Explore the intricate dynamics of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine from a strategic and geopolitical lens in this enlightening video. We delve into the multilayered war, examining it as a limited war between the United States and Russia, and as a political dance with far-reaching implications for the international system.
We discuss the United States' objectives in the conflict, their efforts to manage the escalation, and the challenges they face in fighting a proxy war with a nuclear power. We also shed light on Russia's disregard for international norms and laws, their escalating tensions and their desire to reshape Europe's security architecture.
This video also delves into the potential consequences of the conflict, including the threat of a Russian invasion in Ukraine, the US's strategic prudence, and the potential sanctions. We discuss Poland's role, their hopes for Russia's collapse, and their support for a new balance of power in Europe.
We don't shy away from the big questions - could a scalable world war between the US and China have already begun with the imposition of tariffs? Is the war in Ukraine a symptom of a power imbalance in Eurasia and a broken consensus? What are the potential risks involved in the situation?
We also touch on the military reform and modernization, the possibility of bluffing, and the movement of Wagner group elements to Belarus. We explore the cultural and behavioral factors of the conflict, the uncertainty surrounding the intentions and actions of the Russian government, and the potential risks involved in the situation.
Join us as we unravel these complex issues, and if you find our content valuable, don't forget to subscribe to our channel. We have a community of almost 200,000 subscribers and we are excited to continue discussing worldwide events of great importance. We look forward to connecting with you in our future videos.
Hello, my name is Jacek Bartosiak, this is Strategy and Future and with me is Albert Świdziński. Hi, Jacek. Hi, Albert. Hi, how are you? Okay, so we're having another episode of our new series titled Geopolitical Insights by Strategy and Future. Last time we discussed the structural tensions between the United States and China, the strategic plan or lack of it. That was an open question that we were trying to answer. Today we will be talking about the war in Ukraine per se, but it's not only about the warfare, the conduct of war. We'll try to define the geopolitical framework that is related and heavily leaning on the conduct and outcome of the war.
We'll talk about escalation control, about the role of the United States, about the Russian plans. consolidation of the Eurasian supercontinent, role of the China, and of course we'll try to touch a little bit about the Intermarium concept and Poland and hybrid warfare that is probably upon the region. So we will try to depict this war from a broad strategy, grand strategy, and geopolitical analysis perspective. which is not often a frequent analysis on YouTube and internet as we have checked. So I hope you will sort of enjoy it, you will find it useful and interesting. And Albert, let me start by sort of framing the following thesis. So first of all, the war in Ukraine is a system-transforming war. Still, it is a limited war.
And I'd like to ask you what struck you the most? What was the most striking phenomenon related to the war? And I will share first my perspective, what was most striking for me. The most striking was how limited this war is, despite the fact that this is a system transforming war in the era of thermonuclear weaponry. This is a war between United States and Russia in a way that the United States is trying by proxy to contain the Russian behavior in a limited way, containing horizontally and vertically in order not to expand this war to nuclear exchange or NATO sort of entering the war with Russia.
And not only that, and I will end here, the most interesting factor is that there are actually two fronts of this war. One front is warfare, supplies, delivery of weapons and ammunition, of course, the evolution of the battlefield, bravery of soldiers, Kiev, Kersau, Kharkov, you know, Zaporozhye, Mariupol, all those things that you can see on internet. but another front, which is highly sophisticated, is strategic messaging and framing the behavior of both Russia and the United States to keep the confrontation as a limited war and persuading another party, especially persuading by the United States upon the Russians not to escalate into another level, even if they are losing. and when they are losing, which is a strategic masterpiece.
You know what I mean, Albert, yeah? And that is a very teaching lesson, very teaching lesson for strategists across the world. How you frame that war is much more than just a war itself, tactical engagements and kinetic exchanges of fire. It's a political dance with many subtle notes that you have to make. Albert, go ahead. Yeah, I mean, you touched upon so many things that, you know, we could spend the next three hours focusing just on half of the issues you raised. Look, I would start with saying, which what I think you mentioned, this was a system, potentially system shattering war, right? Essentially, because with the amount of norms and laws that Russia broke, and Russia being such a prominent part of the international system at the end of the day.
