Zelensky’s Speech to the Russians

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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7 Responses

  1. InMD
    Ignored
    says:

    Not sure the best place to put this but what a debacle for Russia. I can’t imagine the Finns would make this announcement if the vote in parliament to apply for NATO membership wasn’t a sure thing.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61420185.ampReport

    • Marchmaine in reply to InMD
      Ignored
      says:

      NATO is dead, long live NATO.Report

      • InMD in reply to Marchmaine
        Ignored
        says:

        As wrongheaded as I think previous expansions were, given the trajectory we’re on, I look at this one a bit differently. At least you can actually make a case for Finland (and I assume now Sweden too) as a net contributor with a straight face, particularly as a package deal. That’s way better than newly opened markets for our defense industr-, er uh, defenseless nascent democracies whose freedom must be secured!Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          My point is that NATO can be whatever we wants it to be… but we’re giving up a lot of the strength that NATO had for being a tight alliance backstopped by US Power and leadership.

          Overlooked is that as NATO grows, Baltic, East European, Turkish, (Near East/Steppe), concerns may or may not align with Original NATO or (increasingly) US interests which *reduces* the credible threat that one country attacked will trigger the response of all. Or, possibly worse, it will.

          The irony is that Ukraine is demonstrating that secondary alliances (maybe even offshore balancing) is working… and that Poland is hemmed in by NATO in ways it needn’t be. So too will Finland/Sweden be. We could position soft power in the form of Hardware/Systems integration with Western/NATO arms as part of this balancing.

          By adding Finland/Sweden we gain little and give up flexible responses while exposing risk and risking exposing that NATO really won’t go to war for Estonia… or worse, NATO goes to war via Erdogan or some other out of theater trigger event.

          Remaking NATO as a sort of UN with guns isn’t necessarily a thing we can actually do. There are lots of collective action problems that we should see as obvious pitfalls given our experience with, well, the UN. If we break the thing that makes NATO good, have we made NATO better?Report

          • InMD in reply to Marchmaine
            Ignored
            says:

            I look at it differently.

            Guaranteeing that the Finnish and also probably Swedish militiaries (particularly airforces) are in play makes conventional defense of the Baltic states and Poland way more plausible than it ever has been. Assuming kicking people out of the alliance isn’t on the table, it makes what was probably a stupid bluff to begin with far more difficult for Russia to call. That’s a real gain in my opinion even if it’s luck making up for bad strategy.

            Regarding operational independence I think that’s right for a country like Poland. We now know they could probably roll in to support the Ukrainian government with Western equipment and defeat the Russian army as long as the fight stays conventional (or hopefully provide enough deterrence this didn’t happen to begin with). In fairness we didn’t know that 3 months ago but conceptually it makes sense and is a sounder long term strategy than what we did.

            However I don’t think that is as much of an issue for Finland and Sweden. They’re both non-aligned, neutral countries with some degree of geographic isolation, but for Russia on the doorstep. They don’t do anything expeditionary on their own and, judging from current events, they aren’t going to drag the alliance into anything it wouldn’t already be involved in.

            So while we’ve taken the wrong strategy, I think we’re stuck with it, so we might as well strengthen our hand as long as we aren’t courting any new catastrophes by doing so.Report

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