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Korybko To Sergey Karaganov: Nuking Europe Won’t Relieve The US’ Proxy War Pressure On Russia
Considering that Russia is performing very well in its “race of logistics” with NATO, the US would certainly respond to the nuking of its NATO allies, and diplomatic options for relieving the US’ proxy war pressure haven’t yet been exhausted, there’s no reason for Russia to risk World War III by nuking Europe.
RT published the translated and slightly edited version of Sergey Karaganov’s latest article proposing that Russia nuke Europe in order to relieve the US’ proxy war pressure in Ukraine. He’s a deeply respected intellectual who serves as the honorary chairman of Russia’s influential Council on Foreign and Defense Policy and is also an academic supervisor at the Higher School of Economics’ School of International Economics and Foreign Affairs in Moscow. These posts give his words enormous weight in the country.
The major debate that his latest article sparked among experts in Russia “about nuclear weapons, their role, and the conditions of their use” is the reason why RT decided to share it with their readers in full. The purpose is to generate a discussion about these interconnected proposals, which essentially aim to ‘escalate to de-escalate’ by decisively bringing an end to the most geostrategically significant conflict since World War II instead of letting it possibly turn into yet another so-called ‘forever war’.
Karaganov begins by explaining how he arrived at the conclusion that this is supposedly the most effective way to resolve the NATO-Russian proxy war. According to him, his country must absolutely achieve its special operation’s security-related goals, which can only be accomplished by stopping the never-ending influx of Western arms into Ukraine. The Western liberal-globalist elite no longer respects Russia’s legitimate interests so they won’t voluntarily do this, which is they must be taught a hard lesson.
Restoring the credibility of its nuclear deterrence “by lowering the unacceptably high threshold for the use of atomic weapons and by moving cautiously but quickly up the ladder of deterrence-escalation” is the only way to do this, Karaganov believes. “If the present Western leaders refuse to back down”, he writes, “Then we will have to hit a group of targets in a number of countries to bring those who have lost their senses back to their senses.”
Karaganov’s calculation is premised on his prediction that “Only if there is a madman in the White House who also hates his own country will the US decide to strike in ‘defense’ of the Europeans and invite retaliation by sacrificing a hypothetical Boston for a notional Poznan.” He added that “If this is not done, not only may Russia perish, but most likely the whole of human civilization will end.” Karaganov has therefore convinced himself that it’s of existential importance for humanity that Russia nukes Europe.
With all due respect to him, this would likely turn the worst-case scenario that he sincerely wants to avoid into a self-fulfilling prophecy. For starters, it’s not necessary to risk World War III by attacking “a group of targets in a number of (NATO) countries”. Russia is already holding its own in what NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg described as those two’s “race of logistics”/“war of attrition” in mid-February, and there’s no reason to expect his country to lose its competitive edge anytime soon.
The second argument against Karaganov’s proposal is that it’s unrealistic to predict that only an insane American President would react to Russia attacking “a group of targets in a number of (NATO) countries”, let alone with nukes. The US’ powerful military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) would force them to respond in kind out of fear that failing to do so would embolden China, Iran, and North Korea to militarily advance their own interests at the US’ expense, perhaps even simultaneously.
And finally, the last argument is that the US might seriously consider curtailing its proxy war on Russia and possibly even ending it via an informal compromise if India convinced it that this is required in order to more effectively contain China, which it might seek to do during Prime Minister Modi’s upcoming trip. Those two have shared interests in containing China, and while Russia is against anyone pressuring its Entente partner, the Kremlin would still be pleased if Indian diplomacy brought an end to this conflict.
Considering that Russia is performing very well in its “race of logistics” with NATO, the US would certainly respond to the nuking of its NATO allies, and diplomatic options for relieving the US’ proxy war pressure haven’t yet been exhausted, there’s no reason for Russia to risk World War III by nuking Europe. Even in the event that it begins to lose the “race of logistics”, then it would likely only consider nuking targets in Ukraine as a last resort out of self-defense to ensure its survival if it’s threatened from there.
Nevertheless, the global attention that’s been given to Karaganov’s latest article could still serve a positive purpose if it opens some American policymakers’ eyes to the trend of increasingly hawkish rhetoric coming from Kremlin-connected figures. While these are their own opinions and not reflective of state policy, it shows that perceptions about this conflict are gradually changing in the halls of power the longer that it drags on as a result of the West’s never-ending influx of arms to Ukraine.
The best-case scenario is that perceptions among some American policymakers might also gradually change after becoming aware of this observation about their Russian counterparts’, which could lead to them being more receptive to third parties’ proposals like India’s speculative one for ending this conflict. They’d likely wait until the end of the year after Kiev’s NATO-backed counteroffensive is over, but then they might seriously consider ordering their proxy to commence ceasefire talks shortly thereafter.
Regardless of whatever happens, Russian policymakers shouldn’t think that nuking Europe will relieve the US’ proxy war pressure like Karaganov predicts. He makes excellent points about the need to update their country’s nuclear doctrine to lower the unacceptably high threshold for resorting to these arms out of self-defense, but he epically miscalculates the US’ reaction to Russia nuking its NATO allies. Hopefully Russian policymakers pay no heed to Karaganov’s well-intended but totally misguided second proposal.