High Risk Of Military Confrontation Between Russia And NATO

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High Risk Of Military Confrontation Between Russia And NATO
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Russia and NATO must reach an agreement on how to prevent military encounters in order to reduce the possibility of an all-out war between the West and Moscow, according to a group of former defense and foreign ministers, as reported by Reuters.

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On Wednesday, the group of former ministers expressed their concerns over the high possibility of military confrontation between Russia and NATO as a result of unintentional mid-air encounters between rival military aircraft during military drills from both sides.

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The group of 14, including former Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov, former defense and foreign ministers of Germany, Britain, France, Turkey and Spain, urged Russian and NATO officials to organize a high-level meeting in order to establish communication and prevent sea and air face-offs.

“The situation is ripe with potential for either dangerous miscalculation or an accident that could trigger a worsening of the crisis or even a direct military confrontation,” ministers said in a report published by the London-based European Leadership Network.

Russia and NATO’s intensified war games – which are explained by the need to prepare for a possible conflict – make a heated military confrontation between the two sides something that is not impossible anymore.

Each military drills carried out by one side is viewed as a provocation by the other side, which thus fosters mistrust and unpredictability, the group of former ministers said, while calling for a productive dialogue.

Two crucial recommendations expressed by the London-based think tank include: complete transparency of military maneuvers and bringing down the level of intensity of war games.

Former ministers urge Russia and NATO to reach agreement

The think tank also recorded 66 “close military encounters” between NATO and Russia’s military forces as well as between Russia and neutral Finland and Sweden, both of which are NATO inclined.

It’s in Russia’s hands to avoid military conflict against NATO and reduce the level of intensity of war games, while increasing their transparency, according to NATO’s chief spokesperson Oana Lungescu, who also urged Russia to implement its existing commitments.

The think tank also urged NATO and Russia to reach an agreement – the one similar to a pact between China and the U.S. – that would outline things to avoid, for example exercises near rival aircraft and vessels.

Such agreement would also set out timely warnings, radio frequencies and vocabulary of signals that would allow for broader and clearer communication between the two sides.

Russia’s March military drills involving 80,000 personnel were one of Moscow’s largest shows of military force since the beginning of tensions between Moscow and Washington in 2014.

NATO’s June military drills involving 15,000 armed forces of 22 member countries were held in eastern Europe and the Baltics.

The think tank also noted that NATO planned to conduct a total of 270 exercises in 2015, while Russia has announced as many as 4,000 drills across all levels.

NATO will hold its largest military drills in over a decade starting from October – the drills will be held in Spain, Italy and Portugal.

The former ministers’ report also noted that an “action-reaction cycle” is what we see between Russia and NATO, and that ‘cycle’ could be hard to stop.

“History is littered with examples of international crises and tensions that developed a momentum of their own and resulted in conflict even when no one side intended it,” the report said.

Russia is preparing for war against NATO – analysts

Earlier this month, the same think tank concluded that Russia is preparing for a war against the United States and its NATO allies.

The conclusion was reached as a result of an analysis of large-scale military drills by Russia in March and smaller military drills carried out by NATO in June.

However, spokesmen for both Russia and NATO have been repeatedly dismissing any war plans during their military exercises, and claimed that the military exercises were organized to practice military actions against “hypothetical opponents.”

It its report, the think tank said that the “nature and scale” of the military drills showed that “Russia is actively preparing for a conflict with NATO, and NATO is preparing for a possible confrontation with Russia.”

U.S. appears to be NOT ready for war against Russia

The U.S. has held a series of secret military drills over the summer, the result of which left Washington defense officials worried that the nation is not prepared for a sustained war against Russia.

The U.S. military explained its lack of preparation to wage a war against Russia by the fact that the 15 years of counter terrorism warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan exhausted America.

In particular, U.S. forces would struggle to counter a possible Russia’s military attack on a NATO ally, as their ability to maintain logistics and troops levels have depleted due to the wars, defense officials noted.

“Could we probably beat the Russians today [in a sustained battle]? Sure, but it would take everything we had,” one defense official told The Daily Beast. “What we are saying is that we are not as ready as we want to be.”

