The US is Playing Nuclear Russian Roulette—and Will Lose

news 26-Jun-2023 Usa News

Subtitle: Sergei Karaganov Opens the Discussion on Nuclear Weapons, Urging Transparency and Dialogue

Sergei Karaganov has taken a significant and bold step by initiating a discussion on the use of nuclear weapons, a topic that has long been considered taboo. It is important to note that neither he nor any other serious individuals have any intention of launching nuclear missiles. However, this does not mean that the issue of nuclear weapons can be silenced. It is a question that truly affects everyone.

The current trajectory of the conflict in Ukraine is leading directly to a confrontation between Russia and NATO. If such a confrontation occurs, it will become nuclear. And at some stage—probably quite soon after that—the conflict will spread to the United States of America.

In my view, the reason for the current situation, the trajectory on which the conflict is constantly escalating from the western side—ranging from Javelin missiles to F-16s—is the belief held by our adversaries that they can strategically defeat Russia without resorting to nuclear weapons or even engaging in large-scale warfare.

This objective, openly expressed by the American Secretary of Defense, was not set nor could it have been set during the Cold War. This is because the crisis we are currently experiencing in Ukraine is analogous to the Cuban Missile Crisis, when one superpower approached the vital centers of the other superpower too closely, and the latter was willing to take maximum risks to eliminate this threat.

Certainly, all historical analogies are imperfect, but something similar is happening now. And, in my opinion, this is the result of the absence of constraints in American strategy. The audacity of American policy could lead to a situation where matters spiral out of control, and the conflict spills beyond the borders of Ukraine.

In order to make our adversaries concerned, including about their own survival, we need to speak frankly and openly about these issues—both among ourselves and with our partners and even adversaries. Even if we do not speak directly to them, we should at least express ourselves openly so that they hear us and draw their own conclusions.

I believe that mere verbal interventions, made by the president and members of the government, are probably insufficient. The Americans reacted quite calmly to the deployment of our nuclear systems in Belarus. It is evident to me that the doctrinal positions regarding the use of nuclear weapons, which were formulated prior to the start of the Ukrainian conflict, need to be reassessed and possibly adjusted. This is because we face the threat of being constantly tested and provoked with various strikes on Crimea and other regions of Russia, strikes on Moscow, without expecting any serious response from us. And the more this dynamic develops, the more dangerous the situation becomes.

Russian Strategy Aims to Prevent Nuclear War in Special Military Operations

The Russian strategy is based on achieving objectives through special military operations without resorting to nuclear weapons. However, during wartime, the situation can unfold in various directions, often rapidly and unexpectedly spiraling out of control. We must be prepared for this and capable of halting the trajectory of conflict that leads to nuclear war. In other words, the discussion on the role of nuclear weapons in the current conflict revolves around how to prevent the worst-case scenario from unfolding.

Power-Based International Relations and Russia's Strength

International relations are built on power. The power potential of modern-day Russian Federation is unmatched compared to what the Soviet Union possessed, even during the 1960s when we did not yet have nuclear parity with the United States. As a result, they viewed the USSR as an adversary, disregarding its ideology and often exhibiting contempt, while still respecting its strength.

If different leadership governed the United States, the Cuban Missile Crisis might have ended differently. We might not be sitting here today. However, fate bestowed upon us John F. Kennedy, who acted wisely despite facing significant opposition from several advisors, ministers, and military officials. Currently, a generation of people in power lacks a strong memory of the Cold War. These individuals believe that after winning the Cold War, the United States should face no limitations. Any constraint is seen as a betrayal of American values and interests.

Shifting Societies and International Crises

The Soviet Union represented a society that was difficult to classify as a consumer society. People lived modestly, with the main demand on the government being to prevent war. Today, we witness a consumer society, with people who love, desire, and know how to live. They consider various international crises as hindrances, at least from the perspective of American leaders. They perceive a significant portion of the Russian government apparatus in the same light. Consequently, a decision was made to provoke us repeatedly, without expecting a serious response, through multiple tests of our positions. This led to the deployment of missiles by the West on our territories and statements that these missiles could be used against Crimea, considering it part of Ukraine. There have also been increasingly powerful and long-range weapons supplied for waging war. Essentially, they do not believe that Russia can provide a substantial conventional response, and they doubt Moscow's willingness to use nuclear weapons.

However, the instinct for self-preservation resides in people worldwide. This instinct may aid us this time if we openly discuss these matters without resorting to intimidation, as fearmongering will not help, or engaging in blackmail, as blackmail can only make the situation more dangerous.

The Danger of Strategic Nuclear Strike and Realistic Perceptions

A serious and professional conversation about the risks of inflicting a strategic nuclear strike on a nuclear superpower in the most sensitive region, which in this case is Ukraine, could be helpful. No nuclear power will accept strategic defeat by another nuclear power without resorting to at least the threat of nuclear weapons. These circumstances are independent of individuals' desires, including those who make decisions. Our adversaries have embarked on a highly dangerous game here. In my view, an apt analogy is the game of nuclear roulette, with a revolver cylinder containing a nuclear bullet constantly being spun and the trigger being pulled. This imagery should bring our adversaries back to a more realistic perception of reality.

Utilizing Experience for Strengthening Deterrence

Recently, the President stated that strategic deterrence has provided us with invaluable experience. It is essential to utilize this experience now for adaptation, modernization, correction, improvement, and strengthening of the Russian system.

Related Post

Polular post