One that wasn't happy with this position, one that was revisionist, but nonetheless a very prominent member of the international community. If you have such a prominent member breaking with all the norms, the entire system is in jeopardy, right? Especially that if you remember the. . . L'Ouvre Ultimatum from 2021. It extended far beyond Ukraine. It essentially wanted to recreate security architecture in Europe in a way that if the at least most or some of issues raised by the Russians would be met, would essentially mean that there is no place for the US presence in Europe anymore. The United States stops being a European power. Yeah, it's basically out of the equation.
In formal terms, it would still be there, but the idea that it's a security provider in Europe, or a defining force in Europe, would be corrupt, would be broke, especially after Afghanistan. man was dropped from from Afghanistan. So we remember that. So that's the first thing to notice. The other thing as you said this how how the US found itself confronting a problem of fighting a proxy war, essentially, with a nuclear power. So we had two most prominent, most powerful nuclear states. In the direct neighborhood of Russia. It's not in Vietnam. Yeah. It's not in Cuba, potentially. It's in the neighborhood, in the former Soviet Union era.
In an area which Russia considers an existential security to its whole, you know, idea of self right at the end of the day. Yeah. So, and it was also a difficult situation for the US because this, because I think it's both an art and science of managing escalation was I suppose, somewhat lost on the US and especially in that, you know, high stakes contest context, right. So it had to quickly relearn the lessons also taken into account that ultimately, no matter what. The stakes of that conflict are higher for Russia than they ever will be for the United States. And this wasn't something that the US can evade, a reality that they cannot evade.
And that's why maybe they've been trying to contain this conflict in terms of supply. They do it with a teaspoon, slowly, gradually, getting the Russians accustomed to escalation, by gradual escalation. So basically, the rational thing to do for Russians would be, and they did that many times before, bless you. And this is usually what a country that both has asymmetry of stakes on its side and it's not necessarily conventionally superior to its opposing force potentially. Not when we're talking about Ukraine, but when we're talking about, you know, patron state of Ukraine, right? So they basically manipulated uncertainty, knowingly and willingly manipulated risk. I mean, on a nuclear level, this is what, you know, escalate to deescalate doctrine, essentially.
It's manipulating risk of uncontrollable escalation, right? Manipulating risk that a single use of nuclear weapons, or even setting up conditions for its use, you know, losing chain of command or coupling. nuclear warheads and delivery mechanisms, creates a situation where not everything in the conflict can be controlled. And this is, if you go back, this is shelling, essentially. This is a threat that leaves something to chance, competition, risk, and stuff like that. So the US had to tackle that in a way that would limit uncertainty, prevent. horizontal and vertical escalation really at the same time. And yet not create a situation where US's client state essentially suffers significant defeat. And that's a very difficult situation.
There was a very interesting article on Texas National Security Review about it recently. by a madam, I believe it's called, her name is Stein, forgive me for Janice Stein, I believe, but I'm not sure, where she described how the US took an approach of learning by doing, which is slowly trying to push back the Russian red lines, constantly reevaluating whether- Yeah, they learn on a daily basis. Daily basis, yeah, because remember, they're the US also. had to avoid entrapment by all costs. Okay, yeah, because that's a good point. At the same time, they didn't want to be entangled. And that was priority, really. Because the US had basically two objectives.
One, and that was overarching, you know, the main objective was not to get drawn into direct conflict with Russia, which has the potential for drastic and sudden and uncontrollable escalation. The second objective was not to allow Ukraine to lose, not have Russia lose this, especially not lose it too drastically, this war, we can go back to why, but not to have Ukraine lose. But again, the priority was not getting drawn into this conflict. So they did learning by doing, they did, you know, essentially what you call the feeding by the, you know, by a spoon, trickle, trickle, trickle. Yeah, finger speeds. Yeah. Which was very, I mean, the first thing that happened and that was important.
And again, this is from the TNSR article, is that the Americans set up parameters, publicly, officially set up the parameters of the things that the US will not do in this war. Right. So they, There was that they said there will be no fly zone. There will be no direct, there will be no boots on the ground either NATO or the US, no direct involvement. There would be no facilitating Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory and not providing weapons systems that could allow it and not providing targeting data that would permit targeting top brass of Russian military. And lastly, they said they will not attempt to depose Vladimir Putin. So this is how they shape the battlefield.
