Still in my neutral capacity over the ongoing Ukrainian war and a steadfast anti-war protagonist I definitely need some clarification over where this European conflict is taking the world.
The Ukraine Armed Forces that before the outbreak of the conflict were rated too inferior to the “mighty ” Russian Armed Forces seem to be far more stronger and efficient than anticipated. Given their fighter jets, FM-92 Stinger missiles coupled with their shoulder-fired anti tank Javelins, one could not but be surprised and impressed by how the Ukrainians are obliterating the modern Russian tanks and their convoys of supply trucks with formidable precision. The American made shoulder-fired Javelin missile (FGM-148 Javelin) which employs infrared seekers can destroy a modern tank sitting or moving at a range of 8 Km. They have enough of them and could perfectly use them . The Germans and Swedish have similar tank and slow-flying helicopter busters in portable and mountable designs with longer killing ranges and are sending a lot of them to help the Ukrainian combatants. This is war escalation beyond comprehension.
Now, the question is whether Putin had underestimated the capability, strength and resilience of the Ukraine fighters or whether he is trying to first prove to the world his often raised concerns of how he had feared Ukraine as an existential threat to Russia’s national security before unleashing all his arsenals to achieve his objective and also save himself of the embarrassment of a defeat or withdrawal?
Yes, so far, it looks like the war is not going well in his favor while the European nations together with NATO are hell bent on ensuring his defeat or failure in this campaign. Failure to defeat Russia on the other hand could also translate into NATO’s humiliation and major setback in many ways. One in mind are Russia’s allies during the Soviet era that are recently considering or intending to join NATO who could reconsider the wisdom of abandoning Putin and stay neutral which will embolden him into assuring his current allies of his strength, effectiveness and dependability.
There is of course the danger of the collective and crushing weight of the economic sanction of Russia undermining their financial solvency beyond sustainability. That could indeed trigger internal civil unrest in Moscow and in major Russian cities that will certainly be counterintuitive to every war effort of Putin. But let us equally recognize that destroying the economy of Russia will be as troubling and painful as its reciprocal effect of denying Europe vital gas supplies especially to Germany that is heavily dependent on Russian gas.
However, as much as both the West and Russia are acting as if they are right and know better than the rest of us, I think they are playing with a raging fire that if not handled with care could amount to a global catastrophe reminiscent of a World-War-Two maelstrom . Is it not scary that Russia puts its nuclear forces on high alert which to me means their willingness to double down in realizing their objective or using them?
Neither Europe nor America will be foolish enough to ratchet their tactics to that level because of its risk to use them and end human civilization as we know it since the dawn of history. Apparently, a nuclear war that we thought we had sanely evolved out of after the end of the cold war for its self-destructiveness will still end the world if the superpowers are dumb enough to try it for the first time.