How to avoid accidental war between Russia and the United States

How to avoid accidental war between Russia and the United States

Ten days later, Donald trump, and Vladimir Putin meet at the G20 summit in Hamburg. Today published an open letter, signed by four influential parties — the us, Russian, British and German — to both presidents and contains a few simple requests.

Putin and trump, we are leaders of the two largest military and nuclear powers in the world. Control over their huge forces and Arsenal included in the scope of international responsibility and directly affects the interests of Europe. The G20 summit is a great opportunity to remind her about it.

In the sky of the Baltic States last week, Russian fighter su-27 flew five feet from the wing of the us reconnaissance aircraft RC-135U. Roughly speaking, this is the distance at which we’re passing on the highway the truck at a speed of 140 km/h, if you observe the minimum distance of the skid. In flight there is no system limiting the speed, no control of the leveling route: this Russian maneuver — and he was not the first — was a danger. Maybe it was a response to the more frequent flights by NATO in the sky near the border of Russia. Moscow just recently complained about it.

Russian and American pilots — well done. They take turns each other provoke, but until they stop at the brink of disaster, nothing happens. We can only speculate what would have happened if the wings of these aircraft touched each other, and has not done flying at a slight distance. This happens not only in European airspace, where aircraft conduct patrols, but also in Syria, where they engaged in combat. They’re dropping bombs on ISIS (declared a terrorist organization and banned in Russia — approx. ed.), but often on different sites, to ensure the victory of their allies on the territory of the Islamic state. When the US shot down the plane of Damascus, Moscow said that an aircraft of the international coalition will be targeted, but it is unclear what exactly was discussed about the radar or missiles. In any case, this information did not reassured. Pending further explanation, the Australians have suspended their mission, passing near the Russian operations.

Differences between Washington and Moscow is very serious, but they cannot be mapped to scale with the epoch-making clash of the cold war, when two superpowers played between match for world domination. Then they were alternately constrained each other in accordance with the code and rules of conduct developed, particularly after the missile crisis in Cuba in 1962. If the level of self-discipline will be the lower inclined plane of contradictions and conflicts, from Ukraine to the Middle East — given the unpredictability of the enemies, can lead USA and Russia to the military conflict, who does not want neither one nor the other side. To accidental war.

Pilot error, vicious circle, launched any military incident, the national radical rhetoric can be the spark that would entail a much larger fire. But before the fire you must have fire extinguishers. Here is what is required in today’s open letter sent to both presidents.

A letter signed by four “former politicians” who can boast considerable experience in the field of us-Russian and transatlantic relations, as well as the issue of nuclear disarmament. Is DEZ brown (Des Browne), former British defence Secretary; Wolfgang Ischinger (Wolfang Ishinger), the German Ambassador in Washington, Igor Ivanov, former Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia, and Sam Nunn (Sam Nunn), the Senator, a known supporter of nuclear disarmament and disposal of former Soviet nuclear power plants. From the statement of the fact that relations between Russia and the West continue to deteriorate, and that they “become more dangerous”, the authors of the letter urge the two presidents to take advantage of the upcoming meeting in Hamburg to “work together in areas of common interest, especially in reducing nuclear and military threat and prevent terrorist attacks that could lead to disaster”.

The authors of the letter refer to both presidents to take four immediate steps: to make a joint statement that “a nuclear war cannot participate you cannot win”, again to coordinate military relations between NATO and Russia in the settlement of crises, to take joint action to prevent terrorists from obtaining weapons of mass destruction (e.g., radioactive materials for “dirty bombs”), and to start a dialogue about the dangers of cyber-attack alert system, management and control of nuclear weapons.

It’s not even a political letter is an appeal to common sense. There are no requirements to make revolutionary steps, changing the existing balance of forces. That’s what I ask the two presidents, particularly the first paragraph — could become the essay the third grade of primary school. The white house and the Kremlin can be especially difficult to answer, within the set boundaries and doctrines. Here from Donald trump, and Vladimir Putin will take political courage and strategic thinking. We, the Europeans and the Italians must hope that they will find these qualities and that the G20 summit in Hamburg will be an important step in international relations.

Stefano Stefanini, La Stampa