Europe Tries to Head Off War, But Appeasement is Out
European foreign and defense ministers with their presidents and prime ministers are attempting to avoid a war in Ukraine while maintaining agreements and understandings reflected in NATO and more than 77 years of no major land wars in Europe.
Ironically for Russian interests, European pacifist and pro-Russian nationalists, the Ukraine crisis is strengthening NATO and its Eastern members who want a forward defense and deterrence of Russia.
The appearance of appeasement is out, even for Germany. The UK has committed troops to the Baltic states and Poland, France to Romania. Militarily nonaligned Sweden and Finland expressed interest in NATO membership. The U.S., trying to focus on China and the Indo-Pacific, is now shifted its attention back to Europe and proposes troop and Navy deployments. Uncommonly, the U.S. Senate has moved on bipartisan sanctions.
Even Sergey Lavrov, master diplomat and the dean of foreign ministers, who has been President Putin’s minister for 18 years (72 years old) and has been providing misdirection in several of Russia’s military excursions (Georgia in 2008, Crimea (2014) and Ukraine (2014 Donbas)), is being tested in the latest adventure. Very few publics or European leaders are supporting Russia’s tactics or its anti-NATO goal.