Putin makes NATO stronger, whether he starts war in Ukraine or not

Photo illustration by Kelly Carminero/The Daily Beast/Getty

Vladimir Putin is in the middle a huge mistake – a miscalculation it will haunt the rest of him presidency.

in spite of what happens next Between Russia and Ukraine, Putin has given the NATO alliance a new sense of purpose. He may have even strengthened it. At the same time, he has helped restore a leadership role the United States has long sought to weaken.

Don’t get me wrong. While NATO would almost certainly be stronger if Russia carried out a cold-blooded attack on its neighbors, the Ukrainian people would certainly suffer, and it should not be underestimated. Their government is in grave danger, and the protracted struggle for control of Ukrainian territory will pay dearly.

Whatever the outcome of Putin’s current strategy, he will certainly call it a success, as he has tried to use a Tsunami of Lies.

Right now, the mood among senior members of Biden’s foreign policy and national security teams is grim but purposeful. U.S. diplomats and their families have been ordered to leave Ukraine. NATO is actively repositioning to contain and deter any Russian threat. My sources agree that there is a good chance that Russian forces will invade Ukraine aggressively in the next few weeks, reinforcing their incursion into the country that began in 2014.

Efforts are intensifying to prepare for the possibility following Vladimir Putin’s previous aggression against Georgia or Crimea, with a reaction stronger than anything the Bush, Obama or Trump administrations have seen. many.

At the same time, the State Department — led by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s aggressive diplomacy, but also involving a wide range of senior officials — is engaged in tense negotiations with our allies to ensure NATO cohesion and support for Ukraine, even as the Lincoln, his deputy Wendy Sherman and their team reached out to Putin’s emissaries to stop them from further encroaching on Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Aged Vladimir Putin hopes war will make a fading empire rise again

U.S. analysts are considering a variety of scenarios. These range from Russia considering a better move at the last minute, to more surgical Russian attacks aimed at seizing specific parts of eastern Ukraine, such as the land bridge to Crimea, to potentially involving Russian elements entering Mass raids in the country came from the south, east and north.Lightning strikes from Belarus to Kiev are considered a possibility to replace the current Ukrainian government and replace it with something more palatable to Moscow.while Russia deny it was their plan, U.S. officials believe that a possible goal of Russia’s actions against Ukraine is to force the Ukrainian government to make a range of concessions, from a pledge not to join NATO to greater autonomy for regions closer to Russia. This would weaken central control over Ukraine and make it easier for Russia to match up in these neighboring regions.

Officials I’ve spoken to over the past few days say they believe a larger scenario is more likely than a more limited Russian mission. Moreover, they said, the Russians were able to mobilize quickly far more forces than those on the Ukrainian border.

Russia is expected to seek entry, strike hard, destroy as many Ukrainian forces as possible, and make the concessions they seek as quickly as possible, rather than mired in a protracted conflict. They have experienced such conflicts in Afghanistan and are believed to not want a repeat of them.

Not only will the Ukrainian people fight fiercely, but one of the main differences between this event and Russia’s past ventures abroad is that the Western allies have agreed to and already available Deadly aid from Ukraine. Union aircraft and ships have been transferred to Eastern Europe, meanwhile, at the same time, NATO allies are in advanced discussions about deploying more coalition forces and resources closer to Russia and Ukraine.In addition, the EU is preparing Considerable economic package for Ukraine.

The Biden team has been earnestly and systematically reaching out to all of America’s friends and allies in the region, with senior officials in regular contact with every NATO member from Montenegro and Slovakia to Germany, France and the United Kingdom. While NATO’s 30 members are diverse and represent a wide range of political views and interests, the United States finds the organization united. When asked about the outliers, a senior official said Hungary was the only such example he had encountered.There has always been a debate within Germany over the level of support, especially with regard to supplying weapons or allowing German-made weapons supply Go to Ukraine and the new Prime Minister Caution has been urged Regarding the application of sanctions. But that won’t happen if Putin is counting on internal divisions to paralyze NATO. French President Emmanuel Macron has sought to position himself as an independent thinker on the issue, and his government has been more hesitant to describe a Russian onslaught as imminent.

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Nonetheless, the sanctions regime Under discussion (and possibly from western allies) will sweep in and kill with one punch. It ranges from financial sanctions that could target Putin cronies and make it difficult for the Russian financial community to do business, to “new” export controls that prevent the sale to Russia of critical U.S. technology and equipment containing or made from these technologies.

Such comprehensive and decisive action, coupled with effective diplomacy, is a far cry from what Putin encountered when he entered Georgia in 2008 or Crimea in 2014.

Many senior members of Biden’s team served in the Obama administration during the 2014 Russian invasion and its aftermath. They don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the harrowing, painful internal debates of the time – which were characterized by whether we should send “blankets” or “MREs” (meals, ready meals) to Ukrainians. “

The Biden team, apparently also convinced by the criticism of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, not only prepared for every possible scenario and communicated carefully with allies, but also developed a carefully planned public diplomacy plan to ensure they were visible to the public. s hard work.

For all these preparations, it is clear that if Russia launches a massive new attack on Ukraine on top of the 2014 aggression and the conflict that has continued since then, it will deal an unprecedented blow to peace and stability in Europe since 1961 Berlin Crisis. The damage, casualties and associated costs to the Ukrainian people could be enormous. In the short term, Putin could weaken the military of neighboring countries, send a vain message of strength, and even achieve political goals in Ukraine. His allies in the US and Europe (nativist and isolationist conservatives, Victor Orban, etc.) may even try to blame “Biden’s weakness” for the events.

But, of course, Vladimir Putin is to blame for everything that happens next in Ukraine. Attacking his neighbors again would be a classic “battle of choices”. He will meet fierce resistance. Concessions won with guns are unlikely to last in the medium to long term.

Moreover, while Putin may think the US is withdrawing from its leadership role – perhaps since Bush’s failure in Iraq, Obama and Trump and Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan – he has been proven wrong.

The United States has launched a well-tuned, multifaceted diplomatic and security initiative. While running a 30-member coalition can often feel like herding cats, the West has shown great common purpose, decisively deciding to reject Putin’s threats. While the media may focus on outliers, what matters is the level of close coordination and shared determination.

America is one blow away from throwing in the towel on democracy

Putin may have initiated this potential conflict to oppose NATO expansion and to advance his goal of dismantling NATO entirely. But what he’s already done — and what he might do next — could have the exact opposite effect.

Talented Russian expert Fiona Hill New York Times column, arguing that “Putin has American rights where he wants us.”

Hill believes this is largely the result of America being weakened by internal divisions. If these divisions were to be reinforced to hinder the advancement of a Biden administration, I would agree.

So far, however, that has not been the case, and if the government and allies move forward, Putin may find that not only has he grossly misjudged, but he has achieved the nearly impossible goal: giving the coalition new goals, always looking for a Purpose since the end of the Cold War.

Putin reminded the world, especially Europeans, of the threat he posed. He has mobilized NATO for strong action, led by the United States. NATO could even get bigger, with Sweden and Finland openly considering joining NATO.

In other words, at the end of this, NATO and the West will be stronger, Putin will be more pariah, and Russia will be weaker, even further weakened.

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