28 June 2022
Please see the full document on Google Docs.
This post has been revised to take account of recent changes in the strategic environment that have at least called into question several of its earlier conclusions. The revisions mainly affect the paragraphs following the section entitled The Logic of SASW in the Current Era (pp. 3-7). The argument will continue to reflect several self-evident principles: 1) the party that is generally superior in conventional capabilities will never fire nuclear weapons first; 2) during the conventional phase and, especially after nuclear weapons have been fired, the conventionally superior party will avoid, as much as possible, actions that increase the enemy’s incentives to use/further use nuclear weapons; and 3) this principle applies with maximum force to actions that affect the intercontinental nuclear balance.
Russia (AKA mini USSR) is currently punching WAY above its weight in the world simply because of its nuclear arsenal & still considerable conventional forces. Economically & cultural influentially it’s a nothing. As we ponder what damage they may cause NATO, what is their “cry uncle” point? If we know it, IF, in light of it’s recent demands to NATO, let’s squeeze that point. Backing Russia down would send a message to a far greater threat (PRC) that the West is not to be trifled with. As in Syria (in 2018 I believe)where some Russian little green men tried to show US forces how tough they are, an air strike left many green men not so green.