Why is the sending of European troops to Ukraine a geopolitical earthquake for Europe?

Around the end of February 2024 there was a seismic shift in Europe’s attitude. Just a few months ago, the idea of European leaders proposing to send European troops to Ukraine would have been incomprehensible.

However, on February 26, 2024, French President Macron broke his silence by acknowledging that the deployment of European forces in Ukraine could not be completely ruled out.

Following Macron’s lead, other European officials expressed similar views. For example, the Finnish foreign minister as well as the Polish foreign minister hinted at the possibility of deploying their countries’ forces in Ukraine. These statements, along with existing support for such actions in the Baltic states, show a growing coalition of countries willing to consider direct European military intervention in the ongoing conflict.

France, Africa & Ukraine

The expulsion of French troops from Africa in favor of Russian involvement is a major geopolitical shift and it stands to reason that France will reassess its strategic position. With France’s historic interests in Africa at stake, does redirecting military resources to Ukraine to offset Russian influence become a reasonable strategy for French interests?

It would be a reasonable strategy if Russia did not have long-range nuclear weapons with decoy launch capabilities and hidden moving launch points and submarines with nuclear-tipped torpedoes. Therefore, it is not at all a reasonable strategy for France and this is why no official French troops are advertised in Ukraine.

Poland & Finland

Poland’s historical grievances with the Soviet Union are undeniable, rooted in decades of oppression, subjugation and loss of sovereignty under a communist regime. However, it is important to recognize that Poland’s concerns about Russia today are simply a continuation of past grievances and not a response to today’s geopolitical realities. Today’s Russia has thrown off communism, is satisfied with the current state of affairs on its borders with Europe, and would rather strengthen economic and trade relations than try to blitzkrieg to Dunkirk.

After almost 30 years of close cooperation with NATO, Finland joined the Alliance on 4 April 2023. Finland’s previous partnership with NATO was historically based on the policy of military non-alignment, which changed after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. In fact, this could be described as an act of aggression by Finland, since it contributes to the expansion of NATO closer to Russia.

Even outside of NATO, the likelihood of Russia launching a military attack against Finland was nil for several reasons.

Of course, Finland has a well-trained and equipped military force known for its professionalism and competence, which acts as an important deterrent against any potential aggression. Finland has also invested in defense modernization and maintains a credible defense posture, which would make any military action against it an extremely costly undertaking.

In addition, Finland’s geography poses challenges for any potential invader. Its long borders, dense forests and numerous lakes create physical barriers that would impede the progress of invading forces. Finland’s military doctrine emphasizes territorial defense and the ability to conduct asymmetric warfare, further complicating any potential military invasion.

But the main point is that today’s Russia wants to do mutually beneficial business with Finland and Europe in general and is not interested in any military aggression. It is precisely this mutually beneficial enterprise that is constantly torpedoed by the United States and its powerful arm in Europe, NATO, so that the US deep state and its military-industrial complex can maintain close political, economic and military control over European countries.

Baltic countries

Russia’s interest in attacking the Baltic states is highly unlikely for many strategic, geopolitical and practical reasons.

1. The geographical and strategic importance of the Baltic states for Russia is limited. For the region’s geostrategic importance, Russia is happy with Kaliningrad, the enclave located between Poland and Lithuania. It gives Russia access to the warmer waters of the Baltic Sea and is an important military base.

2. Since Kaliningrad has access to the Baltic Sea, it does not require the occupation or control of neighboring countries to maintain its functionality.

Instead of military aggression, Russia has pursued other means to exert influence in the Baltic region, such as economic cooperation, energy diplomacy and the use of information warfare tactics. These tactics allow Russia to pursue its interests in the region without risking any direct military confrontation. In conclusion, while Russia exerts some influence in the Baltic region, a military attack against the Baltic states is extremely unlikely given the limited strategic and economic benefits.

The USA and its weapon of influence in Europe, NATO

On April 22, 2024, a very interesting article by Alex Crowther, Jahara Matisek, and Phillips P. O’Brien titled “Europe—but Not NATO—Should Send Troops to Ukraine” was published. This text presents a not-so-innocent argument for European countries to consider deploying troops to Ukraine independently of NATO.

