In the eternal quest to drive up the already preposterous level of US military spending, Pentagon officials are talking up the notion of Russia as an “existential threat” to the United States, and running tabletop war games which they say show the US military isn’t as “ready as we want to be” for a sustained ground war in Russia.
That the US and Russia each have enough nuclear weapons to annihilate most life on the planet has long made the war-gaming for a long US-Russia war ultimately pointless: no one would survive long enough to enjoy the “win” anyhow. That hasn’t stopped the Pentagon from envisioning protracted campaigns on Russian soil with conventional weaponry.
The conclusion: most Pentagon officials figure the US would almost certainly defeat Russia in this drawn-out war, but after drawn-out wars in Iraq and Afghanistan it is “not a sure bet.” That’s a problem looking for a solution, and at the Pentagon, the solution is always only a few hundred billion dollars away.
Some US intelligence officers, speaking anonymously, say they believe such a war is an “unlikely scenario,” while analysts note the US outspends Russia on military forces ten to one. Russia would have home-field advantage in a ground war in Russia, of course, and that makes up for a lot of spending differences, but it’s also a good reason for the US to not invade Russia.