EU join NATO

US and EU unity, EU join NATO

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Time for NATO enlargement from 30 to 41 up to 45 Allies by 2029 to contain Russia

If we have some self respect left and some decency, both I profoundly hope, we should answer the open threat of war issued by President Putin during his end of the media extravaganza by inviting all Europeans to join NATO.

Russia can hardly attack all of us at once. Have no fear, there will be no war with Russia, I will discuss all aspects in this text.

So, the logically answer to this open threat of war is that the EU will apply to join NATO, as well all EU Members who are not member of NATO mainly for historic reasons connected to cold war, Austria, Finland, or UK colonial legacy issues Ireland, Malta, Cyprus and Sweden, the only Neutral with long standing tradition dating back to Vienna Congress. I will discuss all 6 cases later in this text but for now let me conclude, in the EU we have anyhow Article 42 of mutual assistance obligation and historical justification does not make you secure next year. As a Political Union, we are in the European Union and we have to be in the same Defense Alliance. A attack on one of us, must be a attack on all of us in EU and if we are serious we need to have a common policy towards Ukraine and Russia, as this is directly related to European security and clearly in this crisis with Russia, we are in it is better to have the Americans fully on our side inside NATO. Waiting, hoping, praying for America coming back in case of need as the UK and Churchill had already 2 long years into WW2 is an experience we better skip. Do you want to face Russia without America?

Sure we all have some degree of Anti-Americanism in all European states but there is no reason for a different attitude to America between Denmark and Sweden, Greece and Cyprus, Germany and Austria, Malta and Italy, Ireland and Iceland. So let get this done.

EU, join NATO in 2022 – Central result of the Conference on the Future of Europe

The best way to overcome all the debates in the 6 countries is to start the debate on EU level for the EU itself as a Political Union to join NATO. This is an important debate in the ongoing Conference for the Future of Europe, for a stronger EU to be an Ally as a Union, the same as the USA will strengthen the EU internally and externally. EU in NATO will help as well improve EU relation to the lost, but strategically vital periphery in case of UK and Turkey. If the EU is in NATO as Ally, this should help ease UK and EU relations and EU and Turkey relations and we shall anyhow reject all concepts of French to develop the EU into an Anti NATO via EU strategic autonomy concepts, which must be, rejected 100%. 

NATO Membership obligatory and fast tracked for all new EU members now

So from 30 Allies we are 37 Allies 6 plus EU =37. So let us add Bosnia and Kosovo, 2 states which are already covered indirectly by the NATO security guarantee via their post war peace settlements, so that is actually a minor step in security terms.  Kosovo and Bosnia in NATO, as former victims of Serbia aggression and both liberated by NATO humanitarian interventions will help to change Serbia back to the West and one day Serbia might join NATO as well after the fall of the current authoritarian regime of Alexander Vucic hopefully in April 2022. If Serbia will be 40th Ally in NATO is open to debate and the political decision of the Serbian voters so let us not count Serbia in – we are at 39 Allies. 37 plus Kosovo and Bosnia the countries NATO helped to liberate and nation built and now turned into full Allies.

Moldova is a neutral state but the debate of the Austria, Finland, Sweden and Ireland joining NATO will hopefully spill over to Moldova and as Romania is a NATO Ally and Ukraine has the constitutional objective of joining NATO so hopefully the new President will find the courage for a constitutional change allowing Moldova to apply as well to NATO parallel to joining the EU, which is the declared ambition of the new, Pro European President and Government. So we stay at 39 for now.

Ukraine and Georgia in NATO by 2024 same as Western Germany joined in 1955 

Add Ukraine and Georgia, similar to Moldova partly Russian occupied. Here the precedent of West Germany joining NATO 1955 applies and as both want here we can add Ally 40 and 41. I have written and published much in the last years about the BRD precedent for Ukraine, the Adenauer scenario but in short I recommend to follow the same script as Western Germany from 1947 to 1957. These were the formative years for Western Germany starting with the American decision to allow for Western German economic redevelopment in 1947, most as a result for the hunger winter of 1946 and the start of the Cold War with the Greek Civil War, the UK bankruptcy and the Stalin provoking the Straits Crisis and the USA responding with the Marshall Plan, leading to the Germany currency reform, answer with the Berlin Blockade and the US Airlift. For Ukraine in 2022 this means a clear commitment to Ukraine EU integration- the equivalent to the US Marshall plan https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-polytics/3353368-gunther-fehlinger-austrian-economist.html and the introduction of the Euro in Ukraine based on the Montenegro model, starting with a currency peg of the Hryvnia to the Euro early in 2022. This will show Russia we wont back down. Same for Georgia and so both can join NATO but as I want to be clear only the Free Republics without the Russian occupied regions can join NATO and the EU. So for now the regions Russia has occupied are lost for Ukraine and Georgia and it is time to say this loud and clear. This was very difficult for Germany as it is for Ukraine and Georgia and as with Germany unity will come one day but for now this is an illusion and we need to focus on NATO, EU, Euro for the Free Ukrainians and Georgians. Please see the so-called Hallstein Doctrine for how the Germans crossed that circle.

