(MENAFN- Asia Times) Barring some unforeseen contingency there will not be a war in Europe, beyond Ukraine, for some time to come.
That prediction, however, is based on NATO's ability to deter a future Russian attack. NATO's deterrent capability, in light of the Ukraine war, is open to increasing doubt.
If NATO is unable to restore confidence in its defenses, the organization will have to make deals with the Russians that will change Europe's strategic map.
NATO's ultra modern HQ in Brussels
As things stand now, NATO is an expansionist alliance and not a defensive alliance as originally conceived.
The organization's changed posture came about after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Policymakers decided to extend NATO coverage to the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, vastly expanding the NATO'security zone.
It was a gutsy decision, based on a greatly weakened and mostly impoverished Russia. Over nearly a decade, post-Soviet Russia stopped producing weapons and ammunition, its military leadership ossified and its plans for new weapons were put to the side because there wasn't money to finance them.
One of Vladimir Putin's accomplishments in his 17 years in power was to reverse the decline in Russia's military. That has not been easy. Russia's industry was far from modernized. However good they were at their main job, military leaders in the core group were not up to the task of managing factories run by the state.
The Russians were very slow to adapt. By the time of the second Nagorno-Karabakh war in 2020 , it was clear that Russian-supplied hardware and tactics were inadequate and failed. The Armenians, who used mainly Russian equipment, saw their forces torn apart by Azerbaijan.
A key factor in the war was the introduction of armed and loitering drones that were used to destroy Armenian air defenses, command posts, and heavy equipment.
Harop Loitering Munition (Israel)
By the start of 2022, the Russias had not yet learned the lessons of 2020. Nor had they adapted their tactics on how to deal with smart weapons including anti tank missiles and MANPADs air defenses.
Russian drones first seen in the Ukraine War were primitive and poorly made . Russian armor was picked apart by Ukrainian soldiers, who ambushed hundreds of them as they traveled down roadways. Ukraine, with lots of Western support in the form of smart weapons and real-time intelligence, pushed the Russians back and inflicted serious defeats on them. Bleeding Ukraine (and NATO)
But all that changed in late 2022 and early 2023 as the Russians adapted. Spurning World War II-style shock armor advances that were costly in equipment and manpower, Russia turned to an active defense system designed primarily by Russian general Sergei Surovikin .
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