What would a Russia vs United States of America war look like?

HMS Astute

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The chances that the U.S. and Russia will clash militarily over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine are very, very slim. Ukraine isn't a member of NATO, and President Obama isn't likely to volunteer for another war. But many of Ukraine's neighbors are NATO members, including Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary. And so are the the Baltic states — Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia — further north and right on Russia's border. If any of those countries come to Ukraine's aid and find themselves in a war with Russia, NATO is obliged to intervene. That's also true if Russia comes up with some pretext to invade any of those countries, unlikely as that seems. If we learned anything from World War I, it's that huge, bloody conflicts can start with tiny skirmishes, especially in Eastern Europe. Again, the U.S. and Russia almost certainly won't come to blows over Ukraine. But what if they did?

If you asked that question during the Cold War it would be like those fanciful Godzilla vs. King Kong, or Batman vs. Superman match-ups: Which superpower would prevail in all-out battle? But Russia isn't the Soviet Union, and military technology didn't stop in 1991. Here, for example, is a look at U.S. versus Russian/USSR defense spending since the end of the Cold War, from Mother Jones. The U.S. is much wealthier than Russia and spends a lot more on its military. That doesn't mean a war would be easy for the U.S. to win, though, or even guarantee a victory: As Napoleon and Hitler learned the hard way, Russia will sacrifice a lot to win its wars, especially on its home turf.



So, what would a war between the U.S. and Russia look like? Here are a few scenarios, from awful to merely bad:

A conventional war in Eastern Europe
This is the other scenario that never happened in the Cold War. Now, the possibility of scenario one (nuclear Armageddon) makes this one almost equally unlikely. But for the sake of argument, let's assume this hypothetical U.S.-Russia war breaks out in Ukraine, and that other NATO forces are supplementing U.S. troops, ships, and aircraft. Unlike in the Asia-Pacific, where the U.S. keeps China in check (and vice versa, as Eugene Chow explained), NATO provides the United States with a robust military alliance set up specifically to take on Soviet Russia.

The first dynamic is that Russia would have home field advantage: The Russian navy has long called Crimea its home, and whatever troops Russia doesn't already have in Ukraine are right next door, one border-crossing away. The other big starting point is that the U.S. and its NATO allies have Russia effectively surrounded. By its own public count, the U.S. has 598 military facilities in 40 countries, along with the 4,461 bases in the U.S. and U.S. territories.

Along with its large number of bases in Germany, the U.S. has major military installations in Qatar and the Diego Garcia atoll to Russia's south and Japan and South Korea to its east. NATO allies France and Britain are even closer, as this map from Britain's The Telegraph shows:



On top of that, NATO has bases around Russia's western perimeter and in Turkey, right across the Black Sea from Ukraine. What about Russia? "They have a presence in Cuba," more a way station than a base, NYU professor Mark Galeotti tells The Washington Post. And Russia has a naval base in Tartus, Syria. But otherwise "they have no bases outside the former Soviet Union."

Russia has an estimated 845,000 active-duty troops, with as many as 2.5 million more in reserve. NYU's Galeotti isn't very impressed. Russia's military is "moderately competent," he tells The Washington Post. "It's not at the level of the American or British or German military, but it's better than in the 1990s." The Russian troops, especially the Spetsnaz special forces, are "good at bullying small neighbors, but it would not be effective against NATO. It would not be able to defeat China." Galeotti is even more brutal about Russia's Crimea-based Black Sea Fleet:

As a war-fighting force, it's not particularly impressive. Its main vessel was basically built to fight other ships and so is only useful in fighting a naval war. It's got the Moskva, an aging guided-missile cruiser; a large anti-submarine warfare cruiser — very dated; a destroyer and two frigates, which are more versatile; landing ships; and a diesel attack submarine. It's not a particularly powerful force. The Italian navy alone could easily destroy it. [Washington Post]

Read more:

What would a U.S.-Russia war look like? - The Week
 

HMS Astute

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@HMS Astute

Just Google some YouTube videos of the aftermath of the atomic genocide at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and you will get an answer to your question.
does russia even need tanks or aircraft then? all they do is just threaten with their nukes, nukes, nukes, nukes and more nukes.
 
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asianobserve

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@HMS Astute

Discussion about how a war between the US and Russia is purely academic since it is very unlikely that they will have direct war. They will fight war through proxies. And if they do have direct war then I think that would be the end of the World as we know it.
 
