Ukraine: Focus of War Rattles
Saber rattles are a thing of the past as war rattles now take other forms. Yes, troops are amassing along the border of Ukraine. Russian troops. As of now the outcome is uncertain. Perhaps war games as military training is now called. This is the claim of Russia. Another possibility is an invasion. And the instigator? A desire to add Ukraine to NATO.
What is NATO?
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed after World War II with twelve countries, most of which were in Europe. The European countries were a primary battleground during the Second World War. It is easy to understand a desire for a joint force given the history.
NATO provides an agreement among countries to join forces in cases of aggression from outside agents as was the case during World War II. Member nations have been added through the years and now thirty countries are protected by the pact.
Former President Trump disliked NATO. But I think his reasoning stemmed from an economic point not a philosophical one. The United States of America spends great amounts of money on the military budget. NATO expenditures approximated 3.7% of the defense budget or about $811,000,000,000 in 2021. This amount is double what all the other countries chip in. So, in essence, the American people, through their tax dollars are acting as policeman to the world. A debate for another time.
Why is Russia Concerned?
Since 1999, fourteen countries have joined NATO. The majority were once under the control or actually part of the former U.S.S.R. Thus, Russia perceives a threat as a United States backed security force edges closer to their border.
Vladimir Putin, the current president of Russia has drawn a Red Line in the Sand with regards to Ukraine. Both Ukraine and Belarus border Russia. Foreign troops in these two countries are seen as a threat.
Putin has been the leader of Russia since the beginning of this century and he created a law in 2021 allowing him to continue until 2036. Such control defies the description of a democracy. Thus, it is easy to understand why war rattles are on the horizon.
Will NATO Intervene?
Ukraine is not a member of NATO. So there is no defense agreement in place. Without a commitment, there are no grounds for force. But wars do not need a reason. Unfortunately.
Are we looking at a traditional war? Perhaps. Troops are massing at borders. Military equipment is being stockpiled. But, I expect a different type of war may be upon us. Economic sanctions have been utilized for decades and most likely will play a part in this altercation.
So, how will Russia respond? “Sabre rattling” may play a part. But human capital is precious. Cyber- attacks could certainly come into play. Computer hacks can and do interrupt commerce and offer a response to sanctions. Putin is a skilled former KGB intelligence officer. Not someone to be underestimated. So just one question remains. Will there be a rattle of war or the tranquility of peace?
Articles of Interest