Bloomberg has modeled four scenarios for the development of Russia's war with Ukraine, based on an analysis of military conflicts over the past 200 years.
According to their data, the average duration of modern wars is 15 months. And the Russian-Ukrainian war, they believe, could become “eternal”.
But if we look at recent large-scale wars, we really see that wars which are comparable to or exceed the scale of this war usually last a long time. This is not even considering the First and Second World Wars. One war in the recent past which is more or less comparable in scale and nature is the war between Iran and Iraq. It went on for eight years. Short wars are local wars. These are colonial wars, although the example of both Vietnamese wars waged by France and the United States also continued for quite a long time. This is especially true of the conflict between the U.S. and Vietnam.
If we are talking about a large-scale war, when a large number of forces and means are involved, it can hardly not last as long. This is the first argument against the thought that this war will not last a long time, unfortunately.
The second argument is that when a state with a military potential as large as that of the Russian Federation goes to war, it is unlikely to give up hope that somehow, a quick victory in the war is just over the horizon. How such a country uses its military potential is another question, as is the matter of how justified the country’s intentions are. But even if such a country’s potential is weakening, if the potential still remains great and the country retains a huge capacity to mobilize, it is unlikely to give up hope, even despite ongoing defeats.
Therefore, I think this war will unfortunately be a long one. I would really like it to finish as soon as possible. I am absolutely sure that it will end with our victory. But there are unfortunately no objective grounds yet to say that it will end in the near future.
But I'm convinced it won't last forever. I do not even belong to the category of skeptics who believe that it could last a decade. Unfortunately, however, it could last quite a long time. This is my first thesis.
Can the war be won solely by focusing strikes against critical infrastructure? This has in fact been the subject of scientific research. It has been proven that, in itself, strikes on critical infrastructure can cause enormous damage to the state targeted by these attacks. However, it is impossible to win the war only with the help of strikes on critical infrastructure. Even scientists have proven this. And I am absolutely sure that strikes on critical infrastructure is simply a price that we must pay for victory.
I am absolutely sure that we will win this war.
I am absolutely sure that we will win this war. I do not rule out that the blows that will be inflicted (and, unfortunately, even more will still be inflicted) could cause enormous, even critical damage to the Ukrainian state. But our Western partners (who, unfortunately, are not our allies, but the vast majority of them have proven that they are really reliable partners) have enough desire and opportunities to help us.
They are much more limited in their ability to provide us with military assistance for objective reasons, but I am absolutely sure that they will provide all the necessary assistance that Ukraine needs in order to restore the vital activity of our state.
Is NATO participation in this war inevitable? No. NATO participation in this war is theoretically possible, but, given today's realities, very unlikely in terms of safety and political viability. NATO, when it was conceived as a military-political bloc with a focus on the military component, was seen as an organization that was supposed to protect the world and, above all, Europe, from a possible Russian invasion.
The NATO bloc is a collective body. It encompasses a huge number of absolutely different countries, with some, like Turkey and Greece, even having territorial claims against each other. The collective consensus is that NATO must do everything possible to avoid dragging the world into a full-blown World War III with nuclear weapons. Therefore, they will do everything to avoid direct participation in our war.
From a legal point of view, if one reads the NATO charter, then decisions are made by consensus. NATO consensus is impossible when it comes to going to war against Russia. Therefore, I consider this contingency unlikely, but theoretically possible.
The world is changeable, and it is bizarre. The situation is evolving at an incredible pace. Many things that seemed fantastic and impossible to us last year are absolutely realistic today: certain things are either already happening or at least being discussed. Therefore, I would not deny that such an option is possible. But today it is possible only theoretically.
On the matter of whether this war brings Ukraine closer to participation in NATO: Ukraine's participation in a system of collective world security (it doesn't matter what it will be called), and key participation, at that, in my deep conviction, is inevitable. But Ukraine's participation in such a system of collective security is unlikely to take place before this war is over.