They set up the parameters according to which the war will be waged and US support will be waged. And they have not diverted from this up to now. Right? there are still no ATACAMs missile systems, right? They stayed true to their commitments, which again sets up like a baseline of understanding between Washington and Moscow. I mean, that's why, you know, this is a limited war par excellence, but at the same time, a pivotal one, a critically important one for the balance of power. And I wonder why the Russians are accepting. the framework. Because maybe they thought that at the beginning it will serve them, but then they started losing. Sure, good question.
I mean that- And the key point is, and it's still ahead of us, because the limited war has two phases. The phase one we have just described, that you're shaping the framework of competition. And another one is persuading the losing party to those without escalating to another level of escalation that would potentially bar this party from losing. and in this case Russia from using nuclear weapons, hybrid warfare elsewhere. How to persuade the losing party to really lose without changing the escalation level. Recognizing how badly it could lose before things might go south. That's going to be tricky. And that's going to be tricky.
Let alone that here, and yesterday I spoke to people on the ground with Ukrainian soldiers in Zaporozhye and in Donbass with the people there. And that the Ukrainian soldiers don't want to accept anything short of the seizure of Crimea and taking Donbass and the full victory. So I wonder how the Americans are going to play the ball. I mean, you know, the thing is, it's not in the US interest to have that outcome. Precisely because those actions could really touch the red line.
And again, I don't believe it is in the US interest to have Russia squarely defeated militarily in a route for the Ukrainian forces, because historically those outcomes usually meant a severe threat to continuity and stability of Russian state itself, right? You know, lost wars in Russia. And here we need to talk about grand strategy, American grand strategy, but you know, in full breadth, saying that that would trigger three. . . unpleasant consequences for America, but very pleasant for Ukrainians in Poland. This is where the grand strategic objectives diverge. We have a split of interest here. So the Americans don't want Russia to lose heavily, like in the First World War, because the breakup of Russia will mean that there is chaos on nuclear weaponry and stuff.
Second, that the Chinese are getting their resources for free, without the need to pay politically pay and economically pay for them. And three, that Russia, that is not governable, is self-governable, is losing coalition capability. So the United States longer term cannot pivot Russians away from China. So those three reasons are, and of course the escalation control, fear of uncontrolled escalation that we have discussed. at length in this podcast, which I think escapes the attention of many commentators that this is exactly what's going on here.
And we need to put it in the perspective that this is already, and this is my thesis, a scalable world war between the United States and China that in the thermonuclear age is being started somewhere in the Trump administration with the imposition of tariffs on. probably Huawei and ZTE. But you know, it's debatable just the same way as debatable is when the Second World War started. I mean, the political imbalance that led to kinetic confrontation when it started. It's disputable whether it was Manchuria invasion, whether it was Italy invading Ethiopia or Germany annexing Czechoslovakia or Austria or invading physically Poland.
You know, it's I mean in terms of structure It's difficult to say or maybe it was Pearl Harbor for the United States or Barbarossa Initiation in June 20 in 1941 when it started so, you know, it's it's it's to be debated In a way But here we have a scalable world war between United States and China where the parties within the civilized framework of competition are highly competing, but without resorting to kinetic exchange and without resorting to thermonuclear weaponry and trying to protect their core interests so that the social contract doesn't break like this, so that there is some sort of containment of uncontrolled escalation towards full hostilities, which. . . by the way.
And war in Ukraine is just a symptom of a great imbalance across Eurasia in political power and the lack of accords. of how the issues, how the matters of Eurasia are. The consensus is broken. Consensus is broken. United States cannot be a broker to the peace deals. And the more unipolar moment is gone. Maybe it will return if the United States wins this war and another confrontation this time with China or China collapses, it might come back, but it's gone. And now the final court of appeal, the Supreme Court, who decides agencies between the two countries. parties is the military power and coercion and brute force and ability to kill.
