Sunday, August 31, 2014

Preparing for War

Anne Applebaum assesses Russian actions and intent and asks if the west and its preminent superpower shouldn't be preparing for an all-out war.  The question is sobering  Too much fighting, destruction and death has already occurred in eastern Ukraine and evidence suggests that Russian forces are intervening directly in support of separatist rebels.  Applebaum quotes any number of Russian exceptionalists (yes, they have them, too) along with Vladimir Putin to support a reasonable conclusion that war is likely and the world should prepare for it.

Her logic is hard to dispute.  It's certainly consistent with my understanding of Russian history and culture.  Her conclusion has a hard reality:  if you think someone is out to harm you, it's prudent to be ready to prevent that.  All that makes sense.

But given that the threat arises from historical and geopolitical relations among ethic groups and nations, its underlying causes will not easily be resolved by war and re-aligning borders.  War may, in fact, further inflame the conflict by sowing new resentment and division among people already suspicious of one another.

For me, seeing a situation spiraling into violence means the most logical policy is to find ways to stop the spiral.  I expect my government leaders and other nations' leaders to be smart enough to figure out how to work with all parties to stop the spiral and find alternatives to war.

That is the best preparation for war.  That may seem like a hopeless dream given our bloody human history but the alternative is to accept the inevitability of war as a constant.  I am not willing to accept that.

Call me a dreamer.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, there are those who encourage war. Harper told Israel, he is backing them to the hilt. He encouraged Israel, to make war on Palestine. Now Israel is appropriating land from Palestine to build new settlements for Israel. Then there are the Jews, assaulting Jewish children. Harper and Israel are just as bad as Hitler.

Harper runs around and threatens other countries, with his big fat mouth. Harper threatens Russia for their annexing of the Crimea. However, big mouth Harper says nothing regarding, Communist China, doing the same damned thing. Harper just doesn't get it? He is the joke of the world.

3:41 PM  
Blogger BadTux said...

Real sanctions against Russia -- sanctions amounting to virtually a blockade -- are the first step towards curbing Russia's appetite for Ukrainian territory. But personally I don't see anything other than U.S. and NATO troops and lots of them on the border between Ukraine and Russia that is going to stop Russia at this point. Given Russian history, Russia is going to ignore sanctions and accept the hardships caused by them because, well, that's just how Russia rolls -- their perpetual persecution complex will kick in and they'll just redouble their efforts.

I hope I'm wrong. But Putin seems to be in a bubble nowadays and it doesn't seem that reason is going to be able to get through that bubble to him.

War between nuclear-armed powers is not something to think about lightly... but unless Putin blinks, it looks more likely than not. And I don't know if the West is going to be able to get Putin to blink without putting some boots on the ground.

1:10 AM  

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