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Backstory events sliding toward Nonfiction

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Personally I think you're wandering of quite a little bit. This is not 1930/40. Russia's governmental institutions are perhaps not very high on the (utopian) democratic scale, I'd like to think they are quite far from the Nazi regime. If this thing escalates internationally clandestine efforts mimicking the Russian effort would be most likely, accompanied by public financial, logistical and non offensive military aid. TBH I suspect this is already happening, in smaller or larger scale. I see three semi likely end states for this conflict:

1. Diplomatic solution in which East-Ukraine gains some sort of autonomy allowing both Ukraine and Russia to walk away without losing face. 

2. Separatists hold gains against UKR efforts and with time East Ukraine joins Russia in South-Ossetian fashion.

3. Ukraine defeats the Separatists (including 'vacationers') in such fashion that Russia is bound to back down

 

With all options leaving Crimea in Russian hands.

 

CMBS shows the unfavorable consequences for all parties in the conflict. Would be great if Porosjenko, Putin and Obama could duke it out in a public AAR battle :D

 

Actually my vew is that, while Putin sometimes might be viewed as acting like Hitler (Crimea = Rhineland/Austria/Czeecholslovakia) I think the Bismarck compasrison is thr more accurate one/ Bismarck was ot above provoking wars and manipulating situations (1864 Schleswig Holstein, 1866 Austria -Prussia, 1870 Franco Prussian) Putin's record so far includes 2nd Chechen War. Georgia 2008 and now Ukraine starting with his action in Crimea. Putin seems to be a far more shrewd and canny opertor than Hitler ever was. In that respect I would see him as far more comparable to Bismarck

 

For now I am inclined to agree with you that this is most likely going to remain a proxy war but there is always the chance something gets out of hand in a very tense international situation if one or both sides were to miscalculate and over reacts. In those circumstances the esults could indeed be disasterous for all concerned and even those not directly involved if it turned nuclear.

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Actually my vew is that, while Putin sometimes might be viewed as acting like Hitler (Crimea = Rhineland/Austria/Czeecholslovakia) I think the Bismarck compasrison is thr more accurate one/ Bismarck was ot above provoking wars and manipulating situations (1864 Schleswig Holstein, 1866 Austria -Prussia, 1870 Franco Prussian) Putin's record so far includes 2nd Chechen War. Georgia 2008 and now Ukraine starting with his action in Crimea. Putin seems to be a far more shrewd and canny opertor than Hitler ever was. In that respect I would see him as far more comparable to Bismarck

 

For now I am inclined to agree with you that this is most likely going to remain a proxy war but there is always the chance something gets out of hand in a very tense international situation if one or both sides were to miscalculate and over reacts. In those circumstances the esults could indeed be disasterous for all concerned and even those not directly involved if it turned nuclear.

 

I don't really see the merit of comparing Putin with Hitler or Bismarck. All leaders learn from history and read Machiavelli ;), Putins/Russia's current position is vastly different from those times. Mankind has been manipulating, deceiving and warring long before written history or nation states showed up ;)

Although I guess you could see the events surrounding the dissolvement of the Soviet Union as the Russian 'Versailles' treaty. 

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I don't see Putin as being a reckless gambler in that way. A calculating risk taker may be closer to the mark. However a calculated risk could gbecome a reckless gamble very easily and that is how I see the 2017 war scenario starting.

I wasn't being serious regarding taking Merkel and Hollande as hostages, meine freund ;)

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I think that nuclear war is not a serious consideration in Moscow any more than it is in DC. But the weapons exist and that creates the possibility that someone is going to screw up. It is also never a good thing to have an autocratic, militaristic regime in control of such weapons. The smaller the decision making cycle, the less checks there are against bad thinking. It also means decisions, even massive ones, can be made quickly and rashly. Reputedly Putin's inner circle has shrunk to about 4 people, all of which are Soviet era military and KGB backgrounds. This is not a recipe for broader, diversified strategizing.

Still, I do not think war is likely between Russia and the West, conventional or nuclear. Russia has no chance of surviving a nuclear war any more than it has a chance of winning a conventional war. A conventional war against the West likely means the end of Putin's regime, a nuclear war means the end of Russia period. Hopefully Putin understands this as much as others do. Unfortunately, there is the chance he does not.

