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Post Reply The threat of nuclear war is greater than ever
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Posted 7/12/15 , edited 7/14/15
Relatively speaking, only a very small number of people today know or realize just how the nuclear threat today has escalated to a degree that puts the threat of nuclear war closer than the last two or three decades of the Cold War. As a kid, I grew up under the cloud of Cold War but this certainly feels worse.

Unlike Soviet strategic military planning, Russian planners are prepared for so-called "limited nuclear war". This is the use of nuclear weapons on the battlefield in order to compensate for the relative lack of conventional battle strength against NATO.

Russia is currently making the same kind of moves towards Estonia as it did / still doing to Ukraine.

The difference is that Estonia is a NATO member. An invasion there contractually obligates the United States and other NATO countries to defend it.

Things can escalate very quickly. The following segment is a small snippet, and I encourage you to read the whole article to understand just how bad the situation has become. The instability and tension is comparable to pre-WWI conditions, except this time the arsenal includes nuclear weapons.

www.vox.com/2015/6/29/8845913/russia-war


Buzhinsky, the recently retired member of Russia's General Staff, confirmed in our meeting that this is something the military sees as a viable option. "If Russia is heavily attacked conventionally, yes, of course, as it's written in the doctrine, there may be limited use of nonstrategic nuclear weapons," he said. "To show intention, as a de-escalating factor."

It is difficult to imagine a more dangerous idea in the world of military planning today than of a "limited" nuclear war. Scholars have debated for decades, and still debate today, whether the concept of limited nuclear war is realistic, or whether such a conflict would inevitably spiral into total nuclear war. Put another way, no one knows for sure whether Russia's military planners have sown the seeds for global nuclear destruction.

Seen from the Russian side, it is at least possible to imagine how this doctrine might make sense: The threat of NATO's conventional forces is widely seen as both overwhelming and imminent, making such an extreme step worth considering. Ever since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia's strategic culture has increasingly emphasized its nuclear arsenal, the one remaining legacy of its fearsome great-power status. It is a sort of Russian cult of the nuclear weapon, or even a certain strategic fetish. With nukes so central to Russian strategic thinking, it is little wonder Moscow sees them as the solution to its greatest strategic problem.

But when you consider this doctrine from the American side, you begin to see what makes it dangerous, even insane. Imagine that you are an American leader and your forces in Eastern Europe have somehow been drawn into conflict with the Russians. Perhaps, as artillery and planes from within Russia hammer your forces, you counterattack on Russian soil to take them out. The Kremlin, fearing the start of an invasion to take Moscow, drops a tactical nuclear warhead on your forces in Estonia or Latvia. You have no idea whether more Russian nuclear strikes are coming, either on the battlefield, more widely on Europe, or even against Washington or New York. Do you respond with an in-kind tactical nuclear strike, opening the risk of gradual escalation to total nuclear war? Do you, fearing the worst, move to take out the Russian leadership before they can order more attacks? Or do you announce a unilateral ceasefire, drawing your forces back in humiliation, rewarding Russia with a victory?


The Western response to Ukraine as well as the Baltic states had been one of "Putin wouldn't dare", because the West by in large doesn't understand Putin's motivations or Russian intentions.


"Ukraine, for Russia, is a red line," he warned. "And especially a Ukraine that is hostile to Russia is a definite red line. But the US administration decided that it's not."

This was a concern I heard more than once in Russia. When Fyodor Lukyanov, the Moscow foreign policy insider, warned that Russian foreign policy officials saw a major war as increasingly possible, and I asked him how they thought it would happen, he cited Ukraine.

"For example, massive military help to Ukraine from the United States — it could start as a proxy war, and then ..." he trailed off

Lukyanov worried that the US does not understand Russia's sense of ownership over Ukraine, the lengths it would go to protect its interests there. "It’s seen by many people as something that’s actually a part of our country, or if not part of our country then a country that’s absolutely essential to Russia’s security," he said.

