy the territory of NATO for any lengthy period—just enough to destroy whatever military power has been accumulated by NATO near its borders.

And—here’s the kicker—short of employing nuclear weapons, there’s nothing NATO can do to prevent this outcome. Militarily, NATO is but a shadow of its former self.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Sherman will face off against Ryabkov in Geneva, with the fate of Europe in her hands. The sad thing is, she doesn’t see it that way. Thanks to Biden, Blinken and the host of Russophobes who populate the U.S. national security state today, Sherman thinks she is there to simply communicate the consequences of diplomatic failure to Russia. To threaten. With mere words……..

One wonders if Sherman, Biden, Blinken, and the others have thought this through. Odds are, they have not, and the consequences for Europe will be dire.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.  https://consortiumnews.com/2022/01/10/what-war-with-russia-would-look-like/

January 10, 2022 - Posted by | EUROPE, weapons and war

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