Will the Americans agree to die for “one inch of NATO land”

Trying to understand the course of the war in Ukraine requires a constant journey into the mysteries of Vladimir Putin’s soul. We are forced to express an opinion not only on its political agenda, but also on its character and temperament. It is not desirable in political writing, but when it all depends on one person, there is no choice.

The events of recent weeks, and especially of recent days, teach us that the President of Russia is free from much of the inhibitions that guide leaders in most Western democracies and also in some of the dictatorships. Not every dictator has to be unrestrained. But this dictator seems to be unbridled.

By the night of February 24 we could assume that his threats, or even his actions, did not have to yield war. The frequency with which he and his henchmen promised that Russia had no intention of invading (“Western hysteria”) aroused in some the expectation that he would not invade. Even the president of Ukraine, just before he became the hero of our generation, rebuked the United States for its insistence that an invasion was imminent. Putin lied. There is no need for any softening. He can be said to have lied with a determined forehead.

All of Putin’s lies and threats

The Americans warned for many days against Russian deception, and predicted it with relative success: pretending that the Ukrainians were attacking a civilian population in the eastern regions, which would allow Russia to claim that it was coming to their defense. Indeed, the Russians evacuated tens of thousands of residents of the Donetsk Basin (Donbas) early, claiming that the “Ukrainian Nazis” were plotting “genocide.” Immediately afterwards the tanks moved. Even when they close on Kyiv, Russia continues to claim they are there to protect the residents of the “People’s Republics” of Donbas.

On the fourth day of the war, Putin ordered the television cameras to commemorate the class, in which he ordered the defense minister and the army chief of staff to put Russia’s nuclear power on high alert. The reason, he said, was the “hostile statements” of NATO chiefs.

On the eighth night of the war, Russian forces razed the site of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, in Zaporizhia. Although they only hit an office building, for a few hours they managed to hold the world’s breath.

On the 14th day of the war, Russia’s foreign and defense ministries accused Ukraine of developing chemical and biological weapons with the help of the United States. Such a weapon. By the way, China was quick to adopt the Russian version. The U.S. has denied it in the first place, mentioning that Russia is the only one that continues to develop chemical and biological weapons, in part to poison political opponents.

The United States warns that these allegations may be another Russian deception ploy that will serve as an excuse for further escalation. , Or to use this weapon against the Ukrainians.

Such an idea would have been considered insane two weeks ago, or two years ago. But we are now living in the midst of crossing all the red lines.

On Saturday, Russia warned that NATO’s attempt to supply weapons to Ukraine would turn the convoys into “legitimate targets.”

Joe Biden without ambiguity

The removal of the inhibitions in the Kremlin has achieved at least some of its goals: The US president has gone out of his way in recent days to argue that under no circumstances should the US send troops, or planes, to Ukraine, because this would be “World War III.” Biden does not seem to assume, or is not sure, that anxiety about such a war guides the peace of his colleague in the Kremlin.

Last Tuesday, Poland offered to hand over all its MiG-29s to the United States so that the United States could hand them over to Ukraine. It was an unsuccessful idea, especially since Poland made it public even before it spoke to the Americans. The Americans for their part responded publicly, almost immediately, without first talking to the Poles. Is out of the question, they said, it would be a “step of escalation”. This logic has already been sharply criticized. Why are Migs escalating, but a massive supply of Stinger shoulder-fired missiles is not escalating?

Whatever the view of this claim, it is clear that the United States has received unilateral impediments on it. And Putin is not restrained, he must not be provoked.

This is a motif that began to appear in the early days of the Russian invasion, and was leaked to senior White House officials. “We are afraid of what will happen if Putin feels he has been pushed against the wall,” a headline in the New York Times announced on March 4.

Ashri is always scared, of course. The fear has since been woven into White House statements and some of his actions. The agility with which the United States renounced its ally Poland was almost certainly a result of this fear. Likewise the utter rejection of Ukraine’s request to exaggerate its airspace.

President Biden tweeted on Friday afternoon, “We will defend every inch of NATO soil,” but not a single inch of Ukrainian soil. In other words, Russia is free to do whatever it pleases, including indiscriminate bombings. On maternity homes and kindergartens, because there will be no results.

This is by the way what he repeated in the long weeks of waiting for the Russian invasion. Even then there were questions as to why Biden did not leave a degree of ambiguity, to try and deter Russia. No real answer has been given, but it can be assumed that it is related to “it must not be pushed into the corner.”

Donald Trump’s elbow

Needless to say, a “third world war” would be a terrible and undesirable result of the Ukraine war. It is not the military clash itself that is the cause of terror, but the considerable probability of nuclear escalation. The assumption now is that Russia will escalate. This would be the opposite of the Cold War assumptions. So it was the US that refused to commit in advance not to retaliate with nuclear weapons for a conventional Soviet attack.

Will an American president be able to convince his countrymen of the vitality of a “Third World War” in favor of the independence of Estonia, Montenegro and northern Macedonia? How many Americans have ever heard of these lands, or know that their country is contractually bound to protect “every inch” of their land?

Putin once tried to convince Donald Trump what the absurdity of NATO is exactly by following the example of Montenegro. Shortly afterwards, in May 2017, Trump shoved the Montenegrin prime minister at his elbow as he made his way to a joint photo stage of NATO leaders. He was happy not only to push tiny Montenegro out of NATO, but to exclude the United States itself from the alliance, which he called “outdated.”

It is not inconceivable that Putin is about to gain something with far-reaching strategic potential: there are growing public doubts in America as to whether it is worth dying for “every inch of NATO land.” Joe Biden has yet to explain to his countrymen why “every inch” matters.

By Editor

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