Steve

 

 

Nuclear war doesn't necessitate an all-out annihilation. I find it very hard to believe that US would retaliate with a strategic nuclear exhange to a Russian use of battlefield nukes i.e. tactical nuclear weapons, as it would be the end of both Russia and United States. The thing here is that Russia has a pretty massive superiority in tactical nukes, which means that Russia has an escalatory control. Russia has the option of tilting the unfavorable conventional balance to its favor (or at least stalemate the fight) by use of tactical nuclear arsenal as US doesn't have any form of equality in that area with Russia. Only way the US would have to escalate from that would be the use of its strategic nuclear arsenal, but US and Russia has a parity on that sphere, so that is a guaranteed suicide.

So it is my conclusion that US can only lose a nuclear war (in this context) whereas Russia can lose, but it conceivably could also win.

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Nuclear war doesn't necessitate an all-out annihilation. I find it very hard to believe that US would retaliate with a strategic nuclear exhange to a Russian use of battlefield nukes i.e. tactical nuclear weapons, as it would be the end of both Russia and United States.

Here's the problem. Nukes are a deterrent against nukes. If someone uses a nuke, and that someone is a state actor, then a retaliatory strike is almost a morale imperative. Because a country insane enough to risk global nuclear war is crazy enough to risk that chance more than once.

 

The thing here is that Russia has a pretty massive superiority in tactical nukes, which means that Russia has an escalatory control. Russia has the option of tilting the unfavorable conventional balance to its favor (or at least stalemate the fight) by use of tactical nuclear arsenal as US doesn't have any form of equality in that area with Russia. Only way the US would have to escalate from that would be the use of its strategic nuclear arsenal, but US and Russia has a parity on that sphere, so that is a guaranteed suicide.

So it is my conclusion that US can only lose a nuclear war (in this context) whereas Russia can lose, but it conceivably could also win.

I know that this is actual Russian battlefield doctrine, but I see it as being totally detached from reality. If Russia used a nuke against Ukraine, I can see there being some sort of all out conventional war against Russia instead of nuclear. Which Russia would lose, which would put the same psychopaths who used a nuke once into a position where only nukes are left as an option. The next time it would be against a NATO target. Then what? NATO calls off its war against Russia without retaliating? I can not see that being possible.

As I said a few pages ago, I do not think Russia as we see it today is stupid enough to use nukes. However, if they engaged in a conventional war with NATO, and were conventionally defeated, I am not as confident. Predicting future behavior on current conditions is well and fine, but what is really better is to predict future behavior on future conditions.

This is why nuclear weapons are stupid. They server no practical purpose other than to potentially wipe out life as we know it for 100+ or more years. There is no "tactical" option that has much chance of avoiding either a wider nuclear war or certain destruction of the state that launched the attack.

Getting back to Russia, if Russia attacks ANYBODY with a nuke then Russia as we know it today would cease to exist. Either as a result of a nuclear counter strike, a large scale conventional war, or deposition from within. I can not conceive of a scenario that would turn out otherwise.

As a side note. Russia and China were correct to develop their own nukes and build up their arsenals. I'm not saying that NATO would have used nukes in a first strike scenario if this had not happened, but for sure the threat of an in kind response certainly removed that possibility from NATO thinking. At least those that weren't lunatics.

Steve

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Here's the problem. Nukes are a deterrent against nukes. If someone uses a nuke, and that someone is a state actor, then a retaliatory strike is almost a morale imperative. Because a country insane enough to risk global nuclear war is crazy enough to risk that chance more than once.

 

I know that this is actual Russian battlefield doctrine, but I see it as being totally detached from reality. If Russia used a nuke against Ukraine, I can see there being some sort of all out conventional war against Russia instead of nuclear. Which Russia would lose, which would put the same psychopaths who used a nuke once into a position where only nukes are left as an option. The next time it would be against a NATO target. Then what? NATO calls off its war against Russia without retaliating? I can not see that being possible.

As I said a few pages ago, I do not think Russia as we see it today is stupid enough to use nukes. However, if they engaged in a conventional war with NATO, and were conventionally defeated, I am not as confident. Predicting future behavior on current conditions is well and fine, but what is really better is to predict future behavior on future conditions.

This is why nuclear weapons are stupid. They server no practical purpose other than to potentially wipe out life as we know it for 100+ or more years. There is no "tactical" option that has much chance of avoiding either a wider nuclear war or certain destruction of the state that launched the attack.

