As the war wages in Ukraine, the rest of the world is reacting strongly to Putin’s aggression. Biden and the United States’ allies have imposed strong sanctions on Russia. The administration has also gone after the Russian oligarchs that are in Putin’s inner circle. Apparently, the West is betting on someone getting angry about losing a yacht and ousting Putin from power.
The strong reaction is not limited to economic sanctions, however. NATO is growing increasingly hostile and antagonistic to Russia, a nuclear-weapon state with advanced hypersonic missile technology.
History seems to be repeating itself with the West returning to increasing its arms to counter a direct threat from Russia.
Although there is strength in numbers, the sudden increase in a defense build-up may cause the opposite of the desired effect to occur. If you take Russia at its word, one of the reasons it invaded Ukraine was because NATO has been expanding eastward to their borders for decades. Putin has long said that Ukraine in NATO represented a “red line,” and his invasion shows that he was not kidding as he pleaded with the West for Ukraine’s neutrality throughout the years.
If that was indeed the reason, or a big part of the reason, for the invasion, what will Russia do with a renewed expansion of NATO, both in arms and territory?
NATO is a shell of what it used to be. But Putin — who claims to have tried to join NATO at one point — is in the strongest position it has been in for a long time, both politically and militarily.
NATO has relied on the United States as the bulwark for its defense for far too long. The inadequacy of that strategy can be plainly seen now with what is happening in Ukraine.
Whatever you think of President Trump, he has once again been proven right, this time his diagnosis of NATO’s current ills. In 2018 he was chiding the alliance for not spending its agreed upon 2% of GDP for defense.
What would the conflict look like today if all of NATO had been living up to its obligations instead of allowing their militaries to languish? It is possible that Putin would never have invaded Ukraine if there was a formidable force nearby. NATO is trying to quickly make up for that mistake. The only question that remains is: Will it be fast enough?