The Week: How a Russia vs. NATO war would really go down

The Week: How a Russia vs. NATO war would really go down

The military confrontation between Russia and NATO may result in a nuclear war, the analyst of The Week magazine Kyle Mizokami believes.

"Michael Carpenter, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, told Congress he agreed with a think tank study that concluded NATO could not currently defend the Baltic States against a lightning Russian military campaign. The report says the three tiny countries, which collectively muster 11 battalions of mostly lightly armed troops, are no match for the 46 battalions of tanks, mechanized infantry, paratroops, marines, artillery, surface-to-surface missile, and attack helicopters Russia has stationed in the region," Mizokami writes in his article.

He recalls that "traditionally, in order to have a reasonable chance at victory, attacking military forces require a three to one numerical superiority ratio. The current ratio in the Baltics is more than four to one. The rest of NATO could quickly surge eight more battalions to the defense of the Baltics, but most of those forces, although well trained, are lightly armed. However, NATO has further plans to deploy another four tank and mechanized battalions in the Baltics."

According to him, NATO's biggest concern is the fact that "in 2014, with the Russian economy finally back on track, Russia embarked on an ambitious plan to update its armed forces. In the course of implementation of this program, Russia plans to go from 10 percent modern military equipment to 70 percent modern equipment by 2020, at a cost of $720 billion."

At the same time, as the expert pointed out, the real danger in any NATO-Russia war isn't that NATO would lose. The danger is that this conflict can very well escalate to full-scale nuclear war.