Getting back to Russia, if Russia attacks ANYBODY with a nuke then Russia as we know it today would cease to exist. Either as a result of a nuclear counter strike, a large scale conventional war, or deposition from within. I can not conceive of a scenario that would turn out otherwise.

 

I don't see the basis for your very absolute thinking. Nuclear weapons has been used before and have been seriously considered for use at least in Korean war and Sino-Russian conflict in the 60s. They were also integral part of Soviet plans to conduct war against Nato and as you mentioned they still belong to the Russian doctrine of war. In the Russian doctrine nuclear weapons are not just a deterrent against nukes but also against a threatening conventional war. It appears to be popular to view all nuclear weapons with almost hysterical considerations and thus disregard any idea of them having a practical military utility. And it is understandable in the light of the kind of controllable and in the end trivial military operations that the western countries are familiar with. There is absolutely no reason to even think of nuclear weapons as practical military tools in the conflicts against the Libyas and Serbias, the West always has the overwhelming conventional superiority and control of escalation in these situations. Nuclear weapons appear in a different light looking from the Russian perspective and in particular in the case of war against Nato. If ever there is a place for use of tactical nukes it is against the conventionally superior force. I would like to remind that it is not by accident that Russia has retained such a large arsenal of tactical nukes.

 

I am not saying that Russia would escalate to a level of use of tactical nuclear weapons without pre-existing serious conventional war. But Russia may not be as afraid of a conventional escalation even against the Nato as you seem to think, because they have the option of at least avoiding a military defeat with the use of battlefield nukes. To my mind the most likely response from Nato would be a similar level of use of tactical nukes and a very very serious attempt at negotiating ceasefire. You seem to unreasonably easily to expect a suicidal order from western leaders to answer a battlefield nuclear strike with a genocidal strategic nuclear exhange. It would be funny logic to think that because Russia after escalating the conflict to the level of use of tactical nukes is such a scary and unpredictable actor that it would be sensible to just get over with it immediately and guarantee an absolute catastrophe by ordering a strategic nuclear war. A situation where conventional Russian and Nato forces are engaged in serious battle is already extreme and the context for using extreme weapons is very different from this time of peace we are living. In the times war people tend to do radical things. If we look at what the good guys did for example in the WW2, they were radical and horrible things, that would be disgusting to even consider in peacetime.

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CM::NW  Nuclear War.  I predict to have poor sales and be by far the most boring CM Battlefront could ever consider releasing.  The good news is, you could play a couple games of it in an evening easily.

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Steve, Strelkov talks like that not because separatists are weak, but because he wishes for direct Russian Invasion since... Crimea.

 

Overall I do not see the Ukrainian loyalists winning, not with the current Novorossya Armed Forces size (7 BDes) and it's expansion (to 13+ BDes). In fact judging from this campaign I think that separatists have a chance for a decisive military victory in the spring-summer campaign, which is why Kiev backers have redoubled their efforts to achieve ceasefire.

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I don't really see the merit of comparing Putin with Hitler or Bismarck. All leaders learn from history and read Machiavelli ;), Putins/Russia's current position is vastly different from those times. Mankind has been manipulating, deceiving and warring long before written history or nation states showed up ;)

Although I guess you could see the events surrounding the dissolvement of the Soviet Union as the Russian 'Versailles' treaty. 

 

In terms of the way he does things Putin may be closer to Bismarck. I am thinking of the Ems Telegram provoking the Franco Prussian War and the way Putin provoked Georgia into war in 2008 using seperatists. In Ukraine it may be he is using similar methods. 

 

Regarding the comparison of the Versailles Treaty with the breakup of the Soviet Union. Russan Nationalists would be very unhappy with that and the loss of Russia's role as a Great Power,.This might explain the goals of the Eurasian Union project There are of course serious issues with Putin's plans explaining why it might not work and why i might result in conflicts between Russia and her neighbours as we are seeing in Ukraine

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2014/feb/18/brief-primer-vladimir-putin-eurasian-union-trade

 

https://euobserver.com/economic/127081

 

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/142745/nate-schenkkan/eurasian-disunion

 

This could be seen as Russia trying (and failing) to come to terms with the loss of Superpower status. Russia of course can still be an important Europan and imndeed a World power but must learn to cut her cloth according to her means and operate according to international norms.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120778/eurasian-economic-union-putins-geopolitical-project-already-failing

