NATO is all for justice provided it doesn’t encounter security council members.
The battle to repel Russian forces in Ukraine has been an ongoing struggle with complications arising on every front. NATO’s unwillingness to enter the conflict is wise for many reasons, but mostly to prevent the onset of nuclear warfare. But the alliance could have better prepared the Kyiv government years ago.
For Ukrainians inside the country, a plea to restrain Russian aggression comes from a place of desperation and residual Soviet scars lasting 100 years from repression and poignancy. But its most recent conflict didn’t start in 2022, it began some years ago in 2014.
Ukraine’s army has managed to stave off advances from the Kremlin through incredible acts of bravery and intelligent movements the Russian government failed to prepare for. President Vladimir Putin recently admitted that newly conscripted soldiers had been deployed to the frontline adding to the volume of Russia’s losses, which the Rada claims are as high as 10,000.
Though the most unsettling issue is not the war itself but empathy via trend, Western complacency and yet again, a lack of foresight and deficiency in historical consultation. Russia’s assault on not only Ukraine but Georgia, Chechnya and Syria should have rung alarm bells long ago following the occupation of Crimea and the Donbas regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. It has been nearly 8 years since events in the east of the country took place, allowing plenty of time for NATO forces to provide Ukraine with the necessary military aid to defend not only from the ground but also aerial combatants.
NATO failed to act on this danger, despite Russia’s history of breaching international law. In the UK, Russian agents assassinated former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, (assassinated by tea-infused polonium-210) made an attempt on the lives of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia via the nerve agent novichok. Two others – Charlie Rowley and his friend Dawn Sturgess fell ill following the retrieval of a perfume bottle containing the same nerve agent used to target the Skripals. Ms Sturgess died shortly after.
They have also been accused of assassinating GCHQ contractor ‘Gareth Williams‘ whose body was found locked inside a duffle bag in an MI6 safe house. His work was primarily focused on Russian money laundering with confirmed reports by police that he was tasked with working alongside the American National Security Agency.
These episodes and more happened on British soil, (a NATO member) targeting not only British citizens but endangering the wider public, killing one unintended person in the process. What was done? Sanctions and nothing more. This is the same weapon that on numerous occasions has failed to deter the Kremlin in Ukraine.
Although public commentary on Russia’s invasion has been admirable, this response was needed in 2014, when more than 1.5 million Ukrainians were displaced by fighting that killed more than 14,000. Where was the media during this illegal trespass on sovereign Ukrainian soil? Why the outrage now? Warning signs have been there for years through the shelling of the Donbas region by both Russian proxy forces, militias and Russian troops themselves.
The West grew complacent, sitting back once the defective seatbelt of the Minsk accords was enacted. They excused themselves from a seat at the table to mediate an out of control situation and because of this, we’re now organising panels on Question Time, asking ‘why can’t more be done?’
But the world is not as small as it once was. Access to its eyes through the use of social media and an ability to speak up on the pain and anguish levitating beyond grasp in Ukraine is not difficult anymore. Instead, we’re all pitching redundant questions of “why can’t we intervene?.” But the simple truth is, ignorance is not an excuse. We are showing we have the ability to act now, so why not earlier?
The West had its chance to intervene. Ukraine will remember its neglect once they have fended off Russian invaders with the ‘least they can do’ tools provided by ‘allies’ to Kyiv at the last minute which could have been provided seven to eight years ago creating a formidable stockpile of weapons.
So while the military might of NATO is unmistakable, it must be noted that NATO and NATO member offensives occur only against nations it believes (Afghanistan and Vietnam are exempt) it can win against. But in the face of true threats such as Russia, China and North Korea – don’t expect them to come running. Their own haul of imperial treasures and territories are too precious to risk.
So expect Ukraine to fight alone, expect Serbia’s aggression against Bosnia to continue, the Syrian people to be crushed, Palestinian and Rohingya ethnic cleansing to continue and Taiwan to be violated once more. As we’ve discussed before, trends hurt progress. Trends harm lives.