Buzhinsky is one of those people. Like Lukyanov and other Russian analysts, he worried that the United States had wrongly concluded that Putin would ultimately acquiesce if he faced likely defeat in Ukraine. The Americans, he said, were dangerously mistaken.

"A year ago, I was absolutely convinced Russia would never intervene militarily," he said about the possibility of a full, overt Russian invasion of Ukraine. "Now I'm not so sure."

The view of the Russian government, he said, was that it could never allow the defeat of the pro-Russia separatist rebels in the eastern Ukraine region sometimes called Donbas. (In August, when those rebels appeared on the verge of defeat, Russia provided them with artillery support and covertly sent troops to fight alongside them, none of which Moscow has acknowledged.)

If Ukrainian forces were about to overrun the separatist rebels, Buzhinsky said, he believed that Russia would respond not just with an overt invasion, but by marching to Ukraine's capital of Kiev.


Putin's threats to use nuclear weapons is not just talk but a dangerous change in military policy.


A few months after he'd annexed Crimea, Putin revealed that during Russia's undeclared invasion of the territory he had considered putting his country's nuclear forces on alert; his government has signaled it would consider using nuclear force to defend Crimea from an attack, something Russian analysts told me was not just bluster.

The United States, of course, has no intention of militarily retaking Crimea, despite surprisingly common fears to the contrary in Russia. But Russian paranoia about such a threat, and a possible willingness to use nuclear weapons to avert it, adds more danger to the already dangerous war in eastern Ukraine and the fears that greater Russian or Western involvement there could spark a broader conflict.


Moscow is determined to defend any attacks on Kaliningrad via use of nuclear weapons. If you look at the region on a map, it is difficult to see how a conventional war in the Baltics would NOT involve an attack on the heavily militarized region.


Putin has taken several steps to push Europe back toward the nuclear brink, to the logic of nuclear escalation and hair-trigger weapons that made the early 1980s, by many accounts, the most dangerous time in human history. Perhaps most drastically, he appears to have undone the 1987 INF Treaty, reintroducing the long-banned nuclear weapons.

In March, Russia announced it would place nuclear-capable bombers and medium-range, nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad — only an hour, by commercial airliner, from Berlin. Meanwhile, it has been testing medium-range, land-based missiles. The missiles, to the alarm of the United States, appear to violate the INF Treaty.


If I keep going I might end up quoting half of everything, so just go read it. www.vox.com/2015/6/29/8845913/russia-war
Posted 7/12/15 , edited 7/12/15
Why can't we just all be friends.
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Posted 7/12/15 , edited 7/12/15

haikinka wrote:

Why can't we just all be friends.

We can't, because you won't l'eggo of my eggo.

Posted 7/12/15 , edited 7/12/15

bserria wrote:

We can't, because you won't l'eggo of my eggo.



Let'so just sharo the eggo and everyone is happyo
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Posted 7/12/15 , edited 7/12/15

haikinka wrote:

Why can't we just all be friends.


The way I understand the Russian mentality is this:

Imagine that the Soviet Union never collapsed, and the Warsaw Pact was never dissolved.

Actually, it had greatly expanded (somewhat like how NATO of today greatly expanded after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact)

So much so, that the Warsaw Pact now includes Cuba, some other Central American countries, and even Mexico.

The communist Mexico, under this Warsaw Pact, has military bases- Even missiles, pointing right at us across the border.

Wouldn't the United States even contemplate going across the border and invade say, Baja California (the long peninsula directly below California) and set up bases there as a buffer against this greatly expanded Pacific Warsaw Pact? (...versus the current East European NATO countries)

One can see what's going on. It's not a simple matter of getting along or not.

Edit: Those who live in Sweden, Finland and the Baltic don't have to imagine anything at all http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2015/may/14/russia-nato-twenty-feet-from-war/
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Posted 7/12/15 , edited 7/12/15

nanikore2 wrote:


haikinka wrote:

Why can't we just all be friends.


