5 January 2023, Hassan Nafaa
Can NATO withstand the flames of war in Ukraine?
The United States managed the Ukrainian crisis in a way that enables it to become the largest beneficiary from the continuation of this war, even at the expense of its European allies.
In a few weeks, the war currently raging in the Ukrainian arena will enter its new year, with no end in sight. And because it differs greatly from the “proxy wars” that broke out during the Cold War between the two poles of the international system, such as the war in Vietnam and Afghanistan, it is not expected that it will end in a complete defeat for either side, similar to that which the United States suffered in Vietnam in the mid-1970s. Or that suffered by the Soviet Union in Afghanistan at the end of the eighties of the last century.
Therefore, it is likely to remain flaring until Russia and the United States realize: 1- that they are about to enter into a direct clash, in which nuclear weapons may be used; 2- The cost of continuing this war has become much greater than the cost of accepting a sustainable political solution. Until this moment, whose objective conditions have not yet matured, the repercussions of this ongoing war will continue to interact and cast their varying effects on all international actors for an indefinite period.
Russia's position differs markedly from that of NATO. Russia did not decide to use armed force against Ukraine until it became fully convinced that it was facing an existential threat because of NATO’s insistence on continuing its expansion to the east, and on annexing Ukraine to it, and turning it into a thorn in order to drain Russia and force it to turn on itself, and paralyze its ability to perform any An effective role outside its borders, whether on the regional or international level, as a prelude to its dismantling, just as the Soviet Union was dismantled before. And because it still believes that the war currently taking place in the Ukrainian arena is for it "a war of existence, not a war of borders."
As for the United States, it is noted that it decided, from the first moment of the outbreak of the war, to enlist the help of its allies in providing all possible means of support to Ukraine, including military aid, and even resorted to inciting Ukraine to continue fighting until victory. The reason for this is due to the United States’ keenness, not only to support a European country that is a candidate for membership in NATO, but also to maintain its dominant position within the global system, especially as it is aware with certainty that Russia’s victory in this war will inevitably lead to halting the expansion of NATO, and forcing it to To back down, which means the disintegration of its contract and its having to accept collective leadership of a new multipolar international order, which is what the United States seeks to avoid happening at all costs.
At the same time, however, it is noted that the United States has managed the Ukrainian crisis in a way that enables it to become the biggest beneficiary from the continuation of this war, even at the expense of its European allies. Despite the huge amount of aid it has provided to Ukraine, which has so far amounted to about $45 billion, it is working, at the same time, to reinject these sums back into the US economy, through huge contracts concluded by its giant companies, especially arms manufacturers and companies Specialized in providing services related to military activities. And because it was in dire need to restore its hegemony and impose discipline on the Western world, the Ukrainian crisis provided it with a valuable opportunity to achieve this goal. Immediately after the outbreak of this crisis, European countries rushed to place themselves under the American umbrella, throwing aside their old dreams regarding the independence of the Union. Europe, especially in the field of foreign policy and security.
And after important European leaders, such as French President Emmanuel Macron, believed that NATO was “clinically dead”, as it joined the ranks and handed over leadership again to the United States of America, which began to reap geopolitical, economic, military and political gains from the Ukrainian crisis. Huge, without having to send a single American soldier, or to fire a single shot. Multiple press reports have indicated that countries such as Germany, Finland, Canada, Japan and others have recently concluded contracts for the purchase of US weapons worth hundreds of billions of dollars, and that almost all European countries, with the exception of Norway of course, have been forced to buy oil and gas from the United States. the United States at prices many times what it was paying Russia for the same quantities.
The course taken by the war, which is still going on in the Ukrainian arena, indicates that both sides, the Russian and the Americans, made mistakes in the calculations. Russia thought that it would be able to end the war and achieve its goals quickly, and then it did not estimate, correctly, the amount of support that the Western powers could provide to Ukraine at various levels, in order to enable it to withstand and continue the war, or the depth of the patriotic feelings of the Ukrainian people, which Without it, the Ukrainian army would not have been able to continue the war so far with this level of determination and ability to face challenges. However, these mistakes do not mean that Russia is facing a dilemma, whether on the military level or on the political level. Its loss of some military battles in the field does not necessarily mean that it is about to lose the war.
As for the United States, on the other hand, it imagined that the huge aid provided by it and its allies to Ukraine, on the one hand, and the unprecedented economic sanctions imposed on Russia, on the other hand, would force the latter to surrender and end the war. Correct, the size of the economic resources and capabilities that Russia possesses and helps it to withstand and thwart the sanctions, or the size of the military force it possesses, which it used only a small amount of in a battle that it is still dealing with on the grounds that it is a "special military operation".
Therefore, it can be said that the strategic vision of the path that the Ukraine war has taken so far allows, in my estimation, to conclude that the Russian side, contrary to what the Western media is promoting, is more likely than the United States and its allies, as a result of several reasons, the most important of which can be summarized as follows: as follows:
The first reason: related to the impact of economic sanctions on both sides of the conflict. It is clear that Russia won this round, as evidenced by the fact that the position of the Russian currency (the ruble) currently appears to be stronger than it was prior to the outbreak of the war, which is an indicator suitable for measuring the degree of strength and stability of the Russian economy at the current stage, in addition to the negative effects of these sanctions on the economies of countries. The West, especially the European one, seems stronger than its negative effects on the Russian economy itself.
The second reason: related to the conduct of military battles. It is clear that the performance of the Russian army appears to be less than what was expected, and yet we must not forget that Russia is facing an army that stands behind it and supports it, through all available means, by all Western countries, including the United States, especially since it did not mobilize all its military power in a battle that might expand. scope in the future. And because it still controls most of the lands it declared annexed, despite the ferocity of the Ukrainian resistance, it is difficult to conclude that Russia is on the brink of military defeat in Ukraine.
The third reason: It relates to the extent of the cohesion of the political and military alliances on both sides. The coalition, which is led by the United States, and which consists mainly of NATO member states and some other Western countries, seemed very cohesive at the beginning of the war, but now it seems less coherent, and some cracks and cracks began to appear in its façade, which are cracks and cracks that tend to widen under the influence of The pressures resulting from the winter season, and the resulting conflict of interests between the United States and a number of European countries.
On the other hand, despite the refusal of a number of countries to respond to the sanctions regime imposed by the United States and Western countries on Russia, it is difficult to say that these countries are on the verge of entering a political or military alliance in the strict sense. It is true that the manifestations of cooperation between Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and perhaps India as well, increase with the prolongation of the war, and therefore may tend towards the establishment of some form of actual alliance between them, especially if the war takes another turn that leads to the expansion of its scope and the involvement of other parties in it in a manner Directly, but so far it remains a potential rather than an actual alliance, which means that Russia has a strategic balance of alliances that can be relied upon if things go wrong, which is an addition to it. As for the United States, the alliance it leads, represented by NATO, is threatened with collapse, especially if the war is prolonged and European countries are unable to find a real alternative to Russian energy.