How Important is Russian Imperialism?

Russia remains stuck in the Ukrainian quagmire and now the Ukrainians are going on the offensive to retake Russian-occupied territories. Moscow however remains defiant in refusing to acknowledge defeat. It is abundantly clear that Russia’s astounding military failure is as much because of the incompetence, corruption and low morale of the Russian occupation forces as due to the motivation and skills of the Ukrainian defenders. Still, apparently President Putin is yet to internalize that the inept Russian forces are inherently incapable of realizing the Russian imperialist dream of conquering Europe from Poland to Ireland and whose strategic rationale is Russia’s very national survival in the face of Chinese designs for resource-rich, thinly populated parts of Russia. Only by once more becoming a superpower will Russia become militarily powerful enough to on its own resist Chinese designs for Siberia and other thinly populated parts of Russia. 

However, it must not be ignored that President Putin and Russian strategic planners are not solely motivated by national survival, but that imperialist expansion is an independent imperative in Russian strategic thinking. If and when President Putin realizes and internalizes that his forces are presently inherently incapable of conquering Europe, he is quite unlikely to back down on his imperial project in favor of a US-led Asian defense alliance encircling China. Rather, he will entrench his war economy, continue the war in Ukraine at any price and presumably defer European conquest until he has implemented comprehensive reform in the Russian military. From Putin’s perspective, the die is already cast and he will not back down now or in the future. Therefore, the Russians are only pretending to negotiate in the peace talks with Ukraine. Kyiv of course has an interest in participating for the sake of impressing the international community in maintaining the high level of international support for Ukraine and Jerusalem and Ankara have vested interests in mediating so as to legitimize their respective neutrality.

It is vital that European strategic planners draw the appropriate strategic lessons. The European Union member states must build a unified confederal military in merging the current national militaries or else we will sooner or later see WWIII in Europe. Those who want to avoid war must prepare for war. France has wisely for decades pushed for a confederal European military and the war in Ukraine and its Siberian motivations clearly show that the time has come for a unified European military. The EU has a population of 447 million and could potentially become a military superpower in dwarfing Russia with only 145 million. While European governments have always been reluctant to cede powers to Brussels and have historically only done so incrementally, the Russian imperialist threat requires a drastic decision on the part of European governments.

This is the time to decide in favor of a unified European military and engage in comprehensive rearmament in turning Europe into a military superpower capable of independently deterring Russia from launching WWIII. The current paralysis of European decision-makers surely must end. European governments would be particularly well-advised to wake up and expeditiously form a unified European military.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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