“The Alliance will definitely not defend Ukraine”
“If only there was no war” is a spell that many are now repeating. Whether the new year 2022 can bring war and whether there is a likelihood of a conflict between NATO and Russia – we asked political scientist Vasily Kashin about this.
– In 2022, this is extremely unlikely. Hypothetically, such a possibility exists, of course, but I don’t think it will happen exactly next year. The United States still has a clear military superiority. At the moment, it is the strongest superpower in the world. But the main problem for Americans is that their military forces are scattered throughout the world. They are simultaneously forced to contain Russia, China, Iran and still participate in many conflicts in other countries. The United States no longer has enough strength for all this.
– This is just a common misconception. Although China has an advantage in certain types of weapons, it will only be able to catch up with the United States in overall military power by 2050. According to the calculations of the Chinese themselves, they will have to catch up with their rivals in 2035.
– No, not necessarily. If, for example, there is a local conflict in the western part of the Pacific Ocean, everything will depend on the level of combat readiness of American troops at that moment, on the actions of other countries, including Russia, and on how quickly the United States can react. China's advantage is that the overwhelming majority of its armed forces are located in only one theater of operations – the Pacific Ocean. Within the framework of a local conflict, China has a chance of victory, but if an aggravation occurs before a full-scale war, then the advantage will be on the side of the United States. But in this situation, the presence of nuclear weapons on both sides is a serious limitation.
– No, such a development of events does not correspond to the plans of either side. On the contrary, the Americans are trying to reduce tensions in this region in order to be able to transfer their forces to the Pacific Ocean to contain China. Of course, the United States is not ready to make concessions to Iran, but there are no signs of an impending conflict.
– Armenia has no chances to resist Azerbaijan. Even before the 2020 conflict, it was a militarily weaker state compared to its neighbor, and after most of the armed forces of Armenia were defeated, there can be no question of any revenge. Local skirmishes may periodically occur on the border, but the Armenians have neither the strength nor the ability to resist Azerbaijan.
As for Iran, intervention in the war on the side of Armenia means an inevitable conflict with Turkey, and this is simply not in the interests of Tehran, which has super-tense relations with Israel and tense relations with the United States. In addition, Iran is not a strong ally for Armenia to rely on.
– I think this is extremely unlikely. Both sides are actively trying to find a compromise. But even if you can't find him, no one will definitely fight. As for the weapons. The United States, I repeat, is the strongest military power with the most powerful naval forces in the world. In this regard, we cannot even compete with them, since, unlike the United States, Russia has not re-equipped its Navy on a significant scale. In addition, the United States has an advantage in the air force.
On the other hand, the Russian army has significant combat experience. We have superiority in certain types of weapons – hypersonic complexes “Dagger”, “Zircon”, “Sarmat”, “Avangard”.
Do not forget that Russia, like the United States, is a nuclear power, so a full-scale war will inevitably take many lives on both sides. In this case, we will come to the threat of the termination of the existence of the whole world in its present form. So, I think, negotiations will take place and positions will be agreed to prevent such a huge risk.
As for local clashes, it depends on the number of our and enemy troops in the region at a particular time. Russia will have superiority in the Black Sea, the eastern part of the Baltic, Belarus, and possibly eastern Ukraine. But in general, the enemy, of course, has more opportunities to strike at us.
– I hope that local clashes will not occur either. In an extreme case, various events may occur in Ukraine, but NATO will definitely not defend it. There is also a chance of provocation, like the situation with the British destroyer “Defender” in the Black World, which will end with gunfire and, perhaps, the sinking of one ship. But even this will not entail a full-scale war between Russia and NATO.