The way I understand the Russian mentality is this:

Imagine that the Soviet Union never collapsed, and the Warsaw Pact was never dissolved.

Actually, it had greatly expanded (somewhat like how NATO of today greatly expanded after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact)

So much so, that the Warsaw Pact now includes Cuba, some other Central American countries, and even Mexico.

The communist Mexico, under this Warsaw Pact, has military bases- Even missiles, pointing right at us across the border.

Wouldn't the United States even contemplate going across the border and invade say, Baja California (the long peninsula directly below California) and set up bases there as a buffer against this greatly expanded Pacific Warsaw Pact? (...versus the current East European NATO countries)

One can see what's going on. It's not a simple matter of getting along or not.

Edit: Those who live in Sweden, Finland and the Baltic don't have to imagine anything at all http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2015/may/14/russia-nato-twenty-feet-from-war/


I have relatives from Latvia so I understand what you are worried about. The problem is, the Untied States now is NOT the same United States that backed Russia down in the Cold War or helped to win WW2. That United States was the one I grew up in, which while pretty tired of fighting knew you had to be ready to break heads at anytime to keep things safe. The current United States is too busy being worried about the latest cell phone and what celebrities who can barely add 1+1 are wearing to worry about a re-energized Russian Bear rampaging across Europe.

Yes, tensions are high and it seems the American populace doesn't care (and since they have food to eat and distractions to watch sadly the bulk of them don't. Watch this, DS9's Quark is describing things pretty well ... https://youtu.be/-D2SHNqkjbY ) your statement that right now the threat is higher than ever might be a tiny bit faulty. Those "near misses" with fighter craft were actually fairly common up through the 80's as each side was testing out what the other had, for crying out loud they blew airliners out of the sky ( http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/korean-airlines-flight-shot-down-by-soviet-union and http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/3/newsid_4678000/4678707.stm .) There was a point when the loaded bombers were in the air en route to target strikes, the ships were yards from each other with shells and STS loaded and ready to fire and the troops in motion. That time in 1962 Russia backed down. However, I don't think that'll happen again because I don't see the current American leadership roles being filled by someone willing to do what needs to be done in that case, now OR by any of the current future contenders.
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20 / M / Australia
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Posted 7/12/15
one word, skynet
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47 / M / Пенсильвания, США
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Posted 7/12/15 , edited 7/12/15
Sure, but that's England. We're talking Eastern Europe.

The REAL Skynet >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skynet_%28satellite%29 (Probably NOT the smartest naming decision ever made)
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Posted 7/12/15 , edited 7/12/15
Nuclear warfare. If Russia plans to attack I fear one thing.
The fuse will be lit in which WW3 will start.
If 2015 happens to take place where WW3 begins I'll be scared of one more thing. And that isn't the war.
Should these predictions happen, we're going end up in a dystopia.
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Posted 7/12/15
Nope. The US is farther from nuclear war now than it has been in many years.Putin's gambit has cost the Russian economy dearly ,as has the reduction in oil prices.Putin now enjoys wide reaching support at home, but a famous Russian named Leon Trotsky once noted that"Any society is only three square meals away from anarchy".
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23 / M / Florida
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Posted 7/12/15 , edited 7/12/15
Hell is coming.

Prepare for the end of days.
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16 / M / Palatine, Illinois
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Posted 7/12/15

Jwade316 wrote:

Hell is coming.

Prepare for the end of days.


This sh*t might last a lot longer than other wars.
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Posted 7/12/15
HELLO PRE-1990s. It's good to be back.
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30 / M / Portland, OR
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Posted 7/12/15
Nuclear War will never happen, because if one side fires missiles, then the entire world is dead because every one says screw it, we're dead already and fires there own. That's why it never happened in the Cold War, and that's why it won't happen now.
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Posted 7/12/15

SelfConciousParadox wrote:


Jwade316 wrote:

Hell is coming.

Prepare for the end of days.


This sh*t might last a lot longer than other wars.


Be prepared to fight for survival.
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