The American Interest: "In case of an armed conflict with Russia, NATO has nothing to expect"
The US publication The American Interest writes about the relations between the US and Russia on the eve of the NATO summit. The closer the NATO summit approaches in July this year, the more acute the issue of how to influence Russia by means of the North Atlantic alliance’s Article 5 becomes for America. The fact is that, despite the outward confidence, neither the US nor NATO can cope with a resurgent Russia and make the country's leadership accept their rules. After the annexation of Crimea to Russia the countries along the north-eastern border called for the establishment of US military bases on their territories, based on the assumption that only the US forces would be able to resist ‘aggression from Moscow.’ Feelings for the need for such steps are stoked in the Baltic countries by various manipulations on the basis of the military scenarios that are inexcusable for world politics in general.
A recent RAND study shows that in case of an armed conflict with Russia, NATO has nothing to expect: a defeat is inevitable in any scenario. In addition, the more NATO bases there are on the border with Russia, the greater the financial burden on the United States is, and with a deterioration of the relations with the Kremlin, the threat of terrorism and migration increases many times. The alliance is trying to reorient its interests to the East or to the South, which contradicts any attempt to reach a consensus with Russia. As the summit approaches, NATO is trying to restore the basis for negotiations with Moscow. The alliance is trying to ensure that any expansion of the military presence on the border with Russia is not aggressive, but preventative in nature.
However, the Russian government is not going to ponder how the US military forces are closing in at the state's borders. Back in February the Defense Minister of Russia, Sergey Shoigu, made it clear that the country would create new military units in the Western Military District, as well as three new units along the eastern periphery of NATO. It is important that Moscow is not going to lose its military advantage, even despite the US and NATO’s attempts to persuade the Kremlin of the ‘innocence’ of their actions.
In this context, the tensions between NATO and Russia continue to grow. In 2015, Russia held extraordinary military drills involving about 300 thousand soldiers. More importantly, Moscow has repeatedly shown that, if necessary, it can quickly mobilize 40-60 thousand people, while NATO’s figure is 5 thousand. In addition, the US cannot count on Europe in terms of funding, if 10 years ago the European allies provided 50% of NATO's needs, today their contribution is about 25%. There is no doubt that the Russian forces and capabilities are far superior than the forces of the Alliance, and the only correct decision by the US and NATO is to be partners with Russia, but not to force conflict escalation and aggravation.
The international business publication Fortune writes about the importance of the visit of Narendra Modi to Tehran. The past week was marked by a meeting of three leaders of the Middle East and Asia: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, who signed several important agreements in Tehran on Monday. This convergence of the leaders of the three countries is aimed primarily at overcoming the political and economic obstacles of the states that were preserved for many years.
The most important thing today is India's readiness to invest about $500 million in the construction of two terminals and five cargo berths in the Iranian port of Chabahar. For Iran, this is an opportunity to export oil in sufficient quantities and for India to circumvent its main competitor in the region, Pakistan.
In addition, the cooperation between Iran and India is good news for China, which needs a reliable source of energy. India seems to be a good partner for Iran, since the latter is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and there are no political disagreements between the states. In turn, the port of Chabahar will be the main part of the new transport network that will connect not only Iran and India, but also Afghanistan, which is also gradually recovering from war and sanctions and whose vast mineral resources are in need of investment and clients. This partnership between the two countries is going to strengthen both the Middle East and the Pacific-Asian regions in economic and strategic terms.