There is only one nation in the world with the power to destroy the USA, and that is Russia, with its stockpile of 1,800 operational nuclear weapons. Russia would be destroyed in the process, so its leaders would be insane to attempt this unless Russia’s own survival were at risk.
Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have brought this danger closer by extending NATO forces to the borders of Russia, conducting military exercises close to Russia and attempting to draw Ukraine and Georgia into an anti-Russian alliance.
I can understand why some people in the Baltic states, Poland and other countries formerly under Soviet domination might want U.S. protection and even a U.S. attack on Russia (just as some people in the Caribbean and Central American countries might want the reverse.)
The problem is that NATO forces probably could not defeat the Russia army in a war close to Russia’s borders, just as Russia could not successfully defend a Caribbean or Central American country.
It’s generally admitted that NATO in Cold War times could not stopped a Red Army invasion of western Europe. That is why the U.S. government has never pledged “no first use” of nuclear weapons. The US depended on nuclear weapons as an ultimate deterrent, and still does.
Another danger is that, if Russia’s leaders felt threatened, they might strike first. Or war might be triggered accidentally, as has almost happened many times in the past.
Terrorist movements such as ISIS and Al Qaeda are criminal and loathsome, but they do not threaten the existence of the United States. Nuclear war does.
Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama took office saying they intended to improve relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The fact that this didn’t happen makes me wonder about the power of the un-elected Deep State that Mike Lofgren and others have written about.
It will be difficult for any future American President to back down from confrontation with Russia—much more difficult than it would have been for Bush or Obama to establish good relations.
But there is nothing that Russia does or wants that is a threat to anything important to Americans. We have nothing to lose by making peace, and everything to risk by military brinksmanship.
Threat from Russian and Chinese Warplanes Mounts by Tom Vander Brook for USA Today. If U.S. warplanes in the Baltic are no threat to Russia, then Russian warplanes off the California coast are no threat to the United States. Turnabout is fair play. Right?
NATO Struggles to Prepare for Possible Threat from Russia by Konstantin von Hammerstein for Der Spiegel.
Obama Requests Support for Possible War Against Russia by Eric Zuesse for Washington’s Blog. Lots of good links.
Why NATO Expected to Lose Most of Europe to Russia by Robert Farley for the National Interest. Results of a recent war game.
How Russia is preparing for WWIII by the Saker. An informed, pro-Russian view. [Added 5/27/2016]
World War III: Why Russia Will Bury the West by Rakesh Krishnan Simha for Russia & India Report. Very well researched.
How the World Ends: Baiting Russia is not good policy by Philip Giraldi. [Added 5/25/2016]
U.S. military uses 8-inch floppy disks to coordinate nuclear operations by Dan Mangan for CNBC. [Added 5/27/2016]