The West Should Deter Russia and Not Vice Versa

Russia has finally launched its Donbas offensive with much of the Russian army in place in eastern Ukraine. The United States and its NATO allies have had ample time to fully arm Ukraine since the February 24 invasion but have not done even remotely enough for fear of angering Moscow. Russia has been quite successful in deterring the United States and NATO from arming Ukraine based on fears about President Putin ostensibly having somehow undergone a personal metamorphosis and become a madman. The Western apparent psychological weakness and Western diplomatic foot-dragging at the expense of the Ukrainians is simply shameful. Ukraine has not been sufficiently armed despite innumerable pleas by President Zelensky to the international community and now Ukraine faces a frontal assault by most of the Russian army. The betrayal is unfathomable and unconscionable. Will Ukraine nevertheless prevail? Yes most likely so but of course nothing is certain. However, the Russian military is corrupt, incompetent and has low morale.

The West appears to still be captive to the “madman theory” which has allowed Russia to deter NATO from sufficiently arming Ukraine as well as to threaten NATO nations with the use of Russian nuclear weapons. NATO is captive to what is known in Hebrew as a “conceptzia”, a strategic misconception with calamitous military consequences. The Russians find no difficulty in playing into the bizarre Western belief according to which President Putin has supposedly become irrational. It is very strange that while the Ukrainians are valiantly fighting the Russians without any trepidation, NATO nations are trembling in fear at ostensible but not actual Russian unreason when in fact Russian decision makers as always are cynical and coldly calculating.

The conclusion so far from this war is that the Russian military is currently incapable of carrying out Russia’s grand plan to conquer the European Union in order for Russia to once more become a superpower so that Russia will be able to defend Siberia against a far larger future Chinese military. The Europeans however appear asleep at the wheel. The upcoming strategic task for the Russians is to reform their military to prepare for the conquest of the European Union. In contrast, the upcoming strategic task for the Europeans is not merely to prepare to win WWIII against Russia but prepare to deter Russia from launching WWIII and the only way to achieve that feat is to create a unified European military. The Europeans do not appear to be learning the lesson that relying on a United States that allows itself to be deterred by Russia is very dangerous indeed. Why on earth should the European Union not be militarily self-sufficient? The European Union has a population of 447 million as compared to Russia’s 143 million. Europe could in principle be thrice as militarily strong as Russia and would not have to rely on the United States for its defense. It is patently absurd that the United States with a population of 331 million should defend the European Union whose population is much larger than America’s.

Why should Americans blindly accept this state of things and walk blindfolded into WWIII? The United States government would be particularly well-advised to pressure EU member nations to form a unified European military that will be strong enough to deter Russia from launching WWIII in Europe. There is no valid reason whatsoever to argue for young Americans once more dying in the hundreds of thousands in the battlefields of Europe when Europeans are perfectly capable of creating their own unified military capability that will allow them to deter Russia from even launching WWIII.

Imagine if we could have prevented the horrors of World War I and World War II. Now we have such a unique opportunity due to the probably temporary incompetence, corruption and low morale of the Russian military. Will we take that opportunity and use the next years to build a unified European military or will we most tragically miss the train once more? If European security architectures that had deterred and contained Germany had been put in place before WWI and WWII then those world wars could surely have been avoided. Similarly, we now have a precious window of opportunity to avoid WWIII before the Russians reform their military and subsequently invade the European Union.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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