An interesting analysis by Jonathan Holslag from “EUobserver” shows what are the chances of Europe in a possible war with Russia, writes BGNES.
Whether Vladimir Putin will send troops to Ukraine or not, he has once again confronted Europe with the most painful reality: being too weak to defend itself, it can no longer count on the United States to come to its aid.
We are facing a reality in which Russia, although its economy is the size of Portugal’s, is capable of harassing and intimidating the continent thanks to its energy reserves and its willingness to project enormous military power.
Of course, any Russian invasion of Ukraine would cost Russia a fortune and would probably have devastating consequences for it. Invasion is unlikely to be the preferred option by President Putin. However, there is another reality in this razor blade game.
If Russia invades Ukraine, the cost to Europe will be just as devastating. This will force European gas-dependent countries to look for expensive alternatives and invest billions in infrastructure, from gas pipelines to special storage facilities. In addition, Russia remains a key export destination and supplier of resources other than oil and gas.
Think about titanium supplies! While the Kremlin has long been preparing a gradual secession from Europe, the opposite remains unthinkable for most Europeans. While a significant portion of the Russian population would support intervention in eastern Ukraine, citizens of many European countries will find it difficult to accept soldiers dying for what they consider to be a foreign, peripheral country:
Ukraine. Countless times I have heard high-ranking European business leaders sympathize with Putin’s leadership, to such an extent that one is left with the impression that they are more attracted to a strong Russian leadership than to Western liberalism.
Smoked meat Let’s be fair. If at this stage European countries have to face a major Russian ground invasion, many soldiers will turn out to be cannon fodder.
Western European ground forces have become a voluminous corps of peace, with their wheeled armored vehicles hardly suitable for combat on muddy battlefields in Eastern Europe, their firepower incomparable to Russia’s, and their command and communication infrastructure highly vulnerable. about Russia’s enormous potential for waging electronic warfare.
The pursuit of ill-equipped terrorists is one thing, and facing a huge conventional army ready to sacrifice is quite another.
Sophisticated wars do not exist in Russia’s strategic vocabulary. Europe suffers from a lack of everything. Even if he tries to avoid the front line, back support will not be much.
Many countries do not have anti-tank missiles or their stockpiles of ammunition are dangerously low. Advanced fighters capable of breaking through Russia’s air defenses are still rare. The special forces, which could be a decisive asset, are stuck in Africa and are struggling to attract enough quality recruits.
The United States is slowly replenishing its arsenals with new long-range precision munitions, but will prefer to send them to the Pacific. They retain a significant conventional deterrent in Europe, including 70,000 troops, hundreds of pre-deployed armored vehicles and dozens of fighters.
However, this is not enough to counter a Russian invasion of a country like Ukraine – and Washington simply cannot afford a war with Russia now that China has become so strong. We can think endlessly about what is pushing Russia to build up a huge military presence on the border with Ukraine, about how it got here, about the fears and frustrations on both sides. What is clear, however, is that we are entering a new race in the policies of the great powers, and that Europe is coming to the start not as a strong, united team, but as a mob of primitive naive pygmies.