Although Russia has warned the U.S. that another U.S. missile-assault against sovereign Syrian territory will be answered not only by Syria’s military but also by Russia’s, Andrew Korybko, who is an expert on geostrategy and especially on Russia’s strategic intentions, says that Russia would not follow through on that threat unless Russian soldiers get killed by the U.S. invasion. But, either way, nuclear war between the super-powers would be likely; and here is why:
The Russian statement, as published on April 8th at the site of Russian Television, was that any such U.S. invasion “would be ‘absolutely unacceptable’ and could lead to ‘dire consequences.’” Of course, if Russia, after such a statement, were to respond, to such an invasion by the U.S., with something less than “dire consequences,” then the U.S. invasion would have defeated Russia, in the Syrian battlefield, without so much as even having had any war there against Russian forces. This would, to put it mildly, be a watershed moment of Russia’s military capitulation to U.S. aggression against the Government of Syria — an ally of Russia, left unprotected in the lurch, when Russia’s assistance would have been the most needed. Also, since the U.N. would never authorize any such invasion, the U.S. would have destroyed there the U.N. itself, as being anything more than a talking-forum that’s backed up by nothing more than the whims of what then would incontestably be the lone superpower and the imperial master of the entire planet: the U.S. regime, which would then have shown (conspicuously displayed) that it can do anything anywhere and be unconcerned about any retaliatory consequences. Would the Russian people accept that outcome, their capitulation? If they do not, then would they accept the American dictators? If they do not, then would they accept their own elected Government? Or: would there become a second Russian revolution?
The full phrase that was used in the Russian Government’s original announcement was that they “warn that military intervention under flimsy pretexts fabrications regarding Syria, where, at the request of the legitimate Government are Russian servicemen, is absolutely unacceptable and could lead to the most severe consequences.” In that form, the warning could sound meaningless; but, that’s not the form in which the assertion was being broadcast to the global public. If the intention of the Russian Government there was to have some basis for alleging that Russia’s attempt to “warn” the U.S. was no real warning at all, then it would be mocked.
The implication of the warning as it had been stated in that original, was that only if there “are Russian servicemen” who become hit by the U.S. aggression against the sovereign Syrian Government, will it be the case that it “could lead to the most severe consequences.” If, however, “Russian servicemen” do become injured or, worse yet, killed, by the American invasion, how could Russia’s Government face its own people if it then failed to respond with “the most serious consequences”?
Korybko said that “it’s unlikely that Russia will carry through on the conditional yet highly publicized and mostly misunderstood threat to shoot down any American missiles and/or target their launching pads (including ships), so Syria will probably have little choice but to finally follow Russia’s ‘suggestion’ of a ‘last-minute solution’ or face the wrathful American consequences for refusing.” But what would happen if Syria does choose to stand firm? And what would happen if there “are Russian servicemen” who become injured or killed in that invasion?
Perhaps the Russian Government wants to extricate itself from its role as Syria’s essential protector, but there seems to be little possibility that it could be done now, other than by jeopardizing its own standing not only internationally as an ally whose commitments can be trusted, but even among the Russian people who had elected it.
Consequently, “dire consequences,” or “the most severe consequences” to the U.S. invaders, would quite possibly result from that invasion; and, then, what step would the invader follow-up with?
Likely would be a massed invasion by the U.S. military in conjunction with that of Israel, the Sauds, and whatever NATO members would want to be at the head of the line of vassals supplicating for favors afterward to the imperial master-regime in Washington. This would then clearly be likewise a war against both Russia and Iran, and perhaps China and North Korea would join it on Russia’s-Syria’s side. But, in any case, the likelihood of limiting this war to only the Syrian battlefield would then be very slim indeed; and the only question that would seriously remain would be: will the all-out nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia be initiated by a sudden blitz all-out nuclear invasion of Russia by the U.S., or, instead, by a sudden blitz all-out nuclear invasion of the U.S. by Russia? Which side will strike the first? That’s important, because the nuclear exchange will be over within only 30 minutes, at most. The first to strike will have obliterated many of the opposite side’s weapons (blocked them from being used), and this will be decisive in determining the ‘winner’ and the ‘loser’.
Whichever side strikes the first will likeliest suffer the lesser damage of the two, even if the entire globe gets effectively destroyed as a consequence. In military terms, ‘victory’ always goes to whichever side suffers the less damage than the other; ‘defeat’ goes to the side that suffers the more damage. That’s all. This is the military, after all. And, so, even if there really would not be any significant history afterward, there still would have been a ‘winner’ and a ‘loser’; and this seems now to be the chief question that is seriously open, at the present time: who will blitz-attack first?
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.