In this way Putin did succeed and because I felt like, I don't know if we spoke about this before, but I've read his speech in Valdai. And you could see that one of his idiosyncrasies apart from, you know, he really shaped the battlefield right prior to war. You know, he could have expected that it's going to go much better. And it wasn't that far from it going much better for Russia. Yeah, that was the sheer luck. But I also felt, the reason why I'm mentioning this is I felt that apart from all that and logic, there was also his own little idiosyncrasy where he genuinely, genuinely thought that, you know, he had a problem with the West on an ideological, phenomenological level.
So I really felt that this rash decision to do it, to go into war. was partly that, not just called rational calculation or even structural reasons pushing him towards war. Because he wanted to kick the table over, right? Break the consensus. In a way, on a symbolic level, he succeeded. This was a symbolic, I think, end of the unipolar moment. It might have happened before, but it didn't. But this was a very symbolic moment where you could see, well, you know, the truth lays naked, it lays bare in front of you. It was especially symbolic and purely, you know, a line. dividing two eras because the United States openly and explicitly stated that if the invasion happens, Putin and Russia will face consequences.
So that was a real threat, the real sanction hanging in the air by the alleged Supreme Court of the world, what we call the unipolar moment superpower. And it was overruled. I mean, it was, I don't give a damn, we can't enforce it on the world. That was it. And this, that signals. the scalable world war and let's hope it's only scalable by our dear audience. And now all connectivities, all relationships being trade, technology, capital, supply chains, value chains that in the globalized world market that occurred over the last 30 years, it all became a playground who is in charge of those relationships. Everything became a pitch upon which the game began. is being played.
Who controls the flows? Who controls on what terms he or she buys and sells, produces, works? Who works on whom? And this is the highest prize, the highest trophy possible on planet Earth. And this is good enough a reason to really have a competition and a fight. And, you know, coming back to war in Ukraine. So what is, and you know, in the opening statements in this podcast, Albert and I being Poles, we are on purpose to have been trying to sort of abstain from talking from the Polish perspective here, because Polish perspective is clear and let me put it forward. We want Russia to lose and collapse and we will do our best to deliver that.
It doesn't have to be in line with the Americans are thinking. And we believe in the rise of the intermarium and a new balance of power in Europe, where the intermarium, aka commonwealth, comprising Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Baltic states, is creating a new balance of power. another pole of power, another pole of balancing, which for the last 200 years was forgotten, especially in the Western part of our continent. That's why Russia was being flirted and invited by French and Germans. And this war is all about it. And- For us. For us, okay, sure. For us, for us, Poles talking to you now. And for Ukrainians fighting in the trenches and on the Dnieper River. And- And so we have this community of purpose here, us and Ukrainians in that respect.
But again, this is absolutely not the objective for the United States because simply, A, the risks involved are just too large to justify and B, you know, we can't say for certain or have any indications that this is something that US establishment has as an objective, but again, we have to go back to West Metro and sequencing, right? where the idea was the way to manage the dual competition of Russia and China is to make it impossible for Russia to try to expand further west and become a part of European security architecture, to permanently break the ability of Russia to project power west and influence west, political power, military power, everything.
And with that, And we see this, by the way, in thinkers like Karaganov in Russia, who is a big fan, apart from being a big fan of using nuclear weapons. . . As a. . . yeah, as a. . . not a precaution, as an admonition. That's a polite reminder of stakes. But he's also a big fan of Russian. . . You know, Russian. . . Russian focusing. on developing its easternly parts, the less developed parts, the Siberia of the world. Pivot to Asia, Russian pivot to Asia. And that's in general, as far as I remember, it's a significant train of thought, maybe not appreciated by Kremlin elites. But there is a lot of thinking about this.
So again, the idea was that once, from Wes Mitchell's perspective, as I understood it, was once you prevent or make it permanently impossible for Russia to project power west, Russia will have no choice but to focus on, you know, redirecting its energy in improving the living standards and situation in the east of the country, where it would run into conflict, potential friction, at least, with China. And this is where the US could support Russia with. . . you know, credits and US and allies opportunities because there would be no immediately colliding interests between US and Russia at that point in time. which could again help to weaken the alliance. That's a huge, you know, very oversimplified view, but this is, I suppose, but the, you know, the perfect way to manage this rivalry.
