Tuesday, 3 February 2015

NATO Finally Considers Sending Arms to Ukraine. Too Little, Too Late

So apparently after Putin the Terrible gobbled up Crimea and then moved to take over eastern Ukraine, the illustrious members of NATO are finally considering assisting the Ukrainians militarily by sending them arms that they can use to fight back against the Russian tyrant and his allies.  Maybe they've finally figured out that it will take the force of arms to stand up to the man who fancies himself as the leader of a new Russian empire.  Uh, ya' think?  Too bad they didn't clue in a lot earlier, because now I think it may be too little too late.

When are the democracies that comprise NATO going to learn?  The only thing that can stop a power-hungry dictator like Russia's Vladimir Putin is force.  Not halfhearted condemnations, not economic sanctions, but pure brute force.  So trying to deal with Putin the same way Neville Chamberlain dealt with Hitler is just not going to work.  If NATO members had learned from history, they probably would have placed their troops in Ukraine long ago to prevent any further land grabs by Putin.  But instead, they decided to let the Ukrainians fend for themselves, offering them only "non-lethal" aid. 

So why are NATO and the West being too soft on Putin?  There are several reasons, but perhaps the biggest stumbling block is the failure of the U.S. under President Barack Obama to reassert its leadership of the free world.  President Obama might as well be the reincarnation of Britain's Neville Chamberlain, because he thinks in the same naive way that the late British prime minister did.  I can't believe I'm saying this, but I kind of miss President George W. Bush, because although I strongly disagreed with his decision to invade Iraq, I can say almost for certain that if he was still in power instead of Obama, both Crimea and eastern Ukraine would still be entirely in Ukrainian hands today.
But alas, the reality is that Obama, not George W. Bush, is the U.S. president and that's highly unlikely to change until the next presidential elections, due to take place late next year.  I can only hope that by then, Americans will choose to put someone in the White House that is more Winston Churchill than Neville Chamberlain.

In the meantime, Obama and the rest of the NATO bunch are still twiddling their fingers and debating whether or not to support Ukraine militarily.  But as I already said, even if they do decide to send arms to the Ukrainians, it won't make the situation any better.  In fact, it might make it even worse because Putin may preempt NATO's export of arms to Ukraine by launching a full scale invasion of the country, rather than just continuing with his current strategy of gradually sending Russian forces into Ukraine to support the pro-Russian terrorists. 

So if sending arms to Ukraine isn't the answer, what is?  To put it simply, only the presence of NATO troops' boots on the ground will halt the advance of Putin's gradual invasion.  The fact of the matter is that Putin is not yet ready for a conflict with the West.  He still needs time to build his military forces and solidify alliances with countries like China and Iran, which will be his allies for the foreseeable future.  Placing NATO troops in Ukraine will ensure that any future conflict with Russia happens closer to its borders than Putin would like.  Failing to do this, however, will probably mean that if and when a conflict between the West and Russia does ensue, Putin's forces will be on NATO's doorstep; on the doorstep of the free world, from where they can advance into most of Europe within a space of hours.

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