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I don't see the basis for your very absolute thinking. Nuclear weapons has been used before and have been seriously considered for use at least in Korean war and Sino-Russian conflict in the 60s. They were also integral part of Soviet plans to conduct war against Nato and as you mentioned they still belong to the Russian doctrine of war. In the Russian doctrine nuclear weapons are not just a deterrent against nukes but also against a threatening conventional war. It appears to be popular to view all nuclear weapons with almost hysterical considerations and thus disregard any idea of them having a practical military utility. And it is understandable in the light of the kind of controllable and in the end trivial military operations that the western countries are familiar with. There is absolutely no reason to even think of nuclear weapons as practical military tools in the conflicts against the Libyas and Serbias, the West always has the overwhelming conventional superiority and control of escalation in these situations. Nuclear weapons appear in a different light looking from the Russian perspective and in particular in the case of war against Nato. If ever there is a place for use of tactical nukes it is against the conventionally superior force. I would like to remind that it is not by accident that Russia has retained such a large arsenal of tactical nukes.

 

I am not saying that Russia would escalate to a level of use of tactical nuclear weapons without pre-existing serious conventional war. But Russia may not be as afraid of a conventional escalation even against the Nato as you seem to think, because they have the option of at least avoiding a military defeat with the use of battlefield nukes. To my mind the most likely response from Nato would be a similar level of use of tactical nukes and a very very serious attempt at negotiating ceasefire. You seem to unreasonably easily to expect a suicidal order from western leaders to answer a battlefield nuclear strike with a genocidal strategic nuclear exhange. It would be funny logic to think that because Russia after escalating the conflict to the level of use of tactical nukes is such a scary and unpredictable actor that it would be sensible to just get over with it immediately and guarantee an absolute catastrophe by ordering a strategic nuclear war. A situation where conventional Russian and Nato forces are engaged in serious battle is already extreme and the context for using extreme weapons is very different from this time of peace we are living. In the times war people tend to do radical things. If we look at what the good guys did for example in the WW2, they were radical and horrible things, that would be disgusting to even consider in peacetime.

 

I think that if Russia were in a desperate military situation (the 2017 invasion goes really badly) with a very significant military defeat chemical weapons might be employed rather than tactical or stratefgc nukes. For exampe the "4th generation Novichok type

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novichok_agent

 

If this happened NATO might suffer quite significant military casualties but civillian losses wuld be catastrophic. Under these conditions NATO War Aims might well alter from defending Ukraine to regime change in Moscow and destroying Russian military capability. In these circumstances a political decision on "March on Moscow" might well be the result. From the Ukramian border to Moscow it is 483 kilometes (300 miles) At some point (assuming some patroiotic Russian general does not overthrow Putin in a coup and ends the war with NATO on terms) nuclear weapons might very well be used at some point. Obviously our conventional war scenario would end at this point, mosrt likely along with the rest of civilization

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Steve, Strelkov talks like that not because separatists are weak, but because he wishes for direct Russian Invasion since... Crimea.

 

Overall I do not see the Ukrainian loyalists winning, not with the current Novorossya Armed Forces size (7 BDes) and it's expansion (to 13+ BDes). In fact judging from this campaign I think that separatists have a chance for a decisive military victory in the spring-summer campaign, which is why Kiev backers have redoubled their efforts to achieve ceasefire.

Not surprisingly, I have exactly the opposite take on things :D First, the separatists have NEVER had success recruiting from locals in large numbers. They have repeatedly conscripted people and they simply won't fight. Lately there are reports of them forcing people at gunpoint to join. Plus, let's not forget how many people have left the area completely. You can not recruit someone who isn't there to be recruited. The leadership can proclaim that it is going to raise an army of a billion, but until they do so I do not believe it. Especially having the army raised in 10 days.

Second, the January offensive failed to do anything but pile up a lot of dead separatists and destroyed equipment. The gains on the ground were minimal for such effort. I have seen plenty of physical evidence that this is the case, including rare Western journalists interviews with wounded separatists and visits to the frontline hospitals.

Third, there are absolutely no signs that Ukraine is cracking under pressure. Putin offered the peace deal to France and Germany, leaving Ukraine and the US out of the offer. France, Germany, and the US then consulted with Ukraine in Kiev before France and Germany went to Moscow. They walked away without a deal. To me this sounds more like a Russian request made and turned down.

