With Russia threatening the United States to aim Russia’s armed forces to the “territories from where the threat comes,” the world is discussing the possible scenarios that could lead to an actual war.
As it was reported just two days ago by ValueWalk, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia will aim its armed forces at the territories “from where the threat comes.”
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Putin’s comments come as a response to the U.S. decision to increase its military presence in NATO states in Eastern Europe. As part of the efforts, the U.S. is planning to deploy some heavy military equipment in the Baltic states and Poland to rapidly send 5,000 troops in order to counter Russia threat and aggression.
Russian officials then denounced such a move and called it the most aggressive U.S. act since the Cold War.
“It is NATO that is moving towards our border and we aren’t moving anywhere,” Putin added, hinting at the fact that Russia will not back down.
Putin then fueled his words at the opening ceremony of Russian ‘military Disneyland’, announcing that the Kremlin will add 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal this year. Such a plan was then denounced by U.S. top officials, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry called it “concerning” and said it could force Russia and the West return to the international hostility of the “Cold War.”
When will the tensions between the U.S. and Russia grow into a military conflict?
Russian ‘military Disneyland’ is viewed as yet another Russia’s attempt to intimidate the West with its military might. Russia’s Army-2015 expo showcased its terrifying cutting-edge weaponry, including an advanced Iskander missile launcher, a gentle-riding GAZ-3344 all-terrain vehicle, T-14 Armata tanks, the latest copy of the Yak-130 fighter jet, couple of next generation military robots, and many other high technology military equipment that left Putin satisfied and impressed.
Boasting the expo that was made possible by Putin’s $400 billion decade-long military modernization campaign, Russia basically tells the West about its return to the world’s most advanced militaries.
However, there are clear indications that Russia will not be able to satisfy Putin’s military appetites. As an example, Putin has vowed that Russia would buy 2,300 T-14 Armata tanks by 2020, while the estimated cost for them is more than $7 million apiece. This fact alone questions the whole Putin’s plan to modernize Russia’s military amid the plummeting oil prices, weakness of ruble as well as U.S. and EU sanctions, which have been recently renewed for another six months.
It is rather a short-term intimidation factor with no hopes of life. However, it could still escalate the current ‘pissing contest’ between the West and Russia to a military conflict. The kind of military conflict that Russia believes it is prepared for, but it is actually not.
And with Russian Foreign Ministry warning the U.S. that deployment of new military weaponry – which, as a matter of fact, is one of the U.S. plans – anywhere near Russian borders would “entail dangerous consequences,” the tensions between the two countries are only growing. How much further will the tensions grow before they ‘snap’?
The Baltics could be the starting point of the U.S. – Russia war
The most probable scenario that involves a military confrontation between the U.S. and Russia is Russia going in for the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. And considering Russia’s repeated concerning and threatening actions at the borders with the three nations, Putin might finally decide to implement a Ukrainian plan, which involves annexation, propaganda and placing its rebels to destabilize the situation in some part of the Baltic states or in the Baltics as a whole.
And the Baltic states are considered the NATO’s weak and vulnerable spot. The three nations are protected by NATO’s fifth article, which says that by attacking one of the Alliance’s members, you attack the Alliance as a whole. And the U.S. is fully responsible for the protection of the Baltic states as well deterrence of any aggression against them. However, considering the size of their territories, their proximity to Russia and the number of Russian-speaking minority, the fifth article becomes pretty frightening for the West.
It wouldn’t take much time to imagine yourself a scenario in which one thing leads to another and as a result – Russian and American soldiers are killing one another.
Russia’s so-called ‘hot heads’, who are trying to instigate a large-scale confrontation between Washington and Moscow, have repeatedly discussed the ways of dominating in Eastern and Central Europe in conventional as well as non-conventional weapons. Putin, for his part, openly stated that he would be considering using nuclear weapons as a response to any attempt from the West to take Crimea back. That fact alone means that he was considering resorting to Russia’s nuclear arsenal back when he was annexing Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.
Are the Americans ready to send U.S. troops to die for the Baltics?
So there is one outstanding question that immediately arises: will U.S. President Barack Obama risk losing Chicago, New York and Washington to save Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius? And that is a dangerous question.
If you want to stun someone or make an entire New York or Washington’s café go silent, ask people around “What does Mr. Obama do in such a situation?” If the Russians indeed invade Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania, what should the U.S. do? Are the Americans willing to support the idea of sending U.S. troops to the war in order to save these three distant nations?