Yesterdays blog post on Bookface was headed by a quote from the work, something a very good friend of mine (Hoz) bullied me into doing. The section I chose to quote from the post was this one from the end of the blog:
Forcing the US into either fighting against Russia (BAD!), or standing back and doing nothing while Russia grinds what is left of the Ukraine into the mud (also bad), who benefits from that? Either choice is terrible for the person making that choice and brings appalling risk of death and destruction.
As you can see I used bold and increased size to emphasise that I thought these two things were bad. Or would that be BAD !
Anyway I was asked a question by someone I know, his real name isn't Zug and he isn't a Troll despite his question, just annoying from time to time.
Zug Archa: Out of curiosity why are those two things marked as bad, bad?
All wars are bad, or should that be BAD, even the necessary ones.
"War is frightened young men crouching in the dirt, trying not to get killed, and uncaring politicians, sitting safely at home, happy to order them to their deaths."
Think that's cynical, even for me. Remember the flights into Brize Norton, where British military dead were flown home. Remember the men and women gathering along that main road to lower flags and throw flowers as those young men returned home for the last time.
Remember the government's response.
They moved the flights to somewhere more isolated to make it more difficult for people to continue honouring those frightened young men killed by their own government.
Also before anyone jumps in with comments about them being killed by terrorists and the like, Iraq, lies, Libya, lies, Syria, lies. Islamic State created by the US and Saudi's. Exactly how many British service men have died this century that weren't the result of one government or another's lies and political agenda?
Anyway, to the question. A war between the US/NATO and Russia will be fought on the ground in Europe and at sea and in the air all around Europe until such a time as the US decides to expand it outside of that area. I see it being the US since Russia has a far smaller overseas territory and a more limited military presence outside of the European continental area.
NATO cannot win a war with Russia in the East, Russia cannot win a war with NATO in the west, unless either side goes nuclear. However they can fight such a war with the devastation that such a war will bring. If the US doesn't directly attack Russia I can see the Russians agreeing not to directly attack the US (behind the scenes agreements sort of thing) BUT anything in Europe is fair game.
The thing with war, it's never a nice, tightly controlled sort of thing. It spreads, it gets out of control and flares up somewhere else or some bright spark in a nice safe office back home comes up with a plan to break the impasse.
The primary impasse in this case being logistics.
"Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics."
The border between NATO and Russia is the Baltic states, 900 odd miles from the big German bases and well over a 1,000 miles from French or British support. But given that it's the Russian border and that area is dotted with bases the Russian supplies are coming from a lot closer.
That's the thing about war, and modern war especially, it consumes prodigious amounts of fuel, ammo, equipment, weapons, and People. A war between Russia and the US / NATO isn't going to be like the one sided roll overs of the Gulf and Middle East. The west isn't going to have months to build up stores and troop numbers or if they do then Russia will have the time to do the same.
Russia has ground to air missiles with 300 and now 400 mile ranges, look at a map, that means from the Russian border they can cover almost all of the Baltic states, and what isn't covered from there can be covered from the Russian Enclave at Kaliningrad. Trying to fly supplies across Poland and the Baltic states is a bit like murdering those pilots in their big, slow, cargo aircraft.
Or by road, in the face of satellites, Drones and electronic surveillance combined with long range attacks such as missiles or special forces, that's upwards of a 1,000 mile long road you need to protect.
Of course there is supply by sea, sending in large, slow cargo ships. It's not as if the Russians have two very large naval bases in the area, or most of their attack submarines.
Fighting between NATO and Russia will begin to balance out as it hits Poland, unless someone goes nuclear before then. That being the point where both sides can actually supply their forces to a degree.
But by then a few million people will be dead or refugees and all of Eastern Europe will be in flames because, does anyone think for a moment that in a war between NATO and Russia, the Ukraine will be left neutral and ignored?
No, didn't think so.
