Paul Mason comments on the crisis in the Ukraine and outlines Russia’s goals and some counter strategies. He argues that one of Putin’s Russia’s goals is to diminish the EU as a world class power. This will be why he is demanding that NATO withdraw troops from the ex-Warsaw pact countries and that the EU non-member states are prohibited from joining NATO. This would include Sweden , Finland together with the Baltic states and Romania & Bulgaria.

It’s a strange serendipity that the Queen Elizabeth has returned from the far east today as it symbolises everything wrong with the UK’s defence strategy (Medium | my blog) where we have an ill equipped and tiny Army. It’s unlikely that aircraft carrier could survive in the Baltic or Black Sea. It’s a weapon of prestige and can do little to help during an escalating crisis on the EU/Russian border. Our defence strategy is based on a flawed threat analysis. A post Brexit global Britain is weak and has little influence; before Brexit the UK military could only operate in alliance and now it’s just turned away from the EU and  both Trump and even Biden are undermining NATO as an effective defensive alliance for Europe.

Furthermore, the UK is a victim of Russia’s “Hybrid Warfare”. Its funding and cyber support of the Brexit Campaign and latterly the Tories not to mention Boris Johnson’s receipt of oligarch’s bunga bunga hospitality.  The closest the Govt has come to considering this threat is the delayed and unfinished Russia report from Parliament’s Intelligence Services Committee. The Tory Govt has refused to follow up.

We shouldn’t have stepped away from Europe because NATO maybe past its sell-by date; the obvious desire to avoid sanctions against Russian UK based assets leads the Govt. to unbelievable sabre rattling. It will make us look very stupid.

The featured images is, Nekhoteevka customs on Russia-Ukraine border. by Дар Ветер from wikimedia, CC 2020 BY-SA v3.

Don’t start from here
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2 thoughts on “Don’t start from here

  • 25th January 2022 at 4:44 pm

    Even Labour’s front bench is waking up, Starmer writes in the Telegraph, with five demands about the use of sanctions and soft power and addresses Putin’s Hybrid War on the UK’s democracy without pointing at Russia’s purchase of the Tory right but his holding up of Ben Wallace (SoS MoD) as worthy of commendation is wrong. The UK’s 2021 Strategic Defence Review grows the Navy at the expense of a failed Army and leaves us very unprepared for this crisis or any war against any peer military but especially the Russians. Starmer’s fear of seeming to be pro-EU, he does not mention it, means that he has to rely on NATO has sole source of allies which is dangerous; it’s not 1945 any more. Democracy would better served if the UK was part of the EU and included in the EU’s common response. Lammy & Healy’s response is just jingoistic, juvenile nonsense which actually says very little except that Russia are the bad faith actors.

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