As all readers realize, the NATO alliance saw Russia as its main enemy during the Cold War. After the Cold War apparently ended, the NATO nations began to see Russia as an economic and trade partner. The Ukrainian crisis has caused NATO to again see Russia as an enemy nation.
NATO’s second-in-command issued a statement that NATO now sees Russia more as an enemy nation again. A very brief discussion of this admission in the American media is given in the first link while a much lengthier coverage of this announcement which appeared in the Russian media is in the second link. NATO now intends to send more military forces to its eastern member nations to deter Russian aggression. This would be an example of a “forward defense” strategy. However, NATO’s main problem, as I noted in my recent post, is that NATO has very few military assets now compared to what it once had when it previously recognized Russia as an enemy. NATO’s most urgent need is to upgrade and increase its military weaponry and this will take an economic commitment by all its member nations. If NATO does not take this step, then its announcements and limited redeployment action amount to little more than a publicity stunt–something which Russia will easily see.
Meanwhile the Ukrainian situation continues to deteriorate. The inexperienced Ukrainian government in Kiev which was installed by its western backers seems hopelessly outmatched by the Russian aggressiveness against its borders. The third link reports that the Ukrainian government is gradually being forced to admit it has now effectively lost control of not just the Crimea but also some of its eastern provinces and cities. This means that Russia’s strategy of gradual absorption of as much of the Ukraine as it can take over is proceeding without any meaningful opposition yet from either the Ukraine or from NATO. American “sanctions” against Russia are so far little more than a joke, and many European NATO nations are not at all eager to join any serious sanctions against Russia because they are dependent on Russia for energy supplies. Personally, I think Russia had a master strategy to make the NATO nations dependent on Russian energy after the USSR disbanded so Europe would be rendered unable to act in their own interests vis-à-vis Russia. Russia has seen the events of the post Cold War period as a grand chess game, and the NATO nations are now falling into the end-game trap prepared for them by a cunning Russia. I hate to say “I told you so,” but I have been warning about this outcome for over a quarter century, based on the biblical prophecy of Ezekiel 38-39 which revealed in advance that Russia, China, Iran and their allies would form a militaristic alliance during our current “latter day” age. It has now happened and this fact is obvious in global geopolitics. Many in the West are shocked and surprised that the Russian bear has come out of its hibernation and is hungry to devour some new territory. I’m not surprised at all. God always fulfills his prophecies (Isaiah 41:21-26).
The Ukraine is now beginning to institute conscription to increase its army’s size (fourth link), but a conscript army takes a long time to arm and train. By the time that expanded Ukrainian army is ready (if it ever is), Russia will likely have devoured all of the Ukraine that it thinks it can seize. NATO’s very weak response can only encourage Russia to continue to seize more Ukrainian territory. There is not much NATO can do. It has no treaty obligation to help Ukraine, and NATO really has become a weak military alliance.
Russia is also gaining a lot of soft power in the world by showing its willingness to use hard power (brute force) in accomplishing its objectives. It is showing to the world that the Obama administration and the NATO nations are weak and indecisive. Other nations needing allies in the world see this and they are not encouraged by the thought of depending on the USA or NATO for their security needs. Therefore, I think Russia is accomplishing another of its objectives by exposing how weak the NATO alliance has become.