Author: Raimonds Rublovskis .
Recent statements of Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitri Ragozin and Chief on General Staff Nikolai Makarov concerning Russian military answer to the further development of NATO anti-missile system in Europe which includes the possible option of pre-emptive missile strike against NATO military infrastructure in Europe marks very end of so called restart of relations between the United States and Russia. It is challenging time because of several factors- upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago this month and elections of the President of the United States later this year.
One would argue that the ultimate goal of such statements from Russian side is to put increased political rather than military pressure on the United States and NATO and see how far they can go in order to challenge NATO and the United States military plans concerning NATO anti-missile system. Stakes are high and American statements concerning further build-up of the System and recent Russian statements put both sides to the position from which no side can retreat without losing face and, subsequently, influence.
If Russian military and political leaders think that such a pre-emptive strike against NATO military infrastructure in NATO territory will remain without serious military response against Russian targets, firstly, in Kaliningrad enclave, and elsewhere in Russia, then Russian decision-makers are in serious misperception of reality. No US President will survive politically; if there will be no devastating military answer against Russian targets in case of Russian pre-emptive attack against the United States and NATO targets in Europe. Probably, such statements from Russian side will even fuel the possibility of much tougher political and military stance of the United States, and change of course towards tough and decisive policy of the United States towards Russia.
It leads to conclusion that Russian leadership tries to bluff and see how far they can challenge the United States and NATO. One could argue that if Russia takes such a decision of the pre-emptive strike, it will lead to devastating military answer from the United States and NATO with unpredictable consequences for Russian side. However, one would still argue that recent statements of Mr. Ragozin and General Makarov are far from being ready to pass reality check, those are mostly political statements in order to put the political pressure on the United States and NATO, and check the commitment and resolve of the United States and NATO in Europe.