But I do agree, the new talks are a sign of weakness :D

Steve

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CM::NW  Nuclear War.  I predict to have poor sales and be by far the most boring CM Battlefront could ever consider releasing.  The good news is, you could play a couple games of it in an evening easily.

 

 

Could be fun for the whole family though!

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Quite. When Russia invaded Crimea I was not surprised, as anybody whose read the Black Sea manual should know. When the troubles started in the "Novorussian" territory I was also not surprised. It was at this point I started saying "if Putin is smart, he'll stop now. He'll get what he really wants and the West will not punish him in any meaningful way". Putin misread the situation or felt he had no choice or both.

Given what's happened since the Summer of 2014, logically the Kremlin would have rethought it's strategy. A rethinking could produce something that might lead to a better result for Russia or a worse one. But there appears to be little to no change, which means it's not terribly difficult to see what the immediate future is likely to bring. And it's not good for anybody.

In contrast, the West is rethinking its strategy. Though it is still struggling with internal disagreements (Greece certainly adds a new dimension), there is a slow shift happening. The countries most threatened by Russia have signed various multilateral defense agreements *outside* the context of NATO. Today Denmark signed one with the Baltics, for example. Even though Germany and France are still vetoing lethal aid to Ukraine, the US is moving tentatively closer to it. If the US goes forward with it, other nations will join (Poland in particular). The effect of Javelins, MANPADs, and electronic warfare systems in the hands of Ukraine would be a major change in both strategy and effect on the ground.

Even France, which came close to selling the Mistrel ships to Russia despite the crisis, is not disposed to letting this conflict go on forever. I think this quote from Hollande sums up the risk of things getting worse pretty well:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/05/europe/ukraine-conflict/index.html

Side note, I read CNN about once a month these days because it isn't very useful for my studies. It just happened to come into my view today because of a Katy Perry headline ;)

The point of quoting Hollande is not to make some sort of political point (as a certain temporarily banned member might accuse me of), but to illustrate that the West's position of dithering and debate is not something Putin should count on lasting forever. Slobodan Milošević made that mistake and look what it got him... a small room in The Netherlands for the last days of his life.

Steve

 

In fact Western dithering can be highly dangerous, something that we should have learned from the 130s. The danger is ha Putin thinks he can get away with an actin he really should not take. Perhaps in the CMBS scenario his view was that NATO would not react to his invasion of Ukraine even though the country was moving quickly towards membership of the alliance. Pehaps, in this scenario, Putin felt he could win a quick war (another Georgia 2008) before NATO reacted. However, that turned out to be a grave miscalculatiion resulting in the war the game depicts.

 

If, in the real world Putin sees a firm and robust Western policy on Ukraine and on Russia in general he will better understad where the line is. Whatever else he may be Putin is no fool as long as he understands where the line is.

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What is creepy is that this game (released in 1985) is a greatly simplified version of the real NATO and Warsaw Pact plans that both side were ready to execute.

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In terms of how the US first comes into direct combat with Russia it could be like this. I  call it the "Camlann Scenario" thinking of the tragic final battle in the Arthurian legend.

 

Russia invades the Ukraine following the incident at the military base. After a few days consideration and consultations with NATO leaders the US President, with the support of NATO orders troops into the Ukraine with orders to halt the Russian invasion. In retrospect this turns out to be a tragic mistake. NATO umnits advance into Central Ukraine and moves into position where they are in a first contact siuation with Russian forces. The Russians know there are Ukranian units in the area but have not realised US forces have just moved into the vicinity as well. Nobody knows for sure what happened but the balance of probability is that the Russians misidentified US units as Ukranian and opened fire/ Within hours, before anyne can react to stop it events escalate out of control int a full scale battle right long the line. 

 

Consequently the US and Russia are engaged in a full scvale war niether of them anticipated. Moscow and Washington furiously blame each other. By this time it is too late to stop the conflict which escalates quickly and alarmingly ino a full scale European War. While the land ighting is mostly or entirely in Europe tere will be air and naval actions elsewhere outside the scope of the game. Many people will regard the conflict as World War 3 even though both sides will try to limit the fighting to Europe. I see naval actions in the Atlantic and the Baltic as a certaimnty. Very likely there will be naval and air combat in the Medditteranean and probably similar clashes in the North Pacific. 

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As I see the backstory of this game there is no full scale war between NATO and Russia. And as pointed out in this thread, a full scale conflict would end in nukes eventually, not a nice scenario for a game...

