What would a war between Russia and the US look like today?

Aug 2012
104
Supposing Russia and US were to go to war today over Russia invading some European country, be it Ukraine or some other bordering country and the US decided to go to war with them over it (putting aside the plausibility of this scenario) and supposing neither country launched a nuke and it was all conventional warfare, what would that war look like?

What I mean by that is, would that be exclusively ground warfare in the invaded country, would it be multiple fronts, would there be naval warfare, would either country try to bomb the other from the air etc.

I know it's probably impossible to say, but if you could speculate.

And, as a secondary question, has there ever been an instance in history where two countries that have had the bomb have gone to war with each other?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,986
Dispargum
There have been border skirmishes between India and Pakistan. A better precedent for what you're looking for might be the restraint exercised by the major powers in WW2 in not using chemical weapons. It was the fear of retaliation. Japan used poison gas in China and Italy used poison gas in Ethiopia because their enemy in each case could not retaliate in kind. Where both sides had chemical warfare capability, neither side used chemical weapons.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,268
And, as a secondary question, has there ever been an instance in history where two countries that have had the bomb have gone to war with each other?
There was a "border incident" between the USSR and China in 1969, there were about 100+ dead on each side
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,644
Sydney
This is highly speculative but it seems to me any war would see an initial destruction of satellites to blind the other side
a cascading Kessler syndrome would result in near earth orbits being cluttered with debris
creating a dangerous orbital junkyard
no further satellite or even space launch could be possible


 
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Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,763
Russia is self-sufficient in oil and food so relatively immune to blockades so the shape of the war would hugely depend on where it occurred. War in the Baltics would look far different from what in the Caucuses or war on Kamchatka or war in the Arctic.

Mostly like a limited war would be limited only because of very limited but strategically important gains- that least likely would be a war over the boundaries in the Baltics because Russia could easily cheat in the Arctic in ways a lot less confrontational than war and there is not the resources nor national pride at stake in the Caucuses. The Baltic region, on the other hand, could very well trigger something if NATO exercises coincide with a Ukrainian counter-attack somewhere.

With limited objectives on both sides I doubt Russia would wipe out very many satellites when just damaging or a handful would accomplish the same task without pissing off the rest of the world not to mention revealing more fully Russian capabilities and US retaliatory capabilities. The US already has several backup communications options including launched new satellites into different orbits that can provide most of the same functions or relying on other means of communication that would degrade several US weapons but leave many more nearly unaffected- especially in a limited war that doesn't require massive strikes.

Russian goals would be to quickly seize whatever territories/resources they decided were worth such a risk and dare the US to actually come in on the ground to retake territory which the US would be very reluctant to do because then the war could easily escalate- instead the US is more likely to give large amounts of aid and possibly some 'volunteers' for limited ground operations to the Baltic states which had Russian soldiers on their former territories.

That is the main premise of Polish and Baltic requests for permanent NATO (US) garrisons and forward-deployed units to make any initial Russian attack have to be extremely careful not to provoke the US into a wider war not worth the risk for Russia.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,644
Sydney
the Kessler effect presuppose that destroyed satellites debris would collide with other in an avalanche
thus creating a cloud of objects colliding with any new launch
it would make it impossible to maintain a space platform for decades

for Russia it is the US which is advancing to their borders and threatening them
having broken any promises not to expand NATO , then not to maintain permanent garrisons on the new members
( what take place is a permanent rotation of troops )
they take it as duplicity and hostile aggressive intent

a war in the Caucasus is out of the question , beside being pretty difficult terrain ,
it would require passage through Turkey and this would never be granted
a war in the Baltic would not be about territory it would be for the apartheid system of treating Russian speakers as "non citizens"
even if they were born there
Estonia and Latvia are indefensible , Lithuania would require Poland to step in very quickly
Ukraine would not be a trigger ,
they are not Nato and all the old Europe countries do not care to engage in an expensive open ended war for them

a possible trigger could be some naval confrontation
a couple of months ago the US Navy had the bright idea to conduct "freedom of navigation " exercise in Vladivostok bay
it was aborted when the Russian Navy showed some teeth
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,644
Sydney
for some of US think tank thinking here is the gist of it
from Rand corporation
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,644
Sydney
Of course the Rand corporation was the think tank who told the US Army how to win the Vietnam war
 
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Jun 2017
3,027
Connecticut
Supposing Russia and US were to go to war today over Russia invading some European country, be it Ukraine or some other bordering country and the US decided to go to war with them over it (putting aside the plausibility of this scenario) and supposing neither country launched a nuke and it was all conventional warfare, what would that war look like?

What I mean by that is, would that be exclusively ground warfare in the invaded country, would it be multiple fronts, would there be naval warfare, would either country try to bomb the other from the air etc.

I know it's probably impossible to say, but if you could speculate.

And, as a secondary question, has there ever been an instance in history where two countries that have had the bomb have gone to war with each other?
Conventional:USA win

Nuclear:We die

You know the answer to your secondary question.