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HMS Astute

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@HMS Astute

Discussion about how a war between the US and Russia is purely academic since it is very unlikely that they will have direct war. They will fight war through proxies. And if they do have direct war then I think that would be the end of the World as we know it.
that's why nato should install proper nuclear defence shield in europe and russia's doorstep, which will significantly reduce the sharpness of the bear's teeth.

the only thing that makes people think twice when they talk about a war against russia is just because of their nukes.

without nukes, russia's conventional forces can be handled with ease.
 
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pmaitra

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that's why nato should install proper nuclear defence shield in europe and russia's doorstep, which will significantly reduce the sharpness of the bear's teeth.

the only thing that makes people worry when they talk about a war against russia is just their nukes. without nukes, russia is nothing.
NATO should stop being a prick and disband immediately.
 

Razor

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does russia even need tanks or aircraft then? all they do is just threaten with their nukes, nukes, nukes, nukes and more nukes.
It is not threatening, it is strategic military balance. The US (and the puppets) have nukes. Russia has nukes.
The purpose of Strategic nuclear weapons is to deter, they are not meant to be used.

The US attempts to disturb the balance by proliferating nuclear weapons (in defiance to Non-Proliferation Treaty) and basing nukes in countries such as: Germany, Nederlands, Italy, Turkey and Belgium. (all relatively close to Russia)
The so called Missile shield supposedly intended for Iran is actually intended for Russia. Yes the missile shield is defensive in nature, but disturbs this nuclear balance, as it is easier to knock down ICBMs in boost phase. For it BMD to work for boost phase knock out, the missile shield system must be placed nearer to launch location which is why they want it in Poland. Interestingly the US refused, when Russia offered a base in Armenia for missile shield, which both Russia and the NATO would monitor. Why would the US do that when Armenia is clearly a better choice for the missile shield, if Iran was the target ?
The ultimate aim of the US is to weaken Russia so as to effectively control its resources.
 
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HMS Astute

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It is not threatening, it is strategic military balance. The US (and the puppets) have nukes. Russia has nukes.

good luck putin, a leader of third world and muslim countries, but nato's nuclear shield project is moving forward as planned.

Since the George W. Bush Presidency, the United States and NATO have been pursuing a European missile defense shield, a policy which the Obama administration has continued. This advanced-placement BMD system threatens to fundamentally alter the strategic thermonuclear balance between the United States and Russia, as it moves into later stages of deployment. Despite repeated requests from Russia, both the Bush and Obama administrations have categorically refused to sign a written and verifiable guarantee that the missile defense system will not be retargeted against Russia.

The European BMD system, as now being implemented by the Obama Administration, consists of the forward stationing of four Aegis BMD-capable destroyers in Rota, Spain, as well as two land-based BMD sites in Poland and Romania. The USS Donald Cook, the first of the four destroyers, arrived in February and is now on its first patrol as part of the U.S. Sixth Fleet. The two installations in Poland and Romania will be based on the same Aegis radar and combat system as the ships, and will include 24 vertical launch cells for Standard interceptor missiles.
 
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asianobserve

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that's why nato should install proper nuclear defence shield in europe and russia's doorstep, which will significantly reduce the sharpness of the bear's teeth.

the only thing that makes people think twice when they talk about a war against russia is just because of their nukes.

without nukes, russia's conventional forces can be handled with ease.

I think thee's no threat from Russia in terms of nuclear tipped BMs. The threat is from smaller and more militant countries with developing nuclear capabilities like Iran. The behavior of these smaller countries is not yet certain. Russia on the other hand, provided it follow the USSR's nuclear doctrine, is reasonably predictable.

In terms of purely academic discourse, on the topic of conventional warfare, I think Russia will lose.

1) in terms of military hardware it is outmatched by NATO;

2) in terms of economic staying power, Russia is definitely toast; and

3) Unlike WW2, Russia cannot rely on the manpower of its neighbors (former vassal states) since they are already antagonistic to it. Chances are the vast number of its neighbors will volunteer to fight on NATO's side against it.
 
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HMS Astute

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I think thee's no threat from Russia in terms of nuclear tipped BMs. The threat is from smaller and more militant countries with developing nuclear capabilities like Iran. The behavior of these smaller countries is not yet certain. Russia on the other hand, provided it follow the USSR's nuclear doctrine, is reasonably predictable.

