Is There a War with Russia?

Is There a War with Russia?

Foreign Affairs

Americans played an important role in the Second Cold War.

Finland was invited by NATO to join it at the Madrid summit. What does all this mean for Finland

If Russian President Vladimir Putin breaches the 830-mile Finnish border, the United States will rise to Helsinki’s defense and fight Russia on Finland’s side.

What does Finland’s NATO membership mean for America?

If Putin makes a military move into Finland, the U.S. will go to war against the world’s largest nation with an arsenal of between 4,500 and 6,000 battlefield and strategic nuclear weapons.

No Cold War President would dream of such a decision–to put our country’s survival at risk to defend territory in a foreign nation thousands of miles from us that is not of vital importance.

To go to war against the Soviet Union for the preservation of Finnish land would have been considered madness in the Cold War.

Remember: Harry Truman did not use force against Joseph Stalin’s Berlin blockade. Dwight Eisenhower refused to send U.S. troops to save the Hungarian freedom fighters being run down by Soviet tanks in Budapest in 1956.

Lyndon B. Johnson did nothing to assist the Czech patriots crushed by Warsaw Pact armies in 1968. When Lech Walesa’s Solidarity was smashed on Moscow’s order in Poland in 1981, Ronald Reagan made brave statements and sent Xerox machines.

While the U.S. made annual statements of support for Central and Eastern European “captive” nations during the Cold War, it was not considered so crucial to the West that it justified a war against the USSR.

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Indeed, in the 40 years of the Cold War, NATO, which had begun in 1949 with 12 member nations, added only four more–Greece, Turkey, Spain and West Germany.

Yet, with the invitation to Sweden and Finland to join as the 31st and 32nd nations to receive an Article 5 war guarantee, NATO will have doubled its membership since what was thought–certainly by the Russians–to have been the end of the Cold War.

All the countries that were once part of the Moscow’s Warsaw Pact – East Germany, Poland and Hungary, Slovakia, Romania. Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria – are now all members of the U.S.-led NATO-directed against Russia.

Three former USSR republics–Estonia and Latvia were formerly part of NATO. This military alliance was created to contain the country to which they belonged in the Cold War.

Lithuania has declared a partial stop to goods from moving through its territory towards Kaliningrad (Russia’s Baltic Sea enclave).

To Putin’s protest Vilnius reminded Moscow of the fact that Lithuania is part NATO.

The rule of geostrategic political is that a greater power should not give to a smaller power the power to bring it to war.

In 1914, the kaiser’s Germany gave its Austrian ally a “blank check” to punish Serbia for its role in the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne. Vienna cashed the kaiser’s check and attacked Serbia, and the Great War of 1914-1918 was on.

In March 1939, Neville Chamberlain issued a war guarantee to Poland. Britain will fight for Poland if Germany attacks Poland.

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Fortified with this war guarantee from the British Empire, the Poles stonewalled Hitler, refusing to talk to Berlin over German claims to the city of Danzig, taken from her at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference.

On Sept. 1, 1939, Hitler attacked and Britain declared war, a war that lasted six years and mortally wounded the British Empire.

And Poland? At Yalta in 1945, Winston Churchill agreed that a Soviet-occupied Poland should remain in Stalin’s custody.

Putin is a Russian nationalist who regards the breakup of the USSR as the greatest calamity of the 20th century, but he is not alone responsible for the wretched relations between our countries.

The United States has played an important role in the Second Cold War. It is more dangerous than it was the first.

Over the last quarter-century, after Russia dissolved the Warsaw Pact and let the USSR break apart into 15 nations, we pushed NATO, created to corral and contain Russia, into Central and Eastern Europe.

In 2008, neocons goaded Georgia into attacking South Ossetia, provoking Russian intervention and the rout of the Georgian army.

In 2014, neocons goaded Ukrainians into overthrowing the elected pro-Russian regime in Kiev. Putin took Sevastopol and Crimea, which had been for many centuries Russia’s Black Sea Fleet home, after they won.

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In 2022, Moscow asked the U.S. to pledge not to bring Ukraine into NATO. We declined. Putin then attacked. Can we really blame the Russians for believing that their country was pushed against a wall in West Germany?

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Americans seem dismissive of Russian warnings. They will not accept defeat in Ukraine and the humiliation and isolation of their country, but they will resort tactical nuclear weapons.

Is it wise to disregard these warnings and call them “saber-rattling?”

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