Sunday, December 23, 2007

Russia and New Mexico

This is a summary of a conversation with John Fleck, who I need to add to my blogs sidebar.

Initial facts (the premise, if you will):
  • Russia, flush with new wealth and renewed national pride, is re-militarizing
  • Russia is fast becoming the regional power it should be, and will now be back as regional hegemon
  • Russia may well decide to renew its nuclear program (the conversation assumed they will; let's go with the assumption for now)
  • This is great news for New Mexico, as the threat (and not the reality) of nuclear war means lots more money for this state, and more good jobs)
Wait a second, why does a Russian Nuclear program necessitate a new US nuclear program? The old cold war scenario (below) no longer fits:
  • Russian tanks from Eastern Europe
  • Territorial Squabble
  • Escalation in turns
  • The small battle becomes the one moment when both sides try to win the war
  • Nukes held as last threat, but used simultaneously
The new Scenario doesn't involve static superpowers, and is more complex than two sides trying to win the last battle. The new nuclear escalation (as makes sense to me), is:
  • Civil unrest in a Central Asian Republic (the countries that end in -stan, and a few others); Azerbaijan will be the specific example (US already has plans for operations in Azerbaijan)
  • The government appeals for help, to many nations. Other factions may appeal as well
  • Acting unilaterally and independently, both the US and Russia intervene in the nation in turmoil (unilateral is assumed on behalf of at least one party; NATO/UN/EU could easily be the other)
  • A specific strategic resource. Ports, forts, government buildings oil fields are all likely. (In Bosnia, an airport was held by Russia. NATO, under general Wellesley Clark, were supposed to take the airport, and while troops were sent, communication with Russia worked, and accidental conflict was avoided)
  • Both sides converged on said specific strategic resource location, and both are unaware of the other's actions. A skirmish, as troops act to protect their own (George Washington, in the 7 years war, helped escalate the war by accidentally attacking allies)
  • Military decisions move faster than political ones, and the conflict escalates rapidly
  • Fear of retaliation mounts, and nukes become active
The idea is a political long shot, and one that hopefully improvements in communications technology and chains of command will have lessened. Also, more international cooperation would be beneficial in preventing this, but the scenario exists, even as a slim chance.

And this is relevant, because new nukes means better nukes means more jobs for New Mexico. High paying jobs, too.

Senators policies can be so weird sometimes.


John Fleck said...

Just to be clear, I had a sarcastic smirk on my face when I argued that a remilitarized Russia would be "good for New Mexico." I was channeling those who hold this view, not necessarily affirming it as my own belief.

Kelsey Atherton said...

Of course; I was unsure whether said view-holder was an allowable reference, and so put their words in your mouth, as that is how I heard them.

You are not the eager nuke jockey that some folks are, and my apologies if that was miscommunicated