This statement was made on April 19, 2022 by General Sir Richard Barrons, head of the NATO Joint Forces Command in 2013-16, during a hearing in the Defense Committee of the British Parliament.
The general said: “I am generally concerned that the main reason we are trying to avoid a war between Russia and NATO is that NATO is not ready. And we should be ashamed of it.”
Richard Barrons acknowledged Britain’s near-total lack of missile defense: “I don’t think many people in the UK have given much thought to the implications of Russian cruise missiles coming to London…they exist and we simply don’t have the means to deal with them in any way.” except for tiny amounts.”
The general was asked at what point NATO would have no choice but to fight Russia. He replied that NATO “will have something to say” if Russian troops can change their plans and threaten most of Ukraine, i.e. will not stop at its eastern part. Richard Barrons also called for appropriate preparations for this.
What can be noted. Firstly, the British general did not say that Russian nuclear weapons and the maintenance of strategic nuclear parity with the United States are deterring a direct military clash between Russia and NATO. And this is the main reason why the alliance has not yet got involved in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine itself.
Secondly, Russia itself will determine the limits of conducting a special military operation on Ukrainian territory, and NATO will not indicate to us. And if NATO tries, then, as Vladimir Putin said on February 24, 2022: “The Russian response will be immediate and will lead you to consequences that you have never experienced in your history. We are ready for any development of events. All necessary decisions in this regard have been made.”
Incidentally, yesterday’s first launch of the world’s heaviest and most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile, the Sarmat, is about this topic. Don’t bother us, it will hurt.