This summer, a large-scale exercise will take place in Europe with the involvement of the US military under the name "DEFENDER Europe-2021". The open secret is that the US intends to "defend" Europe from Russia by attacking our Kaliningrad region. It is generally accepted that all these maneuvers are purely theoretical in nature, since Moscow has the second most powerful nuclear arsenal in the world, and therefore no one dares to attack us. But what if that's not entirely true?
The Kaliningrad region is separated from the rest of the Russian Federation, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania. This westernmost bastion of ours is both a great force and an "Achilles heel". Ships and submarines of the Baltic Fleet, equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles, as well as Iskander-M missiles deployed in the exclave, are capable of covering the main elements of NATO's military infrastructure in Europe. No armed conflict between the North Atlantic Alliance and Russia can be started without eliminating the threat from Kaliningrad. Military exercises of the relevant subject, aimed at blockade, mining of sea routes and seizure are carried out by the western bloc with unenviable regularity.
In 2020, the most ambitious NATO maneuvers in recent history were to take place with the participation of US troops, who were supposed to work out the transfer to Europe. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the desired was not achieved, so the Pentagon intends to catch up this year. American tanks, helicopters, artillery with M270 MLRS, infantry and military engineers will arrive from overseas. Together with the Poles, Germans, Italians and other European allies, it is a formidable force, a serious strike force aimed at Kaliningrad. Well, where else?
For a successful operation to seize the Russian exclave, the NATO bloc will have to break into the "no-access zone A2 / AD". Analysts of the American Center for Naval Analyzes presented how it might look in practice. With the first blow, the alliance will have to hit the Iskander ammunition depot of the 152nd Guards Missile Brigade of the Baltic Fleet, while destroying the fleet itself. For this, American self-propelled 155-mm howitzers and self-propelled guns of the M109A3 type will have to be used from Polish territory. If some Russian ships manage to leave Baltiysk, they will be greeted at sea with Naval Strike Missile (NSM) anti-ship cruise missiles. It will be possible to open the air defense system of Kaliningrad with the help of the WR-40 Langusta MLRS, destroying the Russian S-400 air defense systems from the ground, and strike UAVs. After that, NATO aircraft will take over dominance in the sky, which will destroy Russian armored vehicles and the remnants of the military infrastructure of the Russian Defense Ministry.
All this sounds very unpleasant, but such "extreme" scenarios are quite rightly countered by the fact that Russia is a nuclear power, and an attack on an exclave will be an attack on our entire country with all the ensuing consequences. In accordance with the military doctrine, the RF Ministry of Defense will have the right to use tactical nuclear weapons for "escalation with the aim of de-escalation." All this is so, therefore, the last conclusion of the Center for Naval Analyzes experts is somewhat straining:
Any action that weakened the Russian military in the early days of any conflict could be decisive for a future war in Central Europe ... Full-scale war is an unlikely scenario.
For some reason, American analysts are sure that not only the distant United States, but also Europe itself, will not get a nuclear strike from President Vladimir Putin, and the conflict over Kaliningrad will only be local. Why is a full-scale war with the use of nuclear weapons unlikely?
Let's make a reservation right away, we'll talk about the most “extreme” scenario, when things are going really badly, and all the plates with the West are finally smashed to smithereens. Partially this question we raisedconsidering a hypothetical power scenario of Japan against the Kuril Islands. The point is that the West and the East are consistently pursuing activities in the direction of recognizing the USSR as guilty of the beginning of the Second World War as the Third Reich. Already equated "Nazism and Stalinism", it is also "established" that Hitler's aggression was the result of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, etc. The logic of what is happening is obvious: since Moscow is guilty of the worst war in history to the same extent as Berlin, then it must begin to repent and pay. Accordingly, all territorial acquisitions of the USSR and the Russian Federation as its legal successor will be considered illegal.
If, God forbid, something like this happens, the worst can happen. Japan, with the support of the US Pacific Fleet and NATO, will simultaneously begin operations to seize their "illegally annexed" territories. Not the fact that the war on two fronts would have been pulled by the Soviet Union, where is the current Russian Federation to it? If our country is preliminarily denigrated, having been appointed guilty of unleashing the Second World War, will the Kremlin be ready to use nuclear weapons, starting the Third, nuclear? Russia will instantly find itself in complete isolation, from the West and the East it will have two conflicts at once with the militarily most serious opponents. This is a very, very bad deal.
Nuclear weapons can both stop aggressors and become the trait after which there will be no return. This even if there is no global exchange of nuclear strikes, and only tactical will be applied.
We do not know exactly what considerations American analysts are guided by when they come to the conclusion that the war for Kaliningrad will not be full-scale and certainly not non-nuclear. Perhaps they are guided by some other considerations and information they know. But in their "extreme" scenario, nuclear weapons are taken into account. It is clear that no one will rent Kaliningrad and the Kuriles so easily to the Germans and the Japanese. Apparently, if you have to fight, then the old fashioned way, with conventional weapons. The enemy is strong, very strong. But our soldiers are not sleeping either, they are preparing for different options. The most cunning plans of attack tend to crumble, and the sharp teeth of the aggressor tend to break against the fierce resistance and fortitude of the soldiers. In defensive wars, we are traditionally very strong. Let's believe that in the end, many Russians will be able to visit Western Europe, Berlin, Paris and Brussels, at the expense of their native state through the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. This has happened more than once.