Can NATO further grow from 41 to 45 over time?

The issue if Azerbaijan currently in non aligned movement and not inside the NATO values system is a open question similar to Moldova and Serbia but it Azerbaijan is a Turkish ally, Armenia is in CSTO, the Russian Alliance so indirectly we are allied with Azerbaijan in everything but the name as Turkey will certainly defend Azerbaijan in case required. Israel being a quite similar case as the American security guarantee for Israel is 100% and as I have argued since 25 years Israel NATO Membership as part of a 2 state settlement is the security guarantee making a 2 state settlement for Israel acceptable and so European NATO Allies would guarantee Israel security and given our history that is anyhow what we should do. But same as currently pro Russian Authoritarian Serbia, Neutral Moldova, and authoritarian Azerbaijan and complicated Israel 4 potential Allies of NATO I have not included we are 10 Allies and the EU 41 and potentially 45 once Serbia join Free World, Moldova find more courage, Azerbaijan opens politically and Israel is ready to recognize Palestine as part of a 2 state settlement secured by Israel joining NATO. So we could be 45 in NATO during the decade? Yes I think so and I pledge to work for 45. But for now in the 2024 time frame the target is 41 Allies in NATO starting with Bosnia as 31st and Kosovo 32nd and Ukraine 33rd and Georgia as 34th are the priorities for now.

Will Russia start World War 3?

Russia has now threatened Ukraine with war and Bosnia, Finland and Sweden with serious or adequate consequences unclear what that means. I will now discuss all options Russia has to stop the Free Nation from choosing their security alliance. Let me state at start that Russia should have no objections as we are a defensive alliance, not an aggressor, we just stop genocide by Milosevic and that was justified and a just war. And free nations no matter if their were part of the Colonial Russian Empire or the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia should have the right to decide their future alone and it is not for Russia to decided the future of Ukraine or anybody by the Russian and there is much to improve in Russia so please invest in welfare and infrastructure and not in threaten Free Europe and the world future and Russian future. At the start of the debate I would like to remind that NATO or the USA has never attacked the Soviet Union nor Russia in all existence of NATO since 1949 nor will it ever. Short reminder the NATO leading military nations as USA and UK and both were allies of the Soviet Union or the Russian Empire in both world wars and in case of World War 2 – contrary to Soviet myths, the USA and UK financial, technological, intelligence and material support early on from mid 1941 was central to avoiding defeat and making victory possible. How come Russians has forgotten that? And by the way even the Soviet Union – double the size of Russia in population could not compete with the USA during the Cold War and today’s Western Alliance includes most of Central Europe and most of Ukraine is now on our side. So how to win? China might be an ally in sweet talk but China is not a revanchist adventurer but a mercantilist communist export nation heavily invested and dependent on the currency world economic system and not ready for world war 3. Iran, Cuba, North Korea will be the only allies left for Russia in case of military confrontation and do not bet on their support for such a war.

So what will Russia do and what can Russia do?

Start Nuclear War? Well, as tragic this scenario obviously is, the Cold War logic of mutually assured destruction MAD applies and must always be discussed in such debates. We will all die, including Russia. Russia has a strong nuclear arsenal but the USA has more and they certainly work better, have no doubt. The destructive potential is even bigger than in the height of the cold war early 1960ies so be sure, this is the end of the world. But how high is the likelihood, Russia is heading for that even though we survived the first cold war with the Soviet Union, which was bent for global conquest for ideological reasons? If Russia wants full-scale global war, we should tell the Russian public that this is the plan of their President Putin. Russia is an authoritarian state but not a Communist Dictatorship so please inform the Russian about the plans, their President Putin seems to consider ending the world and Russia and all Russian for the sake of his honor and shame that he lost Ukraine during his messy anger tantrums in 2014. Some in Russia might consider war in Ukraine reasonable, but a global Armageddon for Ukraine including the complete destruction of Russia is a heavy price tag for the honor of Putin personally at the end of his prime in power and all Russian can see that. So seriously this is out of the range of serious options. We have rarely discussed the nuclear war scenario but during my youth in 1970 and 1980 this was a daily debate and we can start this again if required. If Russia wants a similar Cold War as the last one we are certainly ready and prepared and will win such a confrontation as we won the last one.

So will it be a conventional war against Ukraine? Again?

So Russian can invade Ukraine. Russia did that twice already and has occupied 2 regions of Ukraine to this day. Clearly today we as West, Free World, NATO and EU, nor Ukraine are surprised and indeed Ukraine is prepared and associated with the EU and in case of a full scale invasion Russia could certainly gain land and some major population centers but there will be massive resistance by Ukraine and as this is now no longer a surprise and undercover operation with some degree of plausible deniability. In case of a announced full scale military intervention by Russia into Ukraine proper in 2022, the West will have little other option than declaring war – not to fight for Ukraine but to fund and arm Ukraine with our – in this context – basically unlimited fiscal and industrial capacities.

Russia might be able to shift the Russian border west, possibly 150 further west but we would end all energy imports, cut all trade links, and freeze all Russian assets in our jurisdictions. That is what nations are during war and the war against Ukