In June 2022, the NATO summit, will take place parallel to the EU summit and the G-7 summit and decide on a new NATO strategy. Preparatory work on this was carried out on behalf of NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg by a working group chaired by former German Defense Minister De Maizierre and US diplomat Wess Mitchell, with China and Russia being classified as the main challenges for NATO. Now probably in the course of the Ukraine war again more Russia. In addition to the content orientation and prioritization of enemies and challenges, the deterrence strategy will also be an important point. Essentially, the NATO strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction and Containment was changed in 1967 by means of the Harmel report to the deterrence strategy of flexible response, which is still valid today, and a willingness to engage in dialogue with the then Soviet Union, the Détente and Ostpolitik. It is questionable whether both still make sense after Putin’s draft contract before the Ukraine war which included a roll back of NATO to the broders of 1997 at least and now since the beginning of the Ukraine war. While the flexible response was still unquestioned in the 1990s and 2000s, in view of Putin’s and Xi’s expansionism, the current developments raise the question of whether the USA both in Europe and in Asia will still stick to the old detterence strategy or maybe only in a new version. Basically, the old deterrence strategy and Hermanns Kahn’s escalation ladder was first questioned by the Center for Strategic Budget Assessment (CSBA) through their study „Rethinking Armageddon“ – since today’s world is no longer bipolar, new weapon systems and theaters of wars from Cyber, Hypersonic, Haystack, Space, global strike, and that the assumptions of behavioral psychology at the time regarding rational actors had to be revised. The study can be read at:
The question also arises as to whether the previous deterrence strategy of the USA and NATO is still up to date in view of the Russian military doctrine of „de-escalation through escalation“, especially since Putin and the other side always seem to have the escalation dominance and the USA and NATO only react. Already General ret. Naumann spoke out in the programmatic document „Towards a Grand Strategy“ 2008 for the necessity that NATO must have escalation dominance at all times. Similarly, there are now US strategists who think that the West should not always sit like a rabbit in front of a snake, means: in front of Putin’s nuclear war threats by the old flexible response strategy, but that the deterrence strategy must be reversed, putting Putin in front of the US and NATO like the the bunny sitting in front of the snake. Concepts from the 1980s under Reagan and Colin S-Gray, such as the doctrine of limited nuclear wars, are also proposed again. Sigmar Gabriel and Joschka Fischer believe that the Soviet Union would have become a status quo power after the Cuban Missile Crisis, different from revisionist and expansionist Putin’s Russia. Apart from the fact that it was always said at that time that the Soviet Union wanted world revolution and that its SS-20s were intended to change the balance of power in Europe in the long term, one wonders what the reverse conclusion is, even if one shares this assumption. Should the USA and NATO wait for a new Cuban Missile Crisis or ignite and provoke them themselves in order to turn Putin-Russia and Xi-China into status quo powers. Or following Che Guevara’s slogan: Create 2, 3, many Vietnam: Create 1, 2 Cuban missile crises? Maybe also in a war rhetroic like Trump about „fury and fire“ and „Liitle fat man, you are on a suicide mission“?
Asia is also being rethought. In Japan, they now want to use the new military strategy to introduce „enemy base strike capabilities“, which can now also attack military bases and infrastructure in mainland China and North Korea, as well as South Korea with the so-called „kill chain“ now also wants preemptive wars against North Korea in the event of a nuclear war threat.
But this discussion is also about more, including the attitude of Germans to radioactivity, nuclear power and the use of nuclear weapons. Many countries, their elites and also large parts of the population see in the Germans more a people of ecological hypochondriacs and homeopathic esotericists with too much German Angst who far overestimate the dangers and effects of radioactivity, as well as the risk of nuclear power and even nuclear bombs. When I explained to a representative of British Aerospace, son of a senior official in the British Ministry of Defense who was also a member of the Swiss Mt. Pellin Society, that Germany was not so committed to nuclear power because of the problem of nuclear waste disposal and the risk of a disaster, he said that even in a meltdown this is not so dramatic, even if radioactivity gets into the body: „You just piss it out!“ And that the Ukraine, Europe, the USA and also Japan after Tchernobyl, Three Land Island and Fukushima, even Hiroshima and Nagasaki came out almost unscathed. Most countries in the world also rely on nuclear power, since the populations apparently never got to see German films like „The Cloud“ (Die Wolke) or would see them as grossly exaggerated. In the case of the use of nuclear weapons, the US strategist and disarmament negotiator Paul Nitze once said: “Today Hiroshima is a flourishing city again. where is the problem?“. And it’s true. That is why such nuclear strategy experts do not see the limited use of tactical nuclear weapons or of Hiroshima format as a problem, since they consider them to be survivable, limitable, winnable and feasible, unlike the use of intercontinental nuclear weapons and a global nuclear war or between nuclear powers, even if Europe or Asia would be the battlefield