Why NATO cannot escape the blame what is unfolding in Ukraine?
There are two sides to every story, consider both before you form an opinion.
Look at the conflict in Ukraine one side is dominating the global narrative the other side has been proclaimed the villain.
Yes, it’s about NATO and Russia and while there is a solid case against Russia here, this story too has another side and as tellers of the story, we must well on and reflect it
Vladimir Putin's aggression is being called out and rightly so.
Invading a sovereign country cannot be justified but what led the world to the point of this invasion?
Leaders in Moscow say, they are the aggrieved party, they are the victims of NATO's Eastward march and they're only acting in self-defense. Here is why:
Over the past 25 years NATO has been creeping closer to the Russian border, former Soviet states have become NATO members. This military alliance has technically absorbed the entire security belt of Moscow.
Russia sees this expansion as a provocation. It hurts their security interest and won't end well for both sides, they say.
The warnings were clear. NATO ignored them and call it their myopia or arrogance. They downplayed Moscow's concerns, kept proceeding with new rounds of expansion until things blew up in Ukraine.
Did NATO push Ukraine into this war?
First of all, what is it NATO? The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a security alliance between North America and Europe, it was formed after the second world war, their goal they say, was to protect the Democratic freedom. On the 4th of April 1949 the North Atlantic Treaty was signed this treaty was simply anti-Soviet accord aimed at countering any future aggression by the USSR.
It established a new balance of power in Europe, it promised all members of collective security, that's a core principle laid out in Article 5 of the NATO treaty, it obliges member states to protect each other in case of War, it says an armed attack against one ally would be an attack on all allies, meaning if one NATO nation is attacked, all NATO nations will retaliate. This allowed NATO members to pool and share their military resources, they built efficient defense capabilities but there was more to NATO than just defense.
It was an alliance of liberal countries, an engine of democratization that was supposed to promote common values and interests. Also pushed back against the rise of communism. Naturally Moscow saw this Alliance as a threat to its interests. In response, it created the Warsaw Pact in the year 1955.
Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary oh, Romania, Albania were the members of the Warsaw Pact. Their goal was the same. If one Warsaw member was attacked, all others will defend it. In Russian historical memory, there were five reasons why such a pact was justified, five major invasions, when the west threatened Russian interests, this includes the Polish occupation, occupation of the Kremlin in the early 17th century, the Swedish invasion of Russia in early 18th century, the Napoleon invasion of the 19th century and the two wars with Germany in the 20th century. In each case, the very essence of the Russian state was threatened. So, suspicion and fear of the West took deep roots in Russia. Moscow began perceiving NATO as a tool of American imperialism and the assessment was not really off the mark. In 1989 the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1991 the Soviet Union disintegrated and the Iron Curtain was completely demolished. Europe's original order hinged on one question. Should Germany align itself with the US and NATO or should it join the Russians through the Warsaw Pact. The US government under George Bush made an offer to Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev. It suggested if Germany became a NATO member, NATO would stop expanding, not even one inch Eastwards. No new members. Today, the US says it made no such promise, that no such deal was ever struck, but hundreds of memos, meeting minutes and transcripts from US archive indicate otherwise. Nevertheless, Moscow bought the offer, it demolished the Warsaw Pact in the hope that the US will follow the suit, that NATO too would be dissolved but that never happened, NATO refused to seize operations, and to add insult to injury that kept the door for Membership. Russia saw it as a stab in the back and NATO kept pushing the dagger deeper.
NATO started with a 12 founding members, but since the Soviet Union fell, it has radically expanded Eastwards. In 1999 Poland, Hungary the Czech Republic joined NATO, in 2004 there was another wave of expansion 7 Central and Eastern European nations were made NATO members, some of them were former Soviet Republics. In 2009 Albanian Croatia joined NATO and the most recent entries were the Montenegro and North Macedonia, both situated in Russia's backyard. It does not end there, as of 2021 NATO officially recognized three more aspiring members Bosnia and Herzegovina. Georgia and Ukraine. And more recently, NATO was also in talks with Sweden, Finland and Serbia for membership. So, to put it simply, much of Eastern Europe which once used to be part of the Soviet Union, has now joined NATO, and this happened despite Russia's protests and warnings. The last reasonably friendly warning from Moscow came in the year 2007, Vladimir Putin addressing the annual Munich conference, where he said and I'm quoting NATO has put its front-line forces on our borders, this expansion represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust and we have the right to ask against whom is this expansion intended and what happened to the assurances our Western Partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? These sentiments have been echoed by host of American strategists. A few examples are, in June 1997, 50 prominent foreign policy experts signed an open letter to President Bill Clinton, calling America's a policy error of historic proportions. Then, George Cannon, the father of America's containment policy during the Cold War, he too called the NATO expansion a tragic mistake with no reason whatsoever. The warnings went on for decades, in 2008 William J Burns, the US ambassador to Moscow wrote a letter to the state department where he said that Ukraine's entry into NATO is the brightest of all red lines for the Russian elite. He said that even Putin sharpest critics at home consider Ukraine's entry a direct challenge to Russian interests. It does not end there. Robert M Gates, the defense secretary in the Bush and Obama Administrations, wrote in his Memoir that trying to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO was truly overreaching. Then, Strobe Talbott, a former deputy secretary of state, described the Russian perception in a similar way, how they consider NATO as a Vestige of the Cold War and point out that if the Warsaw Pact was disbanded, why did the West not dismantle NATO? So, several voices in the Western World had warned that Russia's protests have merit and that NATO expansion could spell serious trouble. Yet, successive American administrations paid no heed to these warnings, they kept widening NATO's security umbrella.
Trying to safeguard the sovereignty of a country is laudable indeed but inviting a state, right on Russia's border into an anti-Russian alliance, is a provocation. Ukraine is a sovereign country and has every right to want to join the NATO for what's in it for the NATO? Why did they push for it? Their moves completely disregard the historical baggage between NATO and Russia. Many Russians were traumatized by the disintegration of the Soviet Union. In an instant, they lost one-third of their territory, half of their population and and most of their military might. They found themselves much weaker before Western Unity, they felt that an unjust settlement had been imposed on them and it was done in their moment of Maximum weakness and vulnerability, So, they looked at any state leaving Russia's fear of influence as both a strategic loss and a matter of national humiliation.
And when we analyze, Ukraine was attacked? all of this needs to be taken into account. Does this justify the war? Absolutely not. Russia's actions are criminal no two ways about it , but the West is not innocent either, they did not do what they could have to avert this war.
Author: Thompson James
News ID : 392