But, you know, clearly to do this, you need to have Russia as a functioning state to engage in this, right? Otherwise all bets are off. So again, when. . . We in Poland, again, if we speak about what is being felt in the intermarium, there is a lot of criticism in Poland and Ukraine about the trickle of military support from US coming to Ukraine, that it prevented Ukrainian rout, that it made the victory more difficult, if not impossible. But I would be careful leveraging this critique because it could very well be that the US did things exactly right. Actually, because again, their objectives are different to the objectives of Eastern European states. And in that sense, the US has managed this war very well, and the escalation dynamics very well.
Yeah, that's true. And this is not something that we want to deal with, I suppose, but it could be. Yeah, it's really, and on top of that also, to give a praise to the United States as a sort of a master, strategic masterpiece, and in opposition to our previous episode where we sort of criticized a little bit lack of strategic plan toward vis-a-vis China. In this case, against Russia, they've been really prudent. And I think that the basic assumption that allowed them to navigate to those waters in this fashion was this realization, this contention that the United States and Eurasia to its allies on both ends of Eurasia tends to be a cornerstone offshore balancer.
that provides enough gravity for those allies to rely, to group and create an anti-hegemonic coalition against Russia, against China. And as in case of Asia, without the United States and its heavy presence in the forward positions in the first aisle of chain, the chain of islands, is prerequisite for the other allies to group because separately they could be dealt with sequentially in a sequence by China, because China is too powerful. It is very simple to say that the United States simply understood that Russia doesn't have this capacity and capability to become such a threat that the United States have to be present on European peninsula in numbers for the anti-hegemonic coalition to be shaped.
It will happen without the United States being present and it has happened. And it's a relief for the United States. You know Albert what I mean. So they don't need to be present heavily in Europe to make it happen. As the case of Ukraine shows, it's not the case in Asia. And that on one hand relieves the United States of certain duties, creating suspicions among the Eastern Flank countries where the United States is fully entangled. at the same time it gives them maneuver. And we simply need to live with this.
And if so, then Albert, I think that Poland, if we understand that this is the case, we should start negotiating with the Americans, what I call the protocol of proportionate answer. Because the Russians will be trying to enforce by coercion. upon Poland and other countries in the region, and without heavy presence of the United States, there will be nobody behind whom we could hide. So we need to answer directly by ourselves, but of course in a proportionate manner so that there is no global world war. which United States wouldn't like. So we need to have an understanding with the Americans what is proportionate in responding. And we need to sign it, some sort of protocol.
So that, because otherwise our modernization, our military reform doesn't make sense. I mean, so what is the purpose of this reform if we can't use it, you know, as a political leverage? What is the purpose, if it's still Americans controlling it, this way or another? But this is a problem also. I know we spoke about this, but think about this. It's a problem in so far as we essentially, I mean, that's already the case, quite frankly, but we openly cede part of escalation control. to the US. And remember, once this becomes clear, this could also be easily exploited by our adversary. Because what you're basically saying is, and again, there are two problems. So this is the first problem, because this is what it means. America still controls escalation over here.
It's very clear. In the same way that they controlled in Ukraine, there was a Newsweek article about how CIA managed escalation in Ukraine as strongly as it could. and as decisively as it could. So they still do that, but to give it openly and to also provide a catalog of situation, it really creates an outlet for potential adversary to get into nukes and crimes and manipulate that protocol. And remember that I do believe that even though, the case between Ukraine and Poland, cases between Ukraine and Poland are different, Poland is a treaty ally, nonetheless, the fear of entrapment by the US into a land war in Europe is significant.
And that's why the US will want to retain as much escalation control over the situation. So you think that both the United States and also Poland, but for completely different other reasons, will stick to the strategy of ambiguity in that respect, whether we respond on our own or we are being controlled by the United States so that the Russians. . . don't know who is in charge of responding. If for example- Look, that's a great question. Because, and I really don't know, you remember when you pointed out that, you know, why did you ask me the question and you know, gracefully you did it, push me out the answer. Why did Russians didn't do anything? Yeah. You know, I don't know.
