A Nuclear Doomsday is in offing. The nuclear trigger can be pulled at any moment. The Baltic region is likely to be an epicentre of World War III, perhaps interlocking the US and Russia in a direct nuclear confrontation.
Not surprisingly, all of Europe is sitting on a volcano when NATO nations have been pumping the state-of-art weapons and ammunition, including missiles and drones, into Kyiv on a massive scale. In response to this, Russian forces have unleashed a barrage of missiles over Ukraine, damaging the latter’s infrastructure and destroying its ammunition depots.
The ongoing merciless conflict between Russia and Ukraine was not inevitable. But because of the US obduracy to bring Ukraine into the NATO fold this prepared the ground for escalating tensions despite Putin’s constant warnings to the US and its allies of the potential of eruption of conflict in the region.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine can neither be morally defensible nor legally justifiable. The moot question, however, arises as to what was the rationale behind the NATO expansion to Russia’s borders, which in Moscow’s perception, was tantamount to jeopardising its national security.
Whereas the Biden administration’s logic looked stupid that Ukraine’s alliance with NATO was for defensive purposes. Whose defence was at stake?
What is more intriguing is that America has been putting mounting psychological pressure on President Zelenskyy to fight Russia to the finish with US’s lethal and high-tech weapons, including its Patriot missiles and F-16 fighter aircraft.
Interestingly, America has asked Ukraine to give the account of Pentagon investments in cost-effective terms. In effect, America wants Ukraine to direct its intense fury and rage against Russia under the US offensive strategic plan.
In an integrated offensive strategy, 19 NATO members such as Germany, Britain, France and Denmark have come forward to display their solidarity with the US.
They have begun delivering missiles and fighter aircrafts to Ukraine, including Britain’s long-range multiple “Storm Shadow” cruise missiles, France’s Mirage-2000, Germany’s 30 Gepard (Cheetah) tanks and three MARS II multiple rocket launchers, and Denmark’s 19 French-made Caesar howitzer artillery systems.
This apart, America has not only given a green signal to NATO nations to deliver F-16 fighter aircraft to Ukraine but also nuclear weapons to its NATO allies for deployment against Russia in the Baltic region and Ukraine. In response, Russia has alerted its nuclear warheads and nuclear-powered submarines.
President Putin is reported to have pledged to carve out a greater unified Russia with annexation of Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Estonia and Lativia, though it may be a mirage at the moment. However, Poland is on Russia’s strategic radar since Warsaw has been a major supply route of outside weapons to Ukraine.
Also, Poland has given shelter to 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees. As reported, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has reiterated that Wagner fighters have been marching near the Polish border at Grodno. It is also reported that “Poland’s government is sending an additional 10,000 troops to the Belarusian border, saying it needs to guard against incursions by Wagner fighters.” (The BBC News, August 14, 2023,https://www.bbc.com/news/world-60947877 )
It should be noted that Belarus is Russia’s firm security partner. Both the countries have concluded a series of military and security accords under which Russia is allowed to place its tactical nuclear missiles on its soil, and use its territory to carry out attacks on Ukraine.
It is the worst commentary on the UN that it has proved incompetent and hapless in bringing the two warring parties to a negotiated settlement. It is also a poor commentary on leading peace advocates and activists for their intriguing silence over the Ukrainian conflict as if to witness the nuclear holocaust.
One might recall that during the 1962 Cuba crisis, America and the Soviet Union were locked in a direct nuclear confrontation. At that critical moment, intellectuals and statesmen like Bertrand Russell, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and many other prominent political leaders had made a fervent appeal to President Kennedy and Prime Minister Khrushchev to exercise mutual restraint in order to save humankind from the scourge of nuclear war.
But in the case of the Ukraine war, no serious efforts have been made to deescalate the nuclear war like situation. Even the enlightened Americans and Nobel peace laureates have scarcely come forward to speak up against the US warmongering policy when it has scarcely recovered from the Afghan trauma, finally proving a Waterloo for America.
Though NATO’s solidarity is with Ukraine, it is a demoralized alliance to serve as a collective hedge against President Putin’s grit and determination to target those countries that have funnelled weapons into Ukraine.
It need not to mention that some NATO members such as Hungary and Greece are reluctant enough to support the US and NATO’s war megalomania. Hungary, for instance, has flatly declined to provide military assistance to Ukraine, and also allow its territory to be used as a transit point for weapons supply to Kyiv.
For whatever reasons, Hungary’s opposition to EU’s sanctions on Russia speaks of some NATO’s internal aversion to prolong war against Russia mainly for economic and trade interests. It may also be noted that Russia is not alone in the war.
If the situation warrants, as symptomatic from the voices and concerns of some countries, including China, North Korea, UAE and Turkey, which might come to Russia’s rescue morally and materially against offensive strategic punches of US and its allies. The situation in the region is extremely explosive. The time is up to enable diplomacy and peace negotiations to work to help prevent it from developing into a World War III.
B.M. Jain is a former Senior Research Scientist and Professor of Political Science and International Relations (University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India). Former visiting professor at SUNY at Binghamton, NY, CSU, Cleveland, Ohio, UBC, Canada, Jaume 1 University, Spain.