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No one knows and no one wants to find out.

Let’s cut right to the chase here:

The only certainty about the war over Ukraine is that all existing certainties have been shattered.

If one listens to main media it would be fair to say that it is in a warp way encouraging Mr Putin to use nuclear weapons, ( not that he needs encouragement )

So how worried should you be?   How does this end?

It is difficult to see how Putin “wins.” But he cannot accept defeat.

As long as there is no direct conflict between Russia and NATO then there is no reason for this crisis, bad as it is, to descend into a full-scale world war.

Is this true?

It’s always hard to predict what Mr. Putin is going to do, and anyone who says they know him really well … would not be telling you the complete truth.”

The hard facts are that this has now developed into a NATO backed war.

So what are the likely outcomes?

The spectrum of possible outcomes ranges from a volatile new cold or hot war involving the United States, Russia, and China; to a frozen conflict in Ukraine; to a post-Putin settlement in which Russia becomes part of a revised European security architecture.

That is as honest an assessment as anyone who isn’t Vladimir Putin can give you.

But the wild card here is the state of Putin’s mind.

The whole idea after the Second World War was we’re going to try to set up a system whereby we live in a world in which big countries cannot just decide we’re going to send in our military and take this territory that belongs to this other country has never worked.

There is almost zero mutual trust remaining between Russia and the West.

While the conflict is tragic for the Ukrainian people, it’s unlikely to lead to World War III because, at the moment, it appears that no world leaders want it to escalate to that degree, and efforts are being made to make sure fighting stays within Ukraine’s borders.

There are three major factors that make Europe today different from in the 1930s and ’40s and could prevent World War III.

The first is the NATO alliance.

The second factor is the presence of nuclear weapons.

The third is that the Ukraine is not a NATO member, so there is no formal obligation to come to its defence.

Where is this war going to go is however the big question keeping the world on edge:

It is fair to say that China or the USA would not allow their countries to be surrounded by nuclear missiles.

So be in now doubt that intellectual laziness, historical amnesia and dishonesty will take lives in the years to come.

History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.” – Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) or to quote the late Norman Mailer, “Whatever else it is, history is a bitch.”

There is a saying that nothing unites a country better than being invaded by an enemy but Putin’s actions have far-reaching implications for global politics and democracy.

This is a dangerous backdrop against which to have a blazing public row over who is to blame for the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Europeans need to ask themselves hard questions. Are they willing to confront Russia? Is Russia going to challenge the borders of NATO? And how should Europe respond?

The immediate question is how to diminish Russia’s ability to threaten its neighbours.

The West’s political, economic, and military posture toward Russia is obviously in a state of flux at the moment. As a result unlike the Soviet Union, Russia is no longer a global competitor to the United States and there is no strong ideological component that unifies and divides the international community with regard to Russia.

Rather, what we see is a revisionist Russia (with somewhat limited capabilities to project force beyond its borders) that is challenging core principles of the international community.

So we have a long and potentially very unsettled period ahead of us that no radiation will cure.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.

Contact: bobdillon33@gmail.com