And it's impossible to know- At the beginning of the war, why they didn't react expandingly, yeah? We don't know. We don't know how deterrence works, really. Where it works, where it doesn't, for what reasons does it fail? We really don't know. It also touches on cultural aspects, behavioral aspects also. Look, crisis, long dead and gone, Berlin crisis. We don't fully know how it happened. We don't really know the mechanism in which the tyrants worked. Or was it even not the tyrants, but internal political reasons or something like this? Or they never intended to do anything? We don't know. So, it's a. . . And that's a huge question when it comes to Russia, not attacking supply lines, you know, not doing anything, very precisely walking around.
And this also shows that ultimately Russia is bluffing, but it's obvious that Russia is bluffing. Nobody playing the game of chicken is really wanting to die. Right. People who have this sort of mentality never make it to positions of power in the first place. So it's obvious that it's a bluff. But you saw you saw this thing a couple of days back when Russians attacked a border, strict borderline between Romania and Ukraine, right? But they still, again, this was clear signaling, but they were still careful to signal just right and not hit, you know, accidentally the other side of the river, right? They didn't do that. And it's clearly a message. So look, I don't know, we have a big problem.
I would have a huge, really, quite frankly, effing problem with mascalation management right now vis-a-vis Belarus. a huge one. And this is why I do believe you're talking about the shortlist of, you know, escalation management, right? Yeah, I mean, sort of, I call it program of proportions or proportionism or proportionality. Yeah. Yeah. And just to again, maybe provide our foreign audience with a bit of a context, we find ourselves in a very peculiar situation right now, because Wagner group elements at least have by now moved to Belarus and are engaged in both training Belarusian military as well as military exercises on the countries on Belarus's western borders which of course are borders with Poland and Lithuania. And it's a huge problem. We had a very. . .
I mean I found them amusing not because I don't consider it a reality, they were just amusing in the way Lukashenka delivers it, but threats. that Wagner might engage in asymmetric operations, hybrid operations in Poland. In other words, that they might cross over and do some stuff and have some fun over here. So that's a very risky situation. The Polish government seems to be very concerned about this. Just today, we're recording this on the 29th of July, we had Prime Minister Morawiecki pointing out that Poland suspects and kind of even expects that Belarusian, that Wagner group troops mercenaries will engage in operations in the Polish territory. That's what he said today. Yes. Yes. That's what he said today.
So that's a very concerning messaging. And again, I personally don't think Polish stakeholders are known to manipulate this sort of stuff. You know, it's not in a not. not their modus operandi to do those things. So I do believe when Morawiecki says that, he's not trying to prod the Americans to do something. I think he says it because he's concerned that this could be really the case. We had, I just wanted to point out, we had incursions of Belarussian Special Operations Forces, Spetsnaz, into Polish territory a couple of times. This was reported in Polish media by very reputable, trusted sources. That basically we had Belarussian Spetsnaz operating in Poland, crossing the border.
And again, with Wagner, of course, the main benefit is that you have, you know, plausible denial ability. So it's a very dangerous situation. I'm not sure if we're on a. . . Polish government is fully prepared to react quickly. Also because we see that the thinking of escalation, really pardon me, but I get thinking of escalation to the Americans. We saw this, for example, in Przewodów, right? When the Ukrainians. . . Yeah, just to cut long story short, so far, the Polish government has been sticking to the idea you know, quite fully to the American definition of escalation control and to the sort of the, you know, American control over that. So we were a loyal NATO member in terms of cutting short our ambition to really expand the war because our.
. . We don't attempt to entrap Americans, essentially. Exactly. So, but here the story is a bit different. We might have some sort of a terrorist engage. terrorist-like activity, raids or other atrocities or coercion or violence. We can have kidnappings, we can have direct killings. The question is we need to react without waiting for the Americans. That's why we need this protocol of proportionality. Because it's also in the American interest to have this protocol, because they can't react to anything happening because sometimes it's useful for them to use proxies to contain war in the local level without. resorting to NATO and 105 and so on.
