Putin’s Stupid and Unnecessary War, Part III

There are few decisions more consequential than launching a war. The Iraq War, for example, which began so well, quickly descended into a morass that crippled a president and destroyed the reputation of his party. Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine War is another one of those poorly planned offensive operations, the repercussions of which have only barely begun to play out.

Russia has a longstanding paranoia about invasion from the West — and after Napoleon and Hitler, who could blame them? On the other hand, given that the best parts of Russia’s Pacific coast were taken from China in the 19th century — and China’s rise to prominence in the 21st century — maybe Moscow should worry more about the East.

Regardless, here’s a little something that Russian propagandists like to throw my way sometimes:

You Might Like

The view from Moscow must be horrific, yes?

No, actually.

There was never a promise from anyone that NATO would not expand eastward. Personally, I always thought NATO should have thrown one hell of a victory party after the Soviet Union disintegrated and then promptly disbanded. But they didn’t consult me, probably because at the time I was a 22-year-old student and DJ.

In any case, no less an authority on Late Cold War matters than Mikhail Gorbachev said he never heard of such a thing:

Russia behind the Headlines has published an interview with Gorbachev, who was Soviet president during the discussions and treaty negotiations concerning German reunification. The interviewer asked why Gorbachev did not “insist that the promises made to you [Gorbachev]—particularly U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s promise that NATO would not expand into the East—be legally encoded?” Gorbachev replied: “The topic of ‘NATO expansion’ was not discussed at all, and it wasn’t brought up in those years.”

Even the phrase “NATO expansion” is suspect. NATO didn’t conquer new territories. Instead, former Soviet-occupied nations practically banged down the door to be let in. And to be clear, NATO is a purely defensive alliance — made up largely of countries that often barely get along and that don’t spend enough on national defense.

NATO invading Russia would be a bit like ordering a couple dozen kittens to make your bed: Good luck just getting them all in the same room at the same time and, if you do, little but chaos would result.

Even now, with the vast majority of Russia’s combat power stuck in the Ukraine tar baby, well-armed NATO member Poland doesn’t dare try to neutralize Russia’s isolated Kaliningrad oblast right there on Poland’s border. I don’t think Putin would invade a NATO country and activate Article 5 against the Motherland, but he has nothing to fear from NATO actually starting a war.

Nevertheless, Russian paranoia about NATO’s intentions was apparently a major factor in the decision to go to war.

Let’s dismiss right now talk about the so-called “denazification” of Ukraine. Whatever Ukraine’s internal troubles — and they are legion; I make no excuses — Putin’s Russia has as much business denazifying as I have preaching the virtues of sobriety. Russia has spent the last 15 years snipping off bits of its neighbors, keeping its own people oppressed and propagandized, and is now ethnically cleansing whatever it can of Ukraine — up to and including kidnapping Ukrainian children to be raised in Russia as Russians.

What Putin did manage to do was to frighten most NATO members badly enough to come to Ukraine’s aid and (in fewer cases) get serious about increasing their own defense spending.

NATO hasn’t been this unified since the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan, the UK’s Margaret Thatcher, and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl were all of one mind about resisting the Soviet threat. In a few years from now, frontline NATO countries will be better armed than they ever have been.

Russia, meanwhile, suffering under sanctions and devastating losses, will require at least a decade to get its military back to the sad condition it was in on the day before Putin launched his stupid and unnecessary Ukraine War.

Articles You May Like

6 girls dead in Tennessee car crash, all of the children were ejected from the vehicle
Debunking the ‘Trans Genocide’ Conspiracy Theory
Navarro: GOP Are The Real Socialists Who ‘Hate You’ For Being Latino
The Kruiser Kabana Episode 214: Kurt Schlichter on the Trump/DeSantis Primary Battle
BIDENFLATION: American hunger soaring as food becomes too expensive for many families to afford

Leave a Comment - No Links Allowed:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *