NATO and Russia.
At this stage of events the Ukraine is split and while it may take a while for people to accept this fact
it is a done deal.
Politicians will talk and bluster. Obama will offer warnings. The EU may threaten.
Then the bear will laugh, the Gas pipe lines will suffer a temporary problem, Russian tanks will be
seen at the border and this whole situation will be quietly forgotten.
Those calling for military action. What exactly do they expect to happen. The UK has all but destroyed
its own ability to fight two major campaigns at one and the British army and military logistics capabilities
are trapped in the tar pit that is afghanistan . The Royal navy is hardly a military threat to the Russian
Black Sea Fleet. The rest of Europe. Not much better off.
Sending troops into the Ukraine with the possibility of exchanging fire with the Russian army will in
days return us to the cold war. Most people no longer remember the fears of Soviet tanks rolling across
Germany. Many today never looked across the Fulda gap or stood guard along the barbed wire and mine
fields that cut Europe in half. Most today do not remember the very real fear of nuclear weapons hitting
To those who say this will never reach the point where nuclear weapons become a possibility I say this,
are you so divorced from reality that you are prepared to start a war and then hope that President Putin
is going to be restrained and sensible when it comes to NATO fighting on Russia's border.
The Ukrainian army has zero chance of winning against Russia and it is likely that significant sections of
their armed forces will rebel or refuse to fight. This is not a situation that can be won by military
The other Eastern European nations are hardly likely to take sides here, they have clear recent memories
of what happens to those who side with the West against Russia, Obama throws them under a Bus.
So military support would need to be moved from Western Europe. By ship, fighting the Black Sea fleet
all the way. By air against the Russia air force from its large airfields just across the border. By road, that
will take weeks.
Who does the west send? Well that would be the Italians, the Spanish and the other minor NATO and EU
nations. Sending in the US or the UK (widely regarded in Russia and other places as US lapdogs) will be
labelled as a return of the Imperial powers and reports of Afghanistan will be on Russian news 24/7 in
Worst case would be the Germans. Even a rumour that Nato is mobilising the German army will hand
Putin a huge PR victory and he will take every advantage of such news to stir up the hornets’ nest, in
Russia and the Eastern Ukraine they are already calling the Westerners Fascists. The merest possibility
that the Germans are coming to support the Western Ukrainianss will probably start fighting across the
Ukraine as soon as the rumour arrives.
Only someone utterly ignorant of history would think of sending an army that contained the Germans
across the Ukraine to fight the Russians.
I have seen reports that the Russian economy is not able to fight NATO and the US. The Russian armed
forces are poorly equipped and NATO has better toys. That direct fighting between the two forces would
lead to inevitable NATO victory so troops should be moved to threaten Putin and make him back down.
This is madness. Modern wars between major powers will be short brutal affairs. Historic multiyear wars
and long campaigns are last century. It is not possible to supply a modern military force in such a way as
to replace the losses caused by fighting another modern major force. Any fighting between first line
powers will become a war of attrition both as military forces are decimated and as civilian infrastructure
Russia has the will to fight on with huge losses, Putin’s control of PR and his mastery of soft power will
have the Russian people behind him from the get go. Do you not wonder why the western Ukrainians
are being called “Fascists”. The Germans Are Coming is a very real memory for millions in Russia
and even those born since then have been fed the tales of parents and grandparents along with
The west has no such advantage and as the gas supplies stop all too many in the west will, quite rightly,
want to know why this war started. As western economies go into free fall the citizens of the EU are going
to want to know why suddenly they are jobless, broke and going hungry even before a single bomb falls.
The EU would not survive such a war. Russia’s neighbours in the EU would be given a stark choice, leave
the EU or be crushed. The EU is a bureaucratic alliance not a military pact, NATO was primarily a defensive
organisation designed to support the US military. Without the US NATO is not able to fight Russia alone
and fear that the US and Obama will back off will make the Western European NATO members very
reluctant to do anything other than talk.
The EU would shed members immediately and its already shaky economy would not survive the real or
imagined economic damage an outbreak of fighting with Russia would cause.
The Euro would end up in free fall and EU governments would end up printing money to try and protect
This situation cannot be resolved by fighting. If it comes to military force then the West has lost already
and so has the Ukraine. No one will come out of this well, all it will take is a single shot, a single dead
NATO or Russian soldier killed by the other side and nearby units returning fire.
If you put armies in a position where a single shot can start a war then that war will happen, tens of
thousands of men facing each other across the sights of their weapons. There will be a shot, there is
always a shot.
In a year when we are staging memorials and ceremonies to mark the beginning of the First World War,
an event started by a single shot fired in Eastern Europe, are we really going to put ourselves back into a
position where a single shot in Eastern Europe can start the Third World War?
I seriously hope not.