On this day a year ago
Mutually Assured Destruction…for Ukraine?
One sometimes sees the saying “military intelligence is a contradiction in terms“, or as Americans prefer, “oxymoron“. Probably unfair, in most cases. However, what to think when a recently-retired British general, General Sir Chris Deverell [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Deverell], thinks that:
“I have been against the imposition of a no fly zone by NATO in Ukraine, believing that it would surely escalate the conflict. But Putin seems hell bent on escalation,’ Deverall [sic] tweeted.
‘So the question is becoming: does NATO fight him now or fight him later? He will likely respond with nuclear threats. But there is no fundamental reason why these are more useful to Putin than they are to NATO.
‘Our logic has to be that his threats are meaningless. Whatever he can do to us, we can do to him.’” [Daily Mail].
Such logic might be borderline acceptable from the American point of view, but not from the British.
The old Soviet Union was about 92 times the size of the UK. Even the present Russian lands are 72 times the area of the UK. The USA (including Alaska, Hawaii etc) is 41 times the size of the UK. Russia and the USA are, famously, both enormous. However badly damaged they would be by nuclear attack, they would probably have some areas, even urban areas, that would survive nuclear war. Britain is different.
Were the UK to be hit by nuclear attack, it is quite likely that only remote parts of Northern Ireland and (perhaps) the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, as well as, possibly, West Wales and Cornwall, would survive more or less unscathed, depending on various factors.
Britain’s small size, and the multiplicity of targets offered, would mean that nuclear attack might mean the end of Britain as we now know it.
How irresponsible and indeed asinine it is for a British senior officer, albeit retired, even to think about war with Russia over a country, Ukraine, with which Britain has no alliance, few significant political or economic connections, almost no historical connection, and no legitimate strategic interest. A country, moreover, which has only existed, as an independent state, for 30 years. Madness.
There is another factor here. I am not at all sure that the General has quite factored-in the difference in mentality.
The Second World War involved, of course, enormous devastation, but that damage and harm was by no means spread equally. The United States suffered no direct war damage at all, unless you include the initial attack on Pearl Harbor. The same was true of other combatant states, such as Canada.
Britain, of course, did suffer from German bombing, and as many as 60,000 civilians were killed (mostly in the “Blitz“, which ran for about 8 months in 1940 and 1941). Germany’s losses, during 1941-45, were about ten times greater. The same was true of property damage.
While London was badly damaged by German bombing, the extent of it is usually exaggerated. Most of the bombing was in and around the dock areas of the Thames. Thus areas of East London and the City of London were very badly damaged, while most of West London, North London, South London went untouched.
Certain other UK cities were attacked, and some (Plymouth, Southampton, Exeter etc) also badly damaged.
Having said that, if you visit London today, most of it dates from before 1939, and much of that which postdates 1945 is a result of postwar redevelopment, not Luftwaffe bombing, or the strikes of V1 and V2 missiles and flying bombs.
An interesting book on the changes wrought in London since the 19thC is Lost London. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-London-1870-1945-Philip-Davies/dp/0955794986. That book, though, stops at 1945, so does not cover the huge vandalism since, one example being the demolition of the Euston Arch, demolished in 1962: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euston_Arch.
German cities were, many of them, damaged to a far greater extent during 1941-45, some almost flattened. Berlin, Hamburg, Nuremberg, Dresden, and many many others. A few pictures tell the story.
Parts of Eastern Europe and Western Russia suffered as badly as Germany:
Kharkov, now being battled for in 2022, was the location of no less than four battles in the early 1940s. Other Soviet towns were equally badly damaged.
Reverting to the question of Russian mentality, I am not at all convinced that, faced with the likelihood of NATO (basically US) nuclear retaliation, the Russians would back down.
I do not know how many moving parts there are between any decision of Putin to launch nuclear attack, and the actual launch of missiles. In “the old days”, the KGB kept the launch and arm codes separate from the military control of the actual weapons. Now? Maybe there is a similar system, maybe not.
One thing is for sure. Any nuclear exchange will change the world forever. The American military-destructive power may be several times greater than that of Russia, but Russia has more actual missiles, we read.
Let us say that the top 50 cities of the USA are hit by nuclear missiles (and Russia does have about 6,200, apparently), what then? Yes, Russian cities would be hit too, but could the USA function if those top 50 cities were wiped out? That’s every city from New York (most-populated) to Arlington, Texas (50th most-populated). What about the top 100 cities? That takes you down to Richmond, Virginia (100th most-populated).
Of course, military and infrastructure targets, outside urban areas, would be hit as well.
In Britain, pretty much the entire country would be rendered uninhabitable.
This has to be avoided. It is madness to contemplate a nuclear war involving hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of people, however sorry we may be that Ukrainian civilians are suffering.
I think that my view is a commonsense one and, au fond, at least as “compassionate” as that of the war hawks.
Already, we see idiots like Boris Johnson and other so-called “world leaders” taking steps that can only result in poverty and deprivation in the UK and elsewhere: economic sanctions. They will hit the West every bit as hard as the Russian masses (the plutocrats of Russia will not suffer as much as the poor, of course).
Russia is not going to step back in Ukraine unless faced with complete military defeat. The West, NATO, must step back from its present escalation, or World War Three might really happen, as unexpectedly (yet, paradoxically, expectedly) as previous wars— 1914 and 1939.
The past two years proved that the peoples of Western Europe, USA, Australasia, have become compliant sheep, most of them.
Mediocre old freeloader calls for a pseudo-democratic “elected” dictatorship.
NWO/ZOG drone Liz Truss, who built a political career by very dubious methods, and who has for years wanted to reduce the British people to the status of economic serfs, wants others, but not herself, to “make sacrifices” in order to attack Russia on behalf of Ukraine, a country with which the UK has and has had few if any historical, economic, or political ties, a country that has only been an independent state for 30 years, and which in that time has been a corrupt and shambolic mess, exploited and now ruled by Jewish cabals.