My understanding is that the conflict is limited to Ukraine simply because both side choose not to fight anywhere else. Probably Russia would say: If you attack anything on Russian soil we strike back with nuclear weapons. NATO says: OK, but your troops in Ukraine are fair game because they are aggressors! Of course Russia could use SAMs and Artillery stationed on Russian soil without fear of attack. That explains nicely why planes fly low in the game by the way and why artillery is available to both sides instead of beeing busy with counter battery fire all the time.

Of course, just my two cents on the backstory of the game. Will we actually get in this kind of conflict? As it looks right now the chances are still not very high, but I fear they are not zero either.

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As I see the backstory of this game there is no full scale war between NATO and Russia. And as pointed out in this thread, a full scale conflict would end in nukes eventually, not a nice scenario for a game...

My understanding is that the conflict is limited to Ukraine simply because both side choose not to fight anywhere else. Probably Russia would say: If you attack anything on Russian soil we strike back with nuclear weapons. NATO says: OK, but your troops in Ukraine are fair game because they are aggressors! Of course Russia could use SAMs and Artillery stationed on Russian soil without fear of attack. That explains nicely why planes fly low in the game by the way and why artillery is available to both sides instead of beeing busy with counter battery fire all the time.

Of course, just my two cents on the backstory of the game. Will we actually get in this kind of conflict? As it looks right now the chances are still not very high, but I fear they are not zero either.

 

The Russians are not crazy. Russia escalating the war to other parts of Europe (eg air/missile atack. a military offensive to relieve Kaliningrad) is plausibe. Likewise limited NATO ground operations in russia to secure territorial negotiating chips or to destroy the Russian military are reasonable steps.

 

The Russians are unlikely to go nuclear just because NATO conducts a limited ground invasion. Release of nuclear weaons by either side would result in a dangerous escalation to a nuclear exchange. Both sides are well aware of what his would mean. Further it is suposed to be very hard to get people to press the button in official wargames which suggests national political leaders are very unlikely to go nuclear unless the circumstances are extreme.

 

I would not however rule out the possibility that nuclear weapons would never be used in a war of this nature. We have never had a war between two nuclear powers and so it is impossible to predict, with any certainty whether these weapons would be used and in what circumstances.

 

If the war did go nuclear the most likely cause would be hum,an error or techncal malfunction of a warning system. Errors of that kind have been quite common and should somehing f that nature happen during a conventioal war  decsion makers might not be so willing to pause and check as in peacetime.

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Note that the scenario I discribe does not result in nuclear war, that is the whole point. Simply the threat by Russia to use nukes would be sufficient to stop NATO from an all out attack. That is the whole point of having nukes.

Anyways, the game describes a conflict that is limited to Ukraine, I just suggested one explanation for that.

I think Chris Nd mentioned that they might publish a more complete description of how Battlefront envisions the backstory for Black Sea.

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Note that the scenario I discribe does not result in nuclear war, that is the whole point. Simply the threat by Russia to use nukes would be sufficient to stop NATO from an all out attack. That is the whole point of having nukes.

Anyways, the game describes a conflict that is limited to Ukraine, I just suggested one explanation for that.

I think Chris Nd mentioned that they might publish a more complete description of how Battlefront envisions the backstory for Black Sea.

 

There are reasons why there might be some limited oprerations outside Ukraine but inside Eastern Europe. A Russian invasion of he Baltic States threatens Poland ansd the routes needed to move NATO supplies and reinforcments. For the Russians it would secure their very imporant naval base in Kaliningrad. 

 

Later in the war NATO commanders might well consider a limited incusion into Russia to capture a city like Kursk that is close to the border. We are not alking about a Barbarossa II "March on Moscow" which, even if it does not result in nuclear war would require a long NAO occupation of Russia. Babarossa II would only be undertaken under extreme conditions such as a large scaleuse of chemical weapons with high civiliann casualties. NATO might also want to further destroy Russian forces so the Kremlin cannot do this again. And such a military operation has a political aim too. Captured Russian territory an be negotiaed back for Russian concessions (such as withdrawl from any Ukranian territory they stll hold or political concessions such as Russian recognition of Ukraine's right to join NATO  or withdrawl of Russian support for the Russian seperatists. 

 

Remember, at the end of this war there are going to be negotiations. Each side is going to consider what it can use to extract political concessions 

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