We all know Russia has been lurking around NATO countries’ airspace since the end of the Cold War. Some might even think they are testing our response to the posing threats of their strategic bombers to national security. I am also one of them and up to this day, I am wondering why the West allows them to do so.
The Royal Air Force (RAF) scrambled Tornado fighters no less than 20 times during last year only to drive off Russian bombers such as the Tu160, nicknamed the ”White Swan” by its Russian pilots. The US Air Force has been doing the same over Alaska and even our Canadian CF-18s intercepted them a few times over the last few years.
The Tu160 can deliver more up to 88,000lbs of ordnance including cruise or short-range nuclear missile.
But this is old news as most of NATO countrie has come to accept it since the Russian aircrafts were never, officially at least, entering any countries’ airspace.
However, Russia has move her game a notch higher by entering Ukraine’s airspace multiple times over the last 48 hours. It was attack aircrafts that entered Ukraine’s airspace while Russia intensified their military ‘’exercises’’ along the border.
Infantry, armor, both fixed and rotary aircraft were taking part of these manoeuvers and getting as close as 1 kilometer from the Ukraine border.
Meanwhile President Obama, according to the National Post, was talking ”indians and cowboys” in a news conference in South Korea.
“We’ll continue to keep some arrows in our quiver in the event we see further deterioration,” he said.
The problem here is that the quiver has been lacking arrows recently, clearly demonstrated by the current negligible US Foreign Policy. Yet, it is not only the US responsibility to intervene in case like Ukraine or even North Korea, but all NATO’s and even the remaining countries who are supposedly taking part actively in the well-being of the international community.
The situation in Ukraine clearly demonstrate that a country such as Russia, who we all know is severely lacking the ability to wage a long war due to their limited military resources, can do whatever they want and only receive a slap on the wrist. The United Nations Security Council has no more power due to the VETO power of Russia, OSCE observers are taken prisoners by pro-Russian militants under the false claims of being NATO spies alongside journalists who are trying to report news in the West. Those 3 examples undoubtedly exhibits the kind of warfare Russia is trying to achieve through proxy wars, a tactic widely use by the former Soviet Union.
The real problem here is that while Russia has been having issues modernizing its military, they never downsized their Strategic Missile Troops. Russia still has over 311 available ICBMs that could carry over 1078 warheads, lightly trailing the US with their approximate 450.
While Russia might not pose an immediate threat on the ground, their nuclear capabilities still weights heavily on the international community. In fact, according to the Arms Control Association, the military doctrine signed by the Russian Security Council in 2000 ‘’ allowed the first use of nuclear arms only “in case of a threat to the existence of the Russian Federation,” the new concept states that nuclear weapons may be used to “repulse armed aggression, if all other means of resolving the crisis have been exhausted.” This more relaxed condition for the use of nuclear weapons appears to be a response to the decline of Russian conventional forces, which has accelerated in recent years because of Russia’s economic troubles.’’
This is the real reason behind NATO’s reluctance to approve a military intervention to support Ukraine. Albeit NATO’s willingness to support Ukraine, the real issue here is the possible use of nuclear weapons by Russia.
We all know NATO, all combined, could easily defeat Russia’s military and quickly bring back a certain amount of stability in Ukraine. Some warmongers, among them are true armchair generals, would love to see a full-scale NATO intervention in Ukraine as soon as possible. This might calm the situation down for now but would really create more tension that could possibly lead to a ‘’warmer’’ war than what the Cold War was.
Sanctions might seem ineffective amidst the same ”armchair generals” but in a fragile economy such as Russia’s, I truly believe it will greater affect them in the long run if those sanctions are kept until the ‘’Bear’’ goes back to hibernation.
Don’t poke the Russian bear too much, they might press the little red button to show their ‘’nuclear might’’.
But with all of that said, I still truly believe in what NATO is currently doing; protecting their member countries and still applying some pressure on Russia by flexing some muscle. It’s all about finding the good amount of pressure, not playing the game of ‘’my father is stronger than yours’’ we use to do while we were kids.
(Featured image courtesy of Army Photos.net. RT-2UTTKh Topol-M from the 54th Guards Missile Division of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces preparing for the 2012 Victory Day Parade)