Friday, December 1, 2023

Ukraine, Taiwan: will the United States change its posture towards Russia and China?

The global geopolitical map today is still largely conditioned by agreements signed during or just after the Cold War, and has been very effectively staged by Moscow and Beijing over the last 20 years, without either the United States or the The West in general has not shown any determination to oppose it. This is how the Sino-American agreements around the case of the island of Taiwan were negotiated from the beginning of the 1970s, with the aim of removing Beijing from the equation of the Cold War and the Soviet camp, and this even though the island had no intention of joining the People's Republic of China. The notion of sphere of influence inherited from post-Cold War negotiations in Eastern Europe has also been at the heart of Russian policy in Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Georgia, as well as in many former Soviet republics in the Caucasus. and Central Asia.

In recent years, both Beijing and Moscow have greatly intensified their territorial and geopolitical claims, without either the United States, nor the Europeans, nor the countries bordering the China Sea, forcefully opposing them, not wishing to threaten the fruitful commercial relations with China, or the dependence on Russian gas, leaving the leaders of the two countries to toughen their demands, going so far as to speak of a "red line" if the West were to challenge them on these subjects. This is precisely what Washington, but also NATO, seem to want to put an end to today, several recent declarations clearly going in this direction, while tensions continue to increase against these two countries. These declarations suggest that, under the leadership of the United States, the West would now be ready to toughen its tone against Moscow and Beijing, even if it means crossing the famous red lines drawn by Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.

Ukraine's membership in NATO to contain Russia

In Europe, it was the Secretary General of NATO, former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who declared, during a press conference following his visit to Washington to meet the Secretary of State. American Defense Lloyd Austin, that the Alliance now had to evolve its expansion policy to face the growing Russian threat . And to add that the notion of the Russian Sphere of Influence inherited from the Cold War was no longer in phase with the political reality in Europe, and that NATO should therefore no longer refrain from welcoming new allies, even if it crossed the red lines drawn by Russian leaders. Naturally, we are talking here, first and foremost, about Ukraine, which has been knocking on the door of NATO, and to a lesser extent the European Union, since its annexation in 2014. , Crimea by Russian forces, and the significant support provided by Moscow to the secessionists in Donbass. It must be said that with 255,000 active military personnel and 900,000 reservists, the Ukrainian armed forces could represent a strong ally for NATO's eastern front, provided that the Alliance agrees to help Kiev modernize its equipment. military.

Ukrainian Armed Forces
The Ukrainian armies are numerically larger than the French, British, German or Italian armies. On the other hand, they mainly only have obsolete equipment inherited from the Soviet era.

A few days ago, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated his intention to integrate his country into the Atlantic Alliance, but also to find the $25 billion he considers necessary for the modernization of its armed forces. Kiev's candidacy received, concomitantly with Jens Stoltenberg's declarations, very strong support from Polish President Andrzej Duda on the occasion of the Warsaw Security Forum which was held on October 5. In addition, the latter called for greater cooperation between NATO and the European Union to deal with the growing threat from Russia, believing that it now threatened not only the Eastern front of the Alliance, but also its southern and northern fronts. And to estimate that if, even today, the armed forces of the Atlantic Alliance surpassed the Russian armies, the latter had a mobilization and deployment capacity giving them a tactical and even overall advantage in Europe. This is not surprising, since the Russian armies have shown that they are capable of mobilizing and deploying in 3 weeks more than 120,000 men on the Ukrainian border, where NATO is only able to mobilize some. 40,000 in the best case on a similar relay to deploy them on its eastern borders. Under these conditions, the Ukrainian armed forces could obviously provide decisive added value to dissuade Moscow from any unfortunate initiative in Europe, even if the United States were to become involved in the Pacific.

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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