MOSCOW – The US should not abuse exercises near Russia’s borders, as Washington underestimates the risks of such maneuvers, writes Lyle Goldstein, a professor at the US Naval College’s China Marine Research Institute.
In an article written for National Interest magazine , the professor points out that there are still at least 18,000 mines in the Russian waters of the Azov Sea, as well as along the Black Sea coast, left after World War II.
Reason for war?
An accidental explosion of a NATO ship in one of these mines could lead to a naval conflict with Russia, which could turn into a total defeat for Atlantic Alliance forces, Goldstein believes.
“In such a conflict, of course, NATO forces (excluding Turkey) in the Black Sea would constitute a mere “tripwire”—military parlance for a force with some political value at “phase zero,” but with little actual military significance. They would be wiped out in the first few hours of a war. Perhaps, it is fortunate, therefore, that the U.S. is forbidden to bring aircraft carriers through the Turkish Straits by the Montreux Convention. In a hypothetical situation in which they were allowed to transit the Straits, they would likely be rapidly destroyed by a robust combination of diesel submarines, shore-based mobile missile forces, and small but lethal Russian missile boats. All of this, of course, does not even mention land-based aircraft equipped with hypersonic anti-ship missiles, such as the new Kinzhal systemm” the professor wrote.
In the article, Lyle Goldstein emphasizes that the chances of the United States could only be improved by revising the strategy and beginning intensive development of underwater weapons and advanced unmanned aerial vehicles.
Former Russian Black Sea Fleet chief of staff, Vice Admiral Pyotr Svyatashov, commented on US Professor Lyle Goldstein’s prediction of a NATO defeat in the event of a naval conflict with Russia.
“Even if a ship were hit by a mine, what would be the consequences? Perhaps the ship will get a small hole, fix the hole and move on. Why would there be war suddenly?” he questioned.
For Pyotr Svyatashov, the American teacher is a “fantasist,” not a military man. “Hollywood! Assumptions in the category of children’s games,” added the vice admiral, recommending to stop fantasizing about war with Russia.
“Unleash a war – their hand [it] even itches. They did no enemy projectile clearance on their territory. But we know what the smell of gunpowder is, and we hear explosions on land and sea […] reason must be overcome,” concluded Svyatashov.