Here Pat Buchanan chastises John McCain and the hawks in Congress for escalating the confrontation on NATO’s eastern border by planning to provide Ukraine with American offensive weapons and stationing NATO flagged heavy weaponry in Eastern Europe. The Russians, Pat says, are willing and able to respond in kind by moving nuclear capable Iskander missiles into the area. It’s a game of chicken and Pat asks if we are sure it is the Russians who will blink. Pat writes that the whole gambit is probably a losing proposition:
And NATO losing any such confrontation is the likely outcome of the collision provoked by the Pentagon and John McCain.
For if Kiev moves with U.S. arms against the rebels in the east, and Moscow sends planes, tanks and artillery to annihilate them, Kiev will be routed. And what do we do then?
Send carriers into the Black Sea to attack the Russian fleet at Sevastopol, and battle Russian missiles and air attacks?
Before we schedule a NATO confrontation with Russia, we had best look behind us to see who is following America’s lead.
According to a new survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, fewer than half of the respondents in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain thought NATO should fight if its Baltic allies were attacked by Russia. Germans, by a 58-38 margin, did not think military force should be used by NATO to defend Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, though that is what Article 5 of the NATO charter requires of Germany.
Americans, by 56-37, favor using force to defend the Baltic States. On military aid to Ukraine, America is divided, 46 percent in favor, 43 percent opposed. However, only 1 in 5 Germans and Italians favor arming Ukraine, and in not a single major NATO nation does the arming of Ukraine enjoy clear majority support.
In Washington, Congressional hawks are primed to show Putin who is truly tough. But in shipping weapons to Ukraine and sending U.S. troops and armor into the Baltic States, they have behind them a divided nation and a NATO alliance that wants no part of this confrontation.
Unlike the Cuban missile crisis, it is Russia that has regional military superiority here, and a leader seemingly prepared to ride the escalator up right alongside us.
Are we sure it will be the Russians who blink this time?