What is it good for?
Rolling into Year 2 of the Russo-Ukraine war it seems that we’re in (at best) a stalemate, or (at worst) a protracted nasty revenge-ridden war.
Before I go any further, please understand that these are my thoughts and not my employer’s. Also – I am not a geopolitical expert but just a dude who cares about the value of human life whether they are Russian or Western.
Why Isn’t It Over?
As I see it, for three reasons:
- The failure of the West to push Ukraine to some form of concession in mid-March 2022.
- The West reacting too slowly and they now look like they are losing interest.
- Russia has deep resources and is mentally prepared for a long conflict whilst the West wants to bury its head in the sand.
You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.
The above quote, in my opinion, is entirely applicable to European attitudes towards the ongoing war and why it continues unabated.
The Europeans (especially the Germans) had it too good for too long with cheap energy from Russia and well, who’d have thought we’d go to war right? ‘
Let it roll and let Putin have his way’ was the consensus on February 24th, 2022.
Anyway, we are where we are, but on a personal level, I don’t entirely blame the Russians. I believe that they were treated badly post-communism. They are European and should have been made to feel more welcome in the West.
The West’s Missed Opportunities
We should be best friends. Our interests ought to be aligned. We depended on each other. We paid for their vast energy resources and they made a ton of money out of it.
After 9/11, Putin was genuine about working with the US. Hell, he was even the first stateman to call George Dubya Bush – even second to the war-monger Blair.
The fact that the West missed these opportunities was a tragedy, and it’s a shame that diplomatic efforts and engagement with Putin’s Russia have not always resulted in significant progress or lasting cooperation. T
The relationship between Russia and Western countries has been marked by periods of tension, mistrust, and geopolitical conflicts, making it challenging to establish a stable and constructive partnership.
Russia’s Missed Opportunities
Russia should have been shown more respect when the Cold War ended, but they also missed a trick themselves.
Had they implemented a better form of
democratic government then they’d be in a much stronger position now.
Russia it seems, “always needs a strongman”. This shouldn’t have been the case. If they had a more transparent form of government and run the rich resources wisely they’d have ensured continuity and would have likely removed any impending beef with the West.
Irredentism Went Wrong
Putin put a lot of faith in Irredentism, and as a matter of fact, this rarely works out well.
I challenge anyone to give an example of when irredentism was successful.
Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 gave the confidence to act more aggressively, in some ways similar to the confidence David Cameron had when Scotland remained in the Union following Brexit.
Putin’s intelligence was awful and unfortunately, the COVID bubble he lived in didn’t help.
Russia was wrong to have invaded Ukraine.
Russia was right to have been concerned by NATO’s unnecessary expansion.
The West was wrong to have expanded NATO.
The West was right to stop the invastion of Ukraine.
Meet in the middle and end the madness, reconcile and build-back stronger.