Why was Finland encouraged to confront Russia, and what the response will be?
Turkey won’t stop Finland and Sweden from joining NATO
Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:
The world is preparing for a new cold-hot war (similar to the Cold War that ended in 1991)after Finland and Sweden announced their intention to join the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the Western military alliance. This new war has different standards and rules since several countries possess abundant lethal nuclear weapons and are split into two camps. Nevertheless, the battle is raging far from the US and in the same theatre where WWI and WWII happened: the European continent. President Vladimir Putin said that he would not stand idly by if the Baltics came under US control after Finland and Sweden joined NATO. What are the expected and realistic possibilities? Is the world facing yet another danger of war after Ukraine? Is a nuclear confrontation probable?
The US narrative alleges that “any country has the right to join NATO, which opens its doors to all, and no country has the right to object to the sovereignty of the decision of the applicant countries to join in.” On the other hand, Moscow reminds the world that two US presidents promised that NATO won’t expand beyond 1997 and that its national security is as important as the US national security when in jeopardy, and that red lines should not be crossed.
Therefore, the US narrative is in contradiction when it objects to Russia’s interference in NATO’s expansion on the Russian borders. Washington condemned and rejected the Chinese agreement with the Solomon Islands, 9,800 km from the US borders.
The US triggered Russia’s fears and took advantage of its weakness in the years that followed perestroika in 1991 and opened the doors to new members. The number of NATO countries reached from12 to 30, and it is preparing to raise the number and include Ukraine and Georgia after multiple joint drills and manoeuvres. Having NATO in Georgia and Ukraine would provoke Russia and perhaps push it to war to demonize it and push it away from the European continent. The other alternative is for Moscow to accept the fait accompli and find itself surrounded by hostile US forces and nuclear missiles getting closer to the Russian capital.
At the beginning of Russia’s military build-up against Ukraine, Finland said it would not join NATO. This was demonstrated by a poll showing that only 28 per cent of Finns want their country to become part of the US-led military alliance. In addition, the prestige of President Vladimir Putin and the strength of his army, following his victory in Syria over the US and their allies’ plan to remove President Bashar al-Assad, were omnipresent.
However, the Russian “Plan A” pursued by President Putin in the first weeks of the war, which began on the 24th of February, revealed that the Russian army could be defeated in Ukraine and drowned and exhausted in its quagmire. Indeed, the strategically devastating Russian decision to conduct the first attack could have stemmed from a fatal miscalculation or the failure of an expected coup to remove the pro-US leaders within Kyiv. The Russian troops reached the vicinity of Kyiv, and a dozen kilometre long convoy of Russian tanks waited for weeks outside the capital, exposed to Ukrainian laser-guided anti-tank missiles and armed drones. The Russian decision to consider the social Ukrainian-Russian connection will cost Moscow huge strategic losses in the long term, even if Russia manages to achieve its goals in Ukraine and control the vast Donbas region.
One of the most significant errors was when President Putin engaged a small number of his forces on the battlefield, equivalent to less than half of the defending troops (150,000 Russian soldiers compared to more than 360,000 Ukrainian soldiers). The Ukrainian army proved the will to fight back and enjoyed unlimited Western financial, military, and propaganda support. Avoiding the western style of intensifying air and missile strikes to paralyse the enemy’s will and demonstrating excessive use of deadly force, which Russian military colleges teach in their academies, encouraged the west to challenge Russia further.
The consequences of the initial Russian “velvet military plan” prompted president Putin to change his tactics, dumb down the goals, and adopt a more destructive and effective fighting style. However, the Russian military performance is well below the level expected from superpower states to date. Although the US failed to achieve its ultimate objectives in Afghanistan and Iraq, its performance on the battlefield during the primary occupation of a country was always much superior to the Russian one.
For the above reasons, NATO countries were able to provide unlimited military assistance to Ukraine under the baleful eyes of Russia, which nevertheless failed to impose an air umbrella similar to that imposed by Israel in the Lebanon war in 2006. Many western countries are no longer scared that the level of NATO forces on any battlefield will find it challenging to meet the Russian army.
Consequently, many nations are convinced that the next battle against Russia can only be either a nuclear war (improbable) or – most likely – joint mobilisation on both camps to establish a deterrent force, flex some muscles, and raise confrontational but controlled tension.
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Proofread by: Maurice Brasher