To fight Russia in the Baltic states, the Ukraine, Moldova when it arrives, leaves NATO with long and vulnerable logistics lines that Russia will carve up quickly unless they are well defended, defending them creates a corridor of combat from Germany to the fighting in the East, which is why I can't see NATO or the US actually putting up more than a token fight in Eastern Europe. They would be expending vast amounts of men and material just to protect that 1,000 mile long supply route.
War in the east will become war in the centre, NATO will be trying to stop Russian supplies and air strikes coming from bases in Russia, the Russians will be doing the same but against Germany. People in nice safe rooms will be coming up with new ideas, bomb here, bomb there, disrupt this or that. Just hit the railways, the military bases, oh and the big rail junctions, or those civilian airports that are being used to move military cargo, or that road junction where all the army lorries are going past, the one in the middle of that town.
This will inevitably spread, generals may insist that they can contain the fighting to limited areas, every war in history says they are wrong. Bombs and missiles will hit the wrong targets (the high tech US drops bombs on weddings, why does anyone think the Russians will be any more accurate) and then the range of targets will spread and more and more people will die.
With US / NATO bombs falling inside Russia and Russian bombs falling inside Germany (and Britain and France and Italy and all over Poland) each side becomes less and less reluctant to bomb each other's civilian areas, to degrade the enemies ability to fight.
Modern warfare between technologically advanced nations is fast, days and weeks fast, anyone thinking the slow grinding attrition of the first and second world wars fought over many years hasn't been paying attention. Modern warfare is rapid attrition and day by day it will spread as those nice safe people in those nice safe offices come up with new ideas about hitting new targets.
As this continues to escalate the whole of Europe will become part of the war zone and to be blunt here, I happen to live in Europe, my family lives in Europe, many of my friends live in Europe.
Given my opinion on Geopolitics I feel that the US will, to misquote, Fight against Russian to the last European. Peace may break out when the war reaches the point where the US is at risk of direct attack but this will be long after Europe has been repeatedly bombed, or things will spread too fast, out of control, and then we will be playing ourselves in a post apocalypse survival game, a very real one.
A war between Russia and US / NATO cannot be won, it can only be lost to a lesser degree than the other side. Any war where there is an actually change of nukes being used cannot be won, ever. Anyone who says it can, who talks first strikes and acceptable losses, they are psychopathic and should never have been put into a position of power in the first place.
Trident after all has exactly zero battlefield effect, all it does is kill millions of people and turn entire cities into burnt ruins. Which is a good way of blocking those supply lines but doesn't otherwise directly affect the enemy army in the field. Mutually assured destruction fails the moment the first nuke is launched, after that everyone's entire nuclear arsenals become just more tools in the toolbox, something available for use.
A war between the US and Russia will be fought by NATO, in Europe and it will be NATO and Europe that pays the price until the war goes nuclear and at that point everyone pays the price.
There is no such thing as limiting or containing a war between major technologically advanced nations with global reach.
So as I said in the beginning:
Forcing the US into fighting against Russia (BAD!),
I haven't covered why standing back and letting Russia grind up the Ukraine is a bad thing, apart from a few million dead people, and a few million more homeless penniless refugees.
Or the destruction.
Or the NATO units in western Ukraine, or the possibility of a missile or airstrike getting lost and going over the borders into NATO since the Ukraine is all but surrounded by NATO nations.
Or the temptation of the Russians to force a land route to their enclave.
Or the screaming that will be coming from the Baltic states demanding action.
Or the millions dead and homeless.
Or all the western hard men (and women) who will be demanding that the US and NATO acts against this blatant Russian aggression, bringing NATO into the war and kicking off all the stuff I mentioned above talking about the whole US / NATO against Russia thing.
No one wins a war between Russia and NATO.
Everyone loses a war between Russia and NATO.
It is simply which side loses the least.
But no matter which side suffers more, or less loss of life and destruction of everything. Europe loses. Europeans lose, in their millions, they lose. Property, life. They lose.
Which is why either option is a BAD thing