Words and drums of war

No one knows whether we are on the verge 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 05:08
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Words and drums of war

No one knows whether we are on the verge 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 study cues, gestures, statements and perceptions to obtain impossible certainties. But in the mess there are indisputable 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 has the worst despots on his side. China, North Korea, Iran or Belarus wink at him because a victory for the Kremlin autocrat would be a defeat for democracy, which they hate.

In front of this block of dictatorships, an aged, shaky, divided and lazy West is drawn, waking up from a sleep of decades naked and disarmed. While the shadow of Trump threatens, the United States looks to the Pacific and is like the European rondinaire who spends everything on pensions and is weak in defense. France has the only nuclear arsenal in the European Union, only ten of the 27 members of the club have compulsory 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 not advisable. But history tells us that, with criminals, appeasement doesn't work either because convincing the unconvinced only leads to melancholy. The alternative is deterrence, assuming the danger and betting hard to banish any temptation from the aggressor's mind. Close the spa and modernize the bunkers, review social spending and boost defense spending, abandon the nap and mobilize the reservists, rethink the professional army and the return of the militia. In short, accept that the risk of a military, cyber attack... is a plausible variable.

Russia's northern neighbors have sniffed something because they have gone from comfortable neutrality to hiding under the skirts of the Atlantic Pact. These are the things of the future, no one knows what will happen.