There are two myths which are deeply imprinted in the minds of most US Americans which are extremely dangerous and which can result in a war with Russia.
- The first myth is the myth of the US military superiority.
- The second myth is the myth about the US invulnerability.
……To fully evaluate the implications of what Gerasimov said please consider this: deterrence is, by definition, the action of discouraging an action or event through instilling doubt or fear of the consequences. So what Gerasimov is really saying is that Russia has enough conventional, non-nuclear, capabilities to inflict unacceptable consequences upon the USA. This is something absolutely new, a fundamental game changer. Most importantly, that is the official declaration by a senior Russian official that the USA does not have any technological superiority and that the USA is vulnerable to a devastating counter-attack, even a conventional one. In one short sentence General Gerasimov has put to rest the two most important myths of US geostrategic theory.
Keep in mind that, unlike their US counterparts, the Russians typically like to under-evaluate Russian military capabilities. You will find the Russia media bragging about how “totally awesome and best in the world” Russian weapons systems are, but military personnel in Russia still has a corporate culture of secrecy and under-reporting your real capabilities to the enemy. Furthermore, while junior officers can say pretty much anything they want, senior officers are held to very strict rules and they have to carefully weigh every word they say, especially acting officers. So when the Chief of Staff officially declares that Russia now has a conventional strategic deterrence capability – you can take that to the bank. It’s real.
Alas, the western media is still stuck in the “full idiot” mode we saw during the transit of the Russian aircraft carrier from the North Atlantic to the Mediterranean: on one hand, the Admiral Kuznetsov was presented as a rusty old bucket while on the other NATO forces constantly shadowed it as if it was about to strike London. Likewise, US politicians present Russia as a “gas station” while, at the same time, stating that this “gas station” has the capability to decide who lives in the White House. This kind of reporting is not only unhelpful but outright dangerous. One one hand the “the Russians are backward brutes” fosters an arrogant and cocky attitude. On the other hand, constantly speaking about fake Russian threats results in a very dangerous case of “cry wolf” in which all possible Russian threats (including very real ones) are dismissed as pure propaganda. The reality is, of course, very different and simple in a binary way: Russia represents absolutely no threat to the United States or anybody else (including the three Baltic statelets). But if some western politician decides that he is smarter and stronger than Napoleon or Hitler and that he will finally bring the Russians to their knees, then he and his country will be destroyed. It is really that simple.