Words and drums of war

Nobody knows if we are on the brink of a third world war or a conflict between Russia and Europe because neither the prophets of the apocalypse nor the analysts nor the politicians have all the keys to decipher the enigma.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
30 March 2024 Saturday 04:24
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Words and drums of war

Nobody knows if we are on the brink of a third world war or a conflict between Russia and Europe because neither the prophets of the apocalypse nor the analysts nor the politicians have all the keys to decipher the enigma.

Therefore, we mix signs, gestures, statements and perceptions to obtain impossible certainties. But in the mess there are incontestable facts. Russian aggression against Ukraine has raised the war temperature to Cold War levels. Putin is a satrap bent on reviving the great tsarist Russia and he has the worst despots on his side. China, North Korea, Iran and Belarus make eyes at him because a victory for the Kremlin autocrat would be a defeat for democracy, which they hate.

In front of this bloc of dictatorships, an aged, staggering, divided and lazy West emerges, waking up from a decades-long dream naked and unarmed. As Trump's shadow looms, the US looks to the Pacific and is fed up with the whiny European who spends everything on pensions and skimps on defense. France has the only nuclear arsenal in the European Union, only ten of the 27 members of the club have mandatory military service and 56 billion euros are missing to cover the defense budget.

Under these conditions, involving NATO in a ground operation in Ukraine to teach Russia a lesson is ill-advised. But the story explains that, with bullies, appeasement does not work either because convincing the unconvincing only leads to melancholy. The alternative is deterrence, assuming the danger and betting big to banish any temptation from the aggressor's mind. Close the spa and renovate the bunkers, review social spending and boost defense spending, abandon the siesta and mobilize the reservists, rethink the professional army and return to the military. In short, accept that the risk of a military, cyber attack... is a plausible variable.

The northern neighbors close to Russia have smelled something because they have gone from comfortable neutrality to sheltering under the skirts of the Atlantic Pact. It's what the future holds, no one knows what is going to happen.