Scenarios of warfare flood the pages of newspapers, gatherings of experts dealing with “war games” (War Games) but also the publications of reputable houses that embrace the news. Sometimes the subject matter is extremely relevant and very close to reality. Then worries and serious thoughts arise “maybe something has gone wrong”.
Former NATO Deputy Chief of Staff DSACEUR, General Richard Shirreff, has written an extremely interesting politico-military forecast book. The “War with Russia: An Urgent Warning from Senior Military Command”. Written at a relatively unsuspecting time, in 2016, it depicts worrying and very close to reality war scenarios involving the West in a deadly confrontation with Russia. Shirreff’s book’s interest is not so much in its very precise predictions (beginning of the Russian invasion of Donbass in Ukraine) nor in its emphasis on Moscow’s special interest in subjugating the relatively newly independent Baltic states. What is fascinating is the detailed description of the weaknesses of NATO, and especially of Britain, after the large cuts in military spending in some areas there.
But where the interest of the reader, but also of the political observer, culminates is in the difficult and risky choice of Kaliningrad (Old Prussian Köningsberg) as a target for NATO retaliation for Russia’s blow. The reference to technical details and the dizzying description of weapons systems, technological equipment and capabilities, even nuclear, on both sides reasonably trouble the reader. What is becoming apparent is that such war scenarios have been worked out in great detail by all those involved. It is therefore highly unlikely that the current conflicts on Ukrainian territory are unpredictable. And the “experts” should not have any idea how they will evolve and where they will end up!
With active initiative and strategic depth, we, as NATO and the West, should position our issues, so that not only do the escalations of claims not remain virtually unanswered, but that an adversarial body of claims is built on our part that can to be displayed in appropriate circumstances.