So, and I think that our political, it's our decision making processes and also military capabilities should should get ready, should be operationalized to react. And also we should think about preemptive action. Once they cross doing something without, you know, I mean, what is breaks of law means? What is the definition of intrusion? What kind of internal personality we have, whether we can kill guys just writing on BTRs in Poland because they are rumored to be soldiers or what? Yeah, being mercenaries without national emblems, because the Russians for sure will exploit this privilege of the inability that it's not us, it's a green little man of unknown origin. Volodya got drunk and he went over the border. But what are we going to do? Yeah, definitely.
The thing, Jacek, and this is where the problem really begins. And this is the problem that we will have in convincing or in arguing to the Americans that we should be allowed this protocol of yours. is that we find ourselves in a very peculiar situation right now. On the one hand, there is Wagner Group in Belarus, there was a capable troops that saw combat, and that's priceless. None of Polish or very few of Polish troops by now have saw combat. And not at the scale. And not at the scale, not in the modern war kind of. . . So that's a problem number one. Problem number two, and this is which might point us to at least asking a question, how. .
. how Prigozhin's coup, or Prigozhin's mutiny really more than coup, was unplanned. Because we find that all of a sudden, in two moves, basically, we find ourselves in a situation where there's Wagner in Belarus on the one hand, but on the other, we have reasons to believe that there is Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus as well, an unknown way in which this nuclear sharing happens. So the way battlefield, so to speak, has been shaped is that. . . By the Russians. . . . and essentially has an offensive capability to escalate, to manage escalation, or to control escalation, really, on the one hand, vis-a-vis Poland, and they have a backstop if Poland would like to respond.
Whether we're talking about, you know, active defense in a major way, which again, we must think if there is a risk of war with Belarus, we have to do active defense, preemptive strikes against Grodno, right? This isn't something that we can escape. You told me that a million times. And I think you're right. but even smaller ones. There's gonna be a big problem of responding because Americans, and again, we go back to Ukraine and how learning by doing and small steps and avoiding uncontrolled escalation. Americans will be very leery of being tangled in a conflict, which has the potential to escalate to nuclear weapons use.
If we attack even by accident some depots with nuclear warheads, or maybe the Americans will be suspecting us of attacking them on purpose, just to eliminate them and to show, to demonstrate our capability to the Russians, to become an independent player in the vis-à-vis escalation duel. Why the Russians and Americans don't want us to be peer partners in the escalation duo. That's a story of truth. Which is perfectly reasonable. I mean, from their side, but of course, the ambitions to control our buffer zones in the East and what's going on there and what sort of threat is emanating from there. So it's always the zero-sum game a bit, even within the alliance, NATO alliance.
It's a fully understandable, you know, like Turkey moving around and looking around its neighborhood. At one point it was inevitable for Turkey to embark on it. But this is again, this is sure, but this, you know, so we find ourselves in a situation where Russians are in prime position to mess around and they have a backstop against us messing back with them back. And this is just the hard reality of it. And that sets our active defense strategy that might maybe we have been contemplating for sure, a strategy in future, we've been proposing it. Albert and I and other guys from our team, but our politicians from time to time were just signaling that they may be, they sort of understand this concept.
And that might set this active defense strategy futile. I mean, not futile, but potentially futile. I mean, made futile by the American intervention to stop doing anything. like that on our own Polish party. Yeah, if I'm clear what I'm saying. So, so maybe as you see, our dear audience could see that war in Ukraine itself has repercussions across the region. The balance of power has been, is being shaped also by all events happening by by assessment of actions of other partners, our partners, coalitions, hybrid, regular, peer, symmetry, asymmetry, all those factors that suddenly we need to take into account. And this is a new era, new reality, and the first campaign of the scalable world war. And this is how we see those things as strategy in the future.
And that's a good moment to end our podcast today. Looking forward to. . . to reconnecting with our audience, another one. Thank you, Albert. Thank you, Jacek. And you stay with us at Strategy in Future and join us on our YouTube channel. Almost 200,000 subscribers already have. It's your turn now if you haven't, and it's very much welcome. And we will keep talking about events worldwide occurring, especially in Russia, that are really great importance. Thank you very much, stay with us. .