The confrontation has already begun
“Every year more and more likely that competition between the powers, tricks and failures of the military leadership will lead to the emergence of inter-state conflict with disastrous consequences” — according to the program Director of the Valdai club, by Andrey sushentsov and researcher Kananaskis Institute at the Center named after Woodrow Wilson Michael Coffman, the authors of the report “Why a possible war between the great powers”. On Friday, they presented it at the site of the Valdai club. The conflict, using conventional weapons between nuclear States, according to the authors, not only “potentially possible” and “probable”.
Such a conflict likely between the US and Russia, as well as the US and China. All three countries are already in a state of confrontation — in an effort to “prepare the battlefield for war”, they use non-military means, using the tools of political, economic and informational pressure. As noted by Sushentsov on the presentation of the report, in modern conditions it often happens that “we can’t exactly say whether the countries are at war or not.”
The most likely place where today the great powers will cross the threshold of use of force”, according to the authors of the report, is Syria. Great potential for conflict development have strained relations between Russia and a NATO member Turkey, as well as tensions between the US and China in connection with the territorial dispute around the Islands in the South China sea. In 2010 in the United States received the official status of the so-called doctrine of air-sea battle (AirSea Battle), which implies a more close cooperation between the air force and Navy. As in 2010 wrote research centre CSBA in the work devoted to this doctrine, the us air force and Navy should develop a strategy that would respond to the military buildup by China.
In the “hot” phase of confrontation may move due to airspace violations or incidents during military exercises, according to the report.
According to the Deputy Director of the Institute for political and military analysis Alexander Khramchikhin listed in the report is potentially contentious regions are not an exhaustive list. “In our time, a conflict can occur anywhere,” — said the expert.
Forward to 1914
According to the authors of the report, the current world situation is reminiscent of the alignment of forces on the eve of the First world war. This analogy is correct from two points of view, they explain: first, as before the First world war, the world “is enmeshed in a network of regional alliances and bilateral treaties”. Among these “proforming alliances”, the authors attributed the “informal security guarantees”, which gave the United States bordering on Russia and China to States. Secondly — as a hundred years ago a new big war will occur with the use of new weapons in respect of which there is not even the rules of application.
Reducing limiting factors
The fundamental difference between new conflict scenarios that were studied during the “cold war,” the optional application of in its course of nuclear weapons. Experts believe that a new major conflict will take place primarily in cyberspace, communications and information fields, in space.
The loss of nuclear weapons remains a limiting value is related to the fact that it becomes vulnerable to precision conventional weapons, as well as in connection with the expansion of a missile defense system, experts of the Valdai club. “The value of nuclear weapons generally accepted as a reliable means of preventing war will steadily decline”, — experts state.
However, the development of precision weapons may be not so much a factor, “obolelim” nuclear deterrence, how many additional element of the containment system. In particular, in 2012 academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Andrei Kokoshin wrote about predlagaemogo containment”, which would be complementary to the system of nuclear deterrence and would be in the “convincing threat of the use of high-precision long-range carrier warhead with conventional warheads”.
“The fact that a nuclear weapon is not a weapon, but a political and psychological factor, clear for a long time, and as the nuclear powers will develop precision-guided weapons, the probability of conflict between them will increase”, — said the Deputy Director of the Institute for political and military analysis Alexander Khramchikhin.
The fire at the headquarters
Large-scale military operations in a major new conflict, most likely not, but the occupation of the territory of the state of the enemy will be even undesirable, experts say. The aim of the new war will not be the defeat of the enemy, and the destruction of its economy and political system,” drop it “from the XXI century XX”.
At the beginning of the new conflict, the participants likely used an electromagnetic bomb that will bring down command and control system. The basic blows are applied to the communication lines, auxiliary means of terrestrial, space and underwater-based, reason Sushentsov and Coffman.
The main strike force will be high-precision long-range weapon that, in the opinion of the authors of the report, will push back military action from the national territory. Opponents will seek to destroy weapons systems, which block access to some regions (so-called complexes of anti-access/area denial, A2/AD). Similar complexes, in particular, to seek to create Russia in the Black and Baltic seas.