Analysis – Dr. Dragana Trif­ković – the possi­bi­lity of a nuclear war is increasing

Accor­ding to the assess­ments of many inde­pen­dent analysts, the key reason that led to the escala­tion of the conflict in Ukraine is the expan­sion of the NATO infra­struc­ture towards the Russian borders. In recent years, the leader­ship of Russia has warned that it considers such steps dange­rous and that they directly under­mine the national secu­rity of the Russian Federation.
In the current circum­s­tances and despite the dange­rous escala­tion of the conflict in Ukraine, NATO does not intend to change its approach to the problem. The deli­very of weapons to this country and the further expan­sion of the Alli­ance lead to further tigh­tening of rela­tions with Russia.

On October 17, 2022 NATO has started a massive mili­tary exer­cise invol­ving 14 count­ries. The exer­cise, called Stead­fast Noon, involves American nuclear-capable B‑52 bombers and fighter jets, which will not carry live muni­tions, as reported by White House National Secu­rity Council stra­tegic commu­ni­ca­tions coor­di­nator John Kirby.

Despite of the fact, that the drill has been long planned, and, accor­ding to NATO Secre­tary General Jens Stol­ten­berg “delaying or cance­ling the exer­cise would send the wrong message about NATO’s resolve in the face of Russian aggres­sion”, it does take the escala­tion between Russia and NATO to a new, poten­ti­ally nuclear level.

The NATO exer­cise, carried out in vici­nity to Russian borders during a series of escala­tions of the ongoing mili­tary conflict in Ukraine, which is basi­cally, a conflict in which NATO is an active party provi­ding weapons, trai­ning and mili­tary specia­lists, and moreover, coor­di­na­ting opera­tions of the UAF, is sending a clear signal to Russia on raising the stakes in this confron­ta­tion. Russia responds with a variety of means, making it clear that after four new regions have been joined to the country as a result of refe­renda, more radical responses to secu­rity threats would be considered.

In the circum­s­tances of the unstable poli­tical and secu­rity situa­tion in Europe, NATO’s beha­vior can lead to the invol­vement of other Euro­pean count­ries in a war with unpre­dic­table and far-reaching consequences.

NATO forces held “Polaris-2021” exer­cise in November last year, where accor­ding to the legend of the maneu­vers, in response to the alleged Russian inter­ven­tion, the forces of the NATO coali­tion would form and send an aircraft carrier strike group led by the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to the combat area in order to “stop the inva­sion and preserve the sove­reignty of Ukraine”. The context and scenario of the exer­cise was taken by the Russian Fede­ra­tion as signal of NATO prepa­ra­tion for actions against Russia, resembling the opera­tion of the United Defender alli­ance grou­ping of forces before the inter­ven­tion in Libya (exer­cises “Baltops-2010” and “Frisian Flag-2010”), when after maneu­vers at the sea ranges, a full-scale opera­tion followed to over­throw of the govern­ment of Muammar Gaddafi.

While NATO are calling such exer­cises “preemp­tive in order to respond to the Russian aggres­sion”, the Russians are seeing those as a direct threat, stimu­la­ting for addi­tional measures to be taken in order to protect own secu­rity inte­rests, and resul­ting in, for instance, the launch of the “special mili­tary opera­tion in order to prevent a full scale Third World War between Russia and NATO” in which Russia could have been taken by surprise.  The current drills carried out by NATO and the planned Russian nuclear drill are clearly indi­ca­ting another level of the confron­ta­tion, where a little spark might be enough to launch an unpre­ce­dented, nuclear kind of an escalation.

This scenario can be prevented if NATO takes poli­tical respon­si­bi­lity, without pre-prepared accu­sa­tions against Russia, looks at its own role in the escala­tion of the conflict and focuses on under­stan­ding and respec­ting the inte­rests of the other side. It is neces­sary to remember that the Cold War ended with the volun­tary with­drawal of Russia 2,000 km to the east, without a shot being fired, with the promise of the West that NATO would not expand to the east. Now that NATO is on Russia’s borders, it is clear that Russia will not give up on its demands for secu­rity guaran­tees, which include the mili­tary neutral status of Ukraine, the with­drawal of offen­sive weapons and NATO infra­struc­ture from Russia’s borders.

October 21, 2022


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