Russian Aggression the Most Serious Threat

As President Obama steels himself to do what he has tried to avoid, namely increase US military involvement in the Middle East, we should try to keep in perspective that he and the rest of us face a more significant threat. The extremists of the Islamic State are an affront to our sense of humanity but they are non-state actors who could be dealt with if the politics and governance of the states effected can be improved.

However, the situation in the Ukraine is of a different magnitude. President Putin, having previously dismembered Georgia, is now involved in the same activity in Ukraine. Crimea has already been annexed to Russia and now the full ambitions of the Russian puppets in eastern Ukraine are becoming clear. They plan the creation of “New Russia” a state that would take in the eastern and the whole of the southern part of the country all the way to the Romanian border.

No leader of a major power has behaved as overtly aggressive since Stalin in the post war period, and sadly Putin would be very pleased with the comparison. He has said the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest tragedy of the 20th century and he claims the right to act on behalf of Russian minorities in other states. As there are Russian minorities throughout the old Soviet Union and far wider he is in principle claiming the right to interfere in the affairs of all of the independent sovereign states of Eastern Europe.

Stalin’s policies pushed the world into the Cold War, Putin’s have the potential to be equally as dangerous.

No sensible person wants, in the face of the many other challenges, to be forced to find money for increased spending on arms. No one wants the economic consequences that extensive sanctions against Russia will have on our own economies, but Putin will not be deterred by resolutions passed at NATO or EU summits. So unless we want to gamble that this systematic aggression will fizzle out in the face of inactivity, and history tells us that doesn’t happen, we must find effective ways to deter him.

Both NATO and the EU have made a start but the small and reluctant steps taken so far sadly are not likely to be nearly enough.

All NATO countries should commit to reverse the recent decline in defence spending.

At the European level there is an urgent need to develop a strategy to decrease our heavy dependence on Russian energy.

And here in Britain there are steps that should be taken. The Prime Minister told the House of Commons recently “there is no need to look at the Strategic Defence Review of 2010” despite the fact that large scale cuts are still being imposed on our Armed Forces and we have an Army stuffed full of the kind of vehicles best suited to fight a counter insurgency in Afghanistan, not those best suited to offer reassurance to our European neighbours facing a Russia that is re-equipping its own forces.

These capabilities cannot be altered simply or quickly. All party agreement should be sought for a new review now, this side of the election to look at what can be afforded and the kind of training and equipment needed in the face of the new scenario.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Russian Aggression the Most Serious Threat

  1. Mr S J Shaw

    It is common knowledge that NATO, despite promises made during the fall of the Iron Curtain, has been pushing eastward with the intention of encircling the Russian Federation. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/nato-s-eastward-expansion-did-the-west-break-its-promise-to-moscow-a-663315.html

    It is also common knowledge, although largely ignored by the mainstream media, that CIA-linked NGOs such as the National Endowment for Democracy have been operating in Ukraine for a number of years, fomenting protest movements with intention of unseating the Pro-Russian, yet democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych. http://www.hangthebankers.com/exposed-cia-nato-and-ngos-created-the-ukrainian-crisis/

    This situation is another entry in the ‘regime change’ casebook of the good old United States of America. One can pick up any CIA history book from their local branch of Waterstones or WH Smith to fill themselves in on the rest.

    May I remind you Mr Ainsworth that on 18th March 2003 you voted to take Britain to war with the sovereign nation of Iraq to enact yet another regime change, in a vote which went against the wishes of the working class people who your party claim to support. Over 1 million people took to the streets before that date, on February 15th, to protest against this invasion in what was to be an unprecedented event in contemporary history.

    Your party chose to ignore the people of this country and took our country to war. The Iraq war and its aftermath has, by numerous estimates, killed at a bare minimum, over 100,000 human beings, and at worse, over 1 million. It has destabilized the Middle East for generations. It has made a mockery of international law, and Britain is now a less safe place due to the threat of Islamic Fundamentalism which draws on events such as this to use as a recruiting tool.

    As America gears up for yet another regime change, this time in Syria under the pretences of attacking ‘ISIS’, I want you to ask yourself, who are the real monsters?

    Certainly not Vladimir Putin.

  2. Martin Smith

    Dear Bob,

     

    I totally agree with your article on the activities of Putin which appear to be an attempt to resurrect the USSR, pushing the world back to the Cold War days. As an ex – serviceman in the RAF during the 70’s and 80’s,  I well recall the constant surveillance, distrust and  wargames. I recall seeing the venerable Vulcan bombers sitting with pilots and groundcrew ready for immediate take off.

     

    The British armed forces have been pared back to far. Britain would struggle with any serious armed conflict, at home or in defence of our allies.  Using reservists for extended periods in conflicts can only affect the cohesion of a front line unit.  It takes time to integrate someone fully into a unit, and ultimately destructive for efficiency if once integrated,  they return to semi – civilian life.

     

    Please do all you can to get the government, without regard to politics and ideology,  to reverse the dismantling of the British Armed Forces. 

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