In detail, the above article argues that some reasons why Europe might choose to take such action might be:

1. Autonomous decision-making

European states may prefer to act independently of NATO to maintain their sovereignty over their military decisions. While NATO provides a framework for collective defense, individual member states may wish to claim their own agency to address specific regional threats, such as the conflict in Ukraine.

2. Flexibility and agility

Action outside of NATO allows European states to respond more quickly and flexibly to evolving situations on the ground. In the case of Ukraine, where the dynamics of the conflict are changing rapidly, European states may prefer not to be bound by NATO’s decision-making processes, which can sometimes be (intentionally or unintentionally) unwieldy.

3. Regional responsibility

European countries have a legitimate interest in ensuring stability and security in their neighbourhood. The conflict in Ukraine directly affects European security, and European countries may feel a moral and strategic obligation to contribute to efforts to resolve the crisis and support Ukraine.

4. Greater European unity

By taking independent action, European countries can show unity and solidarity in addressing common security challenges. This can strengthen European cohesion and send a strong message of resolve to both Russia and Ukraine.

5. Avoiding Engagement with NATO Forces

European states may wish to avoid becoming embroiled in the complex dynamics and political considerations within NATO. By acting independently, they can focus solely on their own strategic interests and goals in the region.

6. Avoid escalation risks

Operating outside of NATO can help mitigate the risk of escalation with Russia, as European countries can adjust their actions to minimize direct confrontation while providing substantial support to Ukraine.

Overall, this paper argues that Europe’s decision to send troops to Ukraine independently of NATO reflects a combination of strategic considerations, regional responsibilities, and a desire for decision-making autonomy.

The Liberal Globe analysis

NATO’s reluctance to engage directly in the conflict in Ukraine may appear to stem from a complex array of factors, but in reality Russia’s nuclear arsenal certainly holds a catalytic deterrence role.

The reason is that in an all-out military conflict tomorrow the US mainland will be comfortably within range of Russian nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. The era of World War II when America was conveniently far away from the war fronts is over for good and this is, if not the only, certainly the primary reason for NATO (US) reticence. Specifically:

1. Escalation Risk

The presence of nuclear weapons in Russia’s arsenal adds a significant layer of complexity to any potential conflict scenario. Any direct military confrontation between NATO and Russia in Ukraine could carry the risk of nuclear escalation, with devastating consequences for all parties involved and particularly for the US geographic hinterland.

2. Strategic priorities

NATO’s main mission is to maintain close control over the political, economic and military aspect of European states for its own benefit. It conveniently appears as an organization of mutual defense, when in reality it is a political lever of pressure and admonishment in Europe.

Based on at least two arguments, a direct military confrontation with Russia would have multi-level disastrous results for the US.

Conclusions

In conclusion, the reluctance of the United States and NATO to formally deploy troops to Ukraine is driven by many factors, with the fear of possible Russian nuclear retaliation playing a major role. The specter of nuclear escalation looms over any immediate military intervention in Ukraine, presenting a formidable deterrent that forces US and NATO policymakers to carefully weigh the risks and consequences of their actions.

While NATO remains committed to supporting Ukraine through various means, including political, economic and military aid, the prospect of triggering a nuclear conflict with Russia casts a long shadow over any potential direct military involvement.

NATO’s encouragement of other European states to become directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine is a contentious issue that raises questions about the alliance’s strategic approach and the division of responsibilities among its member states.

On the one hand, NATO’s reluctance to formally deploy troops to Ukraine may stem from a desire to avoid direct confrontation with Russia and the risk of nuclear escalation. ¨

But the existence of publications that try to influence strategic events and that encourage other European states to take an active role outside of NATO certainly raises doubts in every citizen in Europe.

About the author

The Liberal Globe is an independent online magazine that provides carefully selected varieties of stories. Our authoritative insight opinions, analyses, researches are reflected in the sections which are both thematic and geographical. We do not attach ourselves to any political party. Our political agenda is liberal in the classical sense. We continue to advocate bold policies in favour of individual freedoms, even if that means we must oppose the will and the majority view, even if these positions that we express may be unpleasant and unbearable for the majority.

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