Espreso. Global

Possibility of Putin targeting NATO

24 January, 2024 Wednesday

The idea that Putin might target NATO emerged after Kremlin's threats to Helsinki, following the closure of the Finnish border

While Russia had previously quietly accepted Finnish NATO membership, they now seem hysterical.

Currently, Finland is seen as a potential target of aggression, not Poland or the Baltic states.

On the surface, this may sound laughable, what NATO are you talking about if they couldn't take Bakhmut for 6 months? 

However, Putin operates through strategic operations, aiming not to capture specific cities like Helsinki, Tallinn, or Warsaw but to dismantle the Western framework and establish Russia as the central power on its ruins.

How to do it? Highlighting NATO's weakness, causing delays in decision-making and responses.

NATO's prolonged decision-making process and hesitance in qualifying aggression serve Putin's agenda, especially during transitions of power, such as in the USA.

Even if Article 5 is invoked, it may not be a fatal blow for Putin.

He aims for a "strange'' war scenario, akin to the limited hostilities observed in 1939 when Britain and France defended Poland.

We seem to have overlooked Putin's interest in historical reenactment.

Yet, perhaps without realizing it, he continues to replay historical scenarios.

He attempted Munich, the Sudetenland, Gleiwitz, the Caribbean crisis, and Prague-68, each with different outcomes. Could this time be different, maybe in his favor?

Especially if the isolationist Trump triumphs, indifferent to Europe, turning a blind eye to the cracks in the North Atlantic axis.

Roosevelt didn't listen to Churchill's pleas not because he was heartless but due to his "Make America Great Again" agenda. 

Back then, it was the America First Committee.

"America first" was Woodrow Wilson's slogan, resisting involvement in a European war.

"America first" is the mantra of American nationalists who opposed aid to Britain and France, 

"America first" is Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

For Putin, "America First" is a last hope. If America stands alone, Russia will face Europe alone.

Occupying Berlin or Paris makes no sense for Moscow.

However, if the U.S. implodes (preferably into a civil war post-election), that would be a pleasant bonus.

Putin's aim is chaos across Europe, with loyal Putin-friendly politicians rising to power.

  • But what if NATO stands firm, responding swiftly and decisively?
  • What if the hybrid special military operation-2 is categorized as an attack, unlike missiles in Poland and drones in Romania?
  • What if Biden wins, quashing Trumpist attempts at igniting a civil war?
  • What if Biden loses, and the unpredictable Trump surprises by smashing Putin in the face?

If Putin is seriously considering a special military operation-2 against NATO, he is not pondering these scenarios.

Just as he didn’t ponder the consequences of failing to capture Kyiv within three days.

Currently, he is experiencing a sense of euphoria. 

In 2023, Putin enjoyed a successful year. Sanctions were avoided, the economy stabilized, and the "axis of evil" was established. The elite rebellion was quashed, and Ukraine's counteroffensive faltered.

Putin now exudes confidence.

The uncertainties of 2022 have subsided.

Thus, messianism has made a comeback, along with a taste for adventure, leading to potential errors.

But what if?

What if Putin opts for a completely different narrative, instead of the "strange war" and the collapse of NATO?

What if he reenacts Pearl Harbor?

Ukraine must hope for such an outcome — that Putin attacks a NATO country. 

It wouldn't be worse for us for sure. 

Any escalation of the conflict on the continent aligns with our interests.

Our chances of standing firm are slim until British and American soldiers start losing their lives.

Britain would likely not resist, were it not for Hitler.

This idiot essentially declared war on the US after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Why?

At that time, America's focus was on the Pacific Ocean, and Hitler boldly and foolishly invited an American soldier to Europe.

History isn't a chain of logically connected events.

It's a machine with a chaotic sequence of events that sometimes align in the script, only to break apart.

Yet, if you persistently press the "we can repeat" key for a long time, this option will surface.

However, there are nuances.


About the author: Oleh Manchura, journalist.

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors.

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