Why stopping Putin in Ukraine is the path of least risk.
By: Anna Keller
Brutal dictators not aligned to the West crush countries under heel. The media reports the brutal reality. The public shows solidarity, while the politicians condemn and announce sanction lists. If the people in the country resisting the brutal dictator are lucky the West will send enough arms to help them fight but not enough to help them win. The resistance will plead for more help and will be ignored. This was the pattern in Syria. The Western media eventually came to the conclusion that the opposition to the brutal dictator Assad was not good enough, and beyond the refugee crisis caused by people fleeing the dictator’s mass murder there was no threat to the West. There was no need to “intervene” directly or indirectly at scale – which by association was “unthinkable”.
In Ukraine the pattern repeats, except it is the Putin regime that is doing the killing directly. In this case the Ukrainian resistance is more than good enough, but the brutal dictator is threatening nuclear war. The sanctions and other embargoes on the brutal dictator are far more serious. The supply of military aid is far better but still insufficient. The energy and refugee crises will be severe for the West. The Western media concludes there is still “less risk” to the West by not “intervening” directly or at scale.
It is argued – if anybody bothers to ask – that Putin will stop after forcefully annexing Ukraine to “Greater Russia”. Belarus will also be annexed with the voluntary cooperation of it’s puppet dictator. Putin will not be able to run Ukraine efficiently with the resistance of half a million partisans. Putin’s regime will be running out of money. It is argued that Putin will be forced into agreeing a diplomatic solution, where he can still claim the invasion led to success but not victory. The Ukrainian people tired of war will accept becoming a disarmed country, with a government that appeases the Putin regime. Sanctions on Putin’s regime will be allowed to effectively fade away.
This is the hopeful version for Western leaders. They know public outrage cannot be sustained, especially when there are clear costs. The leaders’ public outrage and solidarity will show them as humane, while the betrayal wrapped in diplomacy will show them as pragmatically wise.
This version will not happen. Putin’s regime will commit the type of mass murder and mass torture that was and is happening in Syria. The victims will be Europeans, who are Christain or Secular, so leading to greater public outrage fuelled by greater subconscious identification with them. Putin does not need to run Ukraine efficiently, he needs to create a country under terror directed by his regime. Putin’s regime will not run out of money because his ally Xi Jinping will pay lip service to sanctions while throwing his regime an economic lifeline – as occurs with North Korea sanctions. The Chinese economy is ten times bigger than the Russian economy.
Putin will then target Nato and Europe. After annexing Ukraine by force and Belarus via his puppet dictator; Greater Russia will border eight European countries, seven of them in Nato. The “military doctrine” of the Russian Federation will be extended to “Greater Russia”. He will start a hybrid war on the Baltic States by threatening to avenge alleged mistreatment of their Russian minorities. Seeing the scale of Putin directed politicide in Ukraine by this time, will cause understandable terror in the Baltic States.
Putin’s regime will invade the Baltic States along the long Belarus border. Nato troops will fight directly with Russian troops. Nato aircraft will engage directly with Russian aircraft. Putin will threaten nuclear war, while Nato cannot. Nato will not be able to defend these countries sandwiched between Belarus and the Baltic Sea. Putin will have broken Nato’s promise to defend every inch of its members’ territory. Putin will have broken the perception of Nato’s strength.
The political survival of Putin’s aggressive neo-fascist regime will be ensured. The architect of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is the Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu. He is also currently Putin’s heir to be president after his semi-retirement. The success of the Putin-Shoygu regime will also help to reinforce the political future of Xi Jinping’s regime, which is on a parallel neo-fascist trajectory.
European solidarity will give way to national interest. Hybrid war on European countries by Putin-Shoygu’s regime will be met with outrage in public and appeasement in private. There are large groups vulnerable to being recruited as fifth columnists. Ironically ideologues on both the extreme right and extreme left are attracted to Putin’s regime. Corrupt sections of the business elite are attracted to the business opportunities of aligning to Putin’s network of kleptocracy. Shaky European democracy will die as a result of mislabeling the path of “least risk”.
The alternative path is obvious. Nato to engage at scale in Ukraine at the invitation of the Ukrainian government. Clearly the rationale will be presented as preventing war crimes. A rolling strategy of increasing pressure on the Russian Armed Forces. Partial no fly zones extending as Ukrainian cities are bombed and starved under siege by the Putin regime. Extension to excluding heavy artillery shelling cities. Extensive supplying and supporting of the Ukrainian government’s military resistance to ensure the protection of Ukrainian citizens. The comprehensive provision and distribution of humanitarian aid and fuel.
Now is exactly the time to roll back the autocratic global tide.