In terms of purely academic discourse, on the topic of conventional warfare, I think Russia will lose.

1) in terms of military hardware it is outmatched by NATO;

2) in terms of economic staying power, Russia is definitely toast; and

3) Unlike WW2, Russia cannot rely on the manpower of its neighbors (former vassal states) since they are already antagonistic to it. Chances are the vast number of its neighbors will volunteer to fight on NATO's side against it.
the eu spends less than 1.5% of gdp on defence, whereas russian spends 4%.

when it comes to full scale conventional war, even the eu alone can handle russia with ease. eu has the world's biggest economy and gdp.
 
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Razor

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Here are some quotes from the articles you posted.

Rogozin said according to Russian newspapers, including the state-run outlet RT. "But one should keep in mind that if there is an attack against us, we will certainly resort to using nuclear weapons in certain situations to defend our territory and state interests."
"The Russian Federation reserves the right to utilize nuclear weapons in response to the utilization of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it and (or) its allies, and also in the event of aggression against the Russian Federation involving the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is under threat."
These are not threats: Russia says if you nuke us, we nuke you. Mutually Assured Destruction.
Every nuke nation can nuke each other and Africa will be the next super power. lol
 

Razor

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won't not recommend to use it as a reliable source, but just a scenario. but, we all know the defence shield is going ahead as planned.

Advanced Placement BMD Systems Encircle Russia/China

I'm not very concerned about the BMD plans it may go ahead it may not. Russia will have a proper response to it.

But I'm wondering why there is a fire in Volgograd, in that picture. Every other fire is a conflict point, courtesy NATO. But what is this fire in Volgograd ? @Cadian Any idea ?
 
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HMS Astute

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Mon Aug 4, 2014
Russia to hold war games in show of strength near Ukraine | Reuters

Russia announced military exercises near the border with Ukraine on Monday in a show of strength as the Ukrainian army recaptured more territory from pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.

The Russian air force said more than 100 aircraft, including fighter jets and bombers, were taking part in the manoeuvres this week in the central and western military districts.

The move could alarm Western powers which have accused Russia of beefing up its troops along its border with Ukraine and arming the rebels in eastern Ukraine, although Moscow denies the accusations.

The manoeuvres include missile-firing practice and will assist "coordination between aviation and anti-missile defence", Interfax news agency quoted an airforce spokesman as saying.

He said Russia's latest bomber, the Su-24, was taking part, as well as Su-27 and MiG-31 fighter jets.

Russia upset the West by staging military exercises near Ukraine in March after the conflict with Ukraine flared. Moscow said in May it had pulled back its forces but NATO military commander General Philip Breedlove said last week it still had more than 12,000 troops and weapons along the frontier.

The crisis has pushed relations between Russia and the West to their lowest level since the Cold War, with each side accusing the other of orchestrating events in Ukraine, and the United States and European Union imposing sanctions on Russia.

Russia has a firm grip on the Crimea peninsula, which it annexed in March after Ukraine ousted a pro-Moscow president, but the rebels who wanted Moscow to also annexe east Ukraine have been losing ground in the past few weeks.
putin better focus on his country's economy, which is currently growing at 0% rate.

let alone the living standard, human development index and corruption rate there.
 

pmaitra

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HMS Astute

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I think Putin's popularity in Russia far outstrips Cameron's. I think he knows what he is doing. Hey, thank for the advice.
if they want to isolate themselves from the world, global markets and international community. let them be and choose their own future. oh and cameron is a complete twat when dealing with defence budget and immigration matters, although their economic policy is not bad, considering the UK is fastest the growing major advanced economy in the world this year with low unemployment rate. doubt he would win the next election if he does not change the attitude.
 
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pmaitra

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if they want to isolate themselves from the world, global markets and international community. let them be and choose their own future.

oh and cameron is a complete twat when dealing with defence budgets.
Trust me, they are not isolating themselves from anyone.

The international market is dominated by the dollar, so yes, there will be initial difficulties, but if Russia decides to trash the dollar, there is nothing anyone can do. Iraq tried to trash the dollar, and got invaded. Libya - same. Russia is very different. From my understanding, in their effort to hurt Russia, US and EU are hurting themselves as well. I think Putin has to weather the difficulties and wait for the Europeans to revolt against their spineless leaders. The recent EU polls should be an indicator.

Again, this is all speculation, so time will tell whether I am correct.
 

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