Finland joins NATO.
Jens Stoltenberg of NATO says Sweden would join soon too.
That would make NATO 32-nation strong.
In case, it’s just a number to you, look at the NATO map below and how it would look to a Russian.
Both Finland and Sweden since 1945 were neutral countries.
At the height of the Cold War, when the Warsaw Pact around Soviet Union was 10 time stronger than NATO, they stuck to their neutrality.
It was in no small measure to leaders like Sweden’s Olaf Palme (who incidentally was murdered) and Finland’s Urho Kekkonen for they knew what war meant.
But over the last few decades, they have been part of NATO only albeit with other names.
Slowly but surely, the elites of military-industrial complex took over, the media began wagging tail for its piece of bone, and to draw from a romantic analogy, an engagement of two decades has now been formalized into a marriage.
Vladimir Putin would know it is NATO preparing for a war over Arctic where Russia has the first-comer advantage and which holds allure for its two main friends, China and India.
The West would love to drag them down on another front, entail a far nastier defense budget, to go with history’s toughest sanctions, till Russia succumbs and comes apart at the seams.
Finland knows it faces no threat from Russia, as does Sweden, yet they walk over to NATO, leaving no room for neutrality, no room for peace, yet claiming all along they are doing so for humanity.
Now both won’t be abe to say no to the West if it wishes to set up nuclear missiles on their soils. (Norway and Denmark already do.)
Nor would they able to say no if NATO engages in another Yugoslavia, Libya or Afghanistan.
Never mind if their young are sent to far off lands to be slaughtered for a cause which has nothing to do with their nation’s sovereignty.
In a moment of crisis, they would literally be occupied by US and NATO.
This crisis of course would be NATO’s own making for Russia surely is not eyeing Europe.
And how the two forces stand against each other?
Nobody is talking of Nuclear War here—for it leaves no winners.
In conventional warfare, let’s look at how NATO vs Russia theme could play out.
NATO initially was made up of national contingents. It no longer is the case. The US part of NATO force has long since gone home.
The European nations, one after another, have reduced their forces.
Only dimwits say “We would do war, whatever it takes.”
For a real war isn’t what you see on celluloid.
It involves a whole lot of things, not least brigades, headquarters, chain of transport and power, repair and replacements etc, etc.
And it is not as if you alone can hurt your enemy. You have to also factor in what your enemy could do to you.
Let’s first see what Russia could do to the NATO before looking at the options the latter has.
If Russia was to set eye on just a few targets, which you got to concede it could very well do with its missiles from aircrafts, ships or submarines, the names of Pentagon, White House, CIA and NSA headquarters, NATO headquarters in Brussels, its military headquarters in Mons all look fair game.
As it could be with various European defence ministries, military headquarters, military airfields etc. Your ammunition storage, repair depots, naval bases, vessels, transport hubs etc all are potential targets.
In theory, military airfields are dispersed unlike ground forces which are mobilized. The spread out airfields mean use of civilian airports which of course would have to be shut down.
Most European military installations are near civilian clusters. The UK’s military headquarters, for instance, is in a suburb of London. Hundreds of thousands of people live near seaports and airports.
How do you evacuate them (forget orderly phasing out)? Where do you hide them? In bunkers which you have already abandoned knowing they are no good against modern missiles? What housing alternatives you have? Which government could hope to have its citizens’ support on such a matter? Do you think citizens’ unrest in one won’t spread across the borders? Who would risk announcing such a grave provision for its citizens, telling them they are under risk of air and missile attack? For what, Ukraine?
(Last week, when Zelensky gave an online address in Austrian parliament, dozens of MPs walked out).
Let’s presume NATO has mobilized enough multinational forces to march towards Russia.
Now NATO has never deployed OFFENSIVE mechanized operations far from its bases. It all along has a DEFENSIVE orientation in that it would stop an enemy at the gate. They could thus fall back on their supply lines, reserves, maintenance depots etc, etc.
But here it’s different. You are talking of moving thousands of miles towards your East. Training disparate forces takes weeks if not months. You also have to look at your reserve forces.
How do you get there? Is there any precedent in our times of moving such manpower and machinery over such a distance and not exposing yourself to enemy’s air and missile attacks? How do you get them across the Channel, if I may ask?
We are talking of Western tanks, all still heavy and largely a leftover of Cold War, and mechanized units moving inside civilian infrastructures, a minimum of 10km long convoy —for it would have all kind of recovery, repair, medical units etc, etc—damaging roads, bridges flyovers.
We are not even talking of regular supplies of spares, consumables, hospitals, workshops etc. Or evacuating casualties, reinforcements, replacing damaged weapons etc.
Then there is this basic question: How many Brigades could you spare? And if you send all of them towards Russia, who looks after your own Capitals?
Now let’s address the question I am sure you have on your mind:
Why NATO has to move on the ground? Don’t they have missiles and air carriers? Doesn’t US-NATO spend many times over than what Russia does on its defense?
The truth is Western nations haven’t paid much attention on long-range conventional missiles all these years. Yes they have Tomahawk cruise missiles with a range of 1,500 km. It has a warhead of 500kg, no better than what was used in World War II. From a NATO’s point of view, the targets need to be closer to sea since they are launched from ships and submarines. Where do you think Moscow is? And don’t forget to look at the size of Russia, to begin with.
So even if you launch Tomahawk Missiles, let’s say from the Baltic or eastern Mediterranean, you could reach Moscow, theoretically. Or that your aircraft carriers could drop conventional bombs on Moscow. But then we are talking of Russia which has one of world’s most comprehensive air defence system. And I am sure nobody is forgetting what Russians could do in retaliation to a Buckingham or an Elysee Palace. No European government would look at such an option and still not tremble in its boots.
So there you are: You can’t rely on your missiles, aircraft carriers and your mobilized mechanized units, at least in near future.
So who is winning war here in Ukraine?
Your best bet is to stretch Russia thin, which is where the Finland factor comes in, or drag them in the Pacific theatre to inflict damage on its eastern borders.
All this while hoping that the economic cost and loss of manhood would bring Vladimir Putin, and Russia, on its knees.
So far we have seen its’ fanciful.
A defensive Russia, as it has no ambitions beyond Eastern Ukraine and the wellbeing of its local Russians, is impossible to beat by NATO.
This simple truth is either not understood or fudged by mainstream media.
The present war, forget what your read in newspapers, is as good as lost for Ukraine.
One fine morning, you would have another walk-out from Ukraine like you had in Vietnam or Afghanistan, to a new theatre of a new adventure.
Unless of course Russia can’t bear the cost.
But as long as China, and India, are picking the bills Rubles is in business, isn’t it.