U.S. risks losing its global dominance because of Russia

Does the U.S. have what it takes to counter Russian President Vladimir Putin’s possible attack with a robust and powerful response?

And while not all Pentagon officials agree that it does, every defense officials in Washington agrees that Russia has nearly 4,000 nuclear weapons, the world’s third largest military budget and the president notorious for his unpredictability and growing appetite for gaining more territories.

Secret exercises codenamed ‘TTX’ (tabletop exercise) also revealed that in case of a snap Russian military attack on American soil, the U.S. forces would hesitate to give a rapid response, as its best-trained fighter pilots would have to be withdrawn from other conflict zones

And the problem with withdrawing U.S. fighters jets, pilots, surveillance drones and other advanced military equipment from other conflict zones is that the U.S. would risk losing its dominant positions in those conflict zones, according to defense officials.

Therefore, the U.S. cannot even properly test the real state of its military power and the ability of U.S. forces to counter Russia’s possible attack without losing its dominant positions in some parts of the world or even its global dominance.

Is it a risk Washington is willing to take?

Updated on

Polina Tikhonova is a writer, journalist and a certified translator. Over the past 7 years, she has worked for a wide variety of top European, American, Russian, and Ukrainian media outlets. Polina holds a Master's Degree in English Philology from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Saint Petersburg State University. Her articles and news reports have been published by many newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs and online media sources across the globe. Polina is fluent in English, German, Ukrainian and Russian.
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17 COMMENTS

  1. The British thought the same thing in 1774 and again in 1804. U.S. Marines showed up in Tripoli. Japanese generals mis-stepped in 1941. Saddam pooh poohed taking Kuwait. Putin, little fat boy in NK may well be the next. Devastating both ways. As I said, it never works out exactly as you expect. The most arrogant, like you, are usually the most surprised.

  2. You’re simply eeritating with your knowledge of today’s Russian military strength. Read report of your own generals.

  3. The solution is simple. NATO should get off Russia’s borders and stop instigating problems
    in that area. What did they expect when they made their final move to surround Russia.

  4. The Bush administration persuaded the western world that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had to be deposed. That left a power vacuum which gave rise to ISIS (ISIL). Minorities and antiquities are being destroyed. Is that an improvement? Libya’s el-Gaddafi was bombed by the west, thus he met his fate. Now, Syria’s al-Assad is under similar pressure. Have western leaders thought this through? They are destroying firewalls between the west and middle eastern barbarians. Everywhere, fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

  5. The bankers have to start a major war before their Ponzi scam collapses or they’ll be taking the blame for the worlds economic turmoil. All wars are banker wars.

  6. “Evil prevails when good men fail to act” NATO alone could easily defeat Russia…Why?? Because their conscripts are garbage! A conscript is one step above a security guard. Secondly, Russia’s Navy is garbage and rusting away! Their infrastructure is garbage and their air force would compare to our air force from 1975. Except, most of their planes are dangerously over the maximum hour usage. These planes should already be decommissioned. Did I mention that Russia is rapidly running out of money?? So let me get this straight…Russia is somehow going to take over large chunks of Europe with their pseudo military?? Then land in our cities and take over our country?? KEEP DREAMING PUTIN!

  7. The USA cannot defend the entire world. “He Who Defends Everything Defends Nothing” – Frederick The Great of Prussia

  8. leave the troops where they are to keep everybody else in the world “in check”. It is well known by the rest of the world that our population is the most heavily armed citizens anywhere…. the men in America’s federal, state, county, and city police agencies….. together with hundreds of thousands of dedicated former soldiers (now citizens) from wars gone by, are more than a match for anything Russian forces could invade with. That’s not to say that the Russians might make some noise and cause some damage….but in the end, they would be ripped to pieces within a matter of days if not hours from thousands of directions. The only thing the average American fears from Russia are its nukes (those we haven’t learned to swat away yet)…but we don’t need to worry about the things we CAN control, Stop worrying,we always have a backup plan over here…. If America is attacked, Capt. Kirk will come over the horizon in the nick of time and I assure you………. his phasers will not be on stun. “wink”

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