The time that the US could play the policeman of the world is long gone. If you were born in the 1980’s you have slowly seen the American empire decline, lose face, lose stature, lose credit and credibility.
It’s come so far that Putin is willing to risk some serious American reaction by bombing targets in Ukraine. That’s how toothless he thinks the west has become. He’s probably correct in this assessment. What can the west do? Bomb Moscow? Invade Russia? They have done that several times in the none too distant past and it never worked. (Yes, also America has already invaded Russia at least once, namely in 1918).
Striking targets inside Ukraine, while militarily speaking a smart move, is a far reaching escalation and should not have happened. Any loss of life is to be strongly condemned and am personally overwhelmed with anger knowing that innocent people have died and will keep dying in the wake of this conflict.
He claims he does not want to conquer Ukraine, something I also don’t think he wants to do, but unfortunately:
if he did want to conquer Ukraine, who or what would stop him?
A coalition of European nations plus the US and some contributions from small pro-American nations across the globe? The same one that couldn’t defeat the Taliban? The same one that couldn’t handle Isis?
The Poles may be itching to have a go at the Russians, but not alone, of course. My native country could potentially send a few fighter jets, but not to engage in air to air combat, only to bomb something and then to return safely. Only on the condition that there is no advanced Flak in the area. They’re relatively good at bombing stuff if there is no return fire.
The west may come up with some sort of amalgamation of troops to go and stand on the Ukrainian border to show Putin an invasion is a big no no, but then they would still have to agree on the details, get it organized, and most importantly: who’s going to pay for that?
If those Russian bombardments are effective and are actually destroying some of the heavier equipment Ukraine has then the idea of the Ukrainians retaking the breakaway republics – already a daunting operation – can be entirely scratched.
So far Putin has been deadly efficient. And so far there have been no repercussions to hurt him. If those bombardments are effective enough he may have accomplished what he wanted: zero chance of Ukraine getting back those separatist regions.
There’s now so much bad blood between the two nations that this stalemate will go on indefinitely.
Since the west can only clamor how it condemns these actions other nations with aggressive plans can take this moment as a green light.
Right about now would be a good moment for China to retake Taiwan.
Iran could openly send more troops into Syria. Israel could try to take more territory from either Lebanon or Syria or both. They have never stopped taking land from the Palestinians so they can speed up the process now.
Over in the Balkans they could go nuts again, because the wars there quieted down, but are very much alive in people’s minds and hearts.
If North-Korea wants to make a move then right now would be the opportune moment.
There are only so many fires the west can direct its attention to and it can’t even handle the ones that are burning right now.
You can expect any of the following:
– it won’t be good for energy prices
– Ukrainians will try to get the fuck out of their already economically challenged country. This will aggravate the refugee crisis. They’re white, so they can expect to be treated exceptionally well in comparison to other refugees. Although nobody is going to openly admit that.
– it will rain sanctions. Ranging from the harmful to the silly. I guess banning Russia from sports events will be on the table. Oh no!
– some of those other powder kegs as mentioned above may explode (there are many more than the few I’ve mentioned)
– tourism in Ukraine isn’t going to be booming this summer, nor tourism in Russia
– this event could either make or break the EU. Either the EU members will become a stronger unity through this or the crisis will show more rifts. For example, Hungary may out itself more and more as pro-Russian
– arms sales will go up, big time
– for a while America will come out looking like the good guy (nobody wants to see how the US worked hard to get a pro-western, anti-Russian government installed in Ukraine, hence this entire crisis). The fact that the US has done the same and worse to many countries, doesn’t seem to matter
– Putin could conquer Ukraine if he really wanted to, but it’s big and has a history of effective partisan warfare. He can take take it, but the cost of permanently occupying it would be huge. Am guessing he wants the wreck Ukrainian military capabilities without having to permanently occupy a very large and populous nation.
– people all over the world could get so overheated by these events, possibly made worse by the mental effects of a certain virus, plus an unstable economy, that some very dumb, rash and testosterone fueled decisions could be just round the corner. Maybe some small local clash between Russian forces and western forces is not entirely unlikely and then things could just keep escalating
Looks like the cold war never ended and this is not just Russia’s fault. Many nations played a role in that.
Humanity needs a radical paradigm shift, on an individual level and on a collective level. Our institutions and governments fail to represent the will if the people. I am convinced that if there could be referenda concerning these kind of conflicts the majority of people all around the world would always vote for peace. And yet here we are.
There is a glitch in the system if we humans always end up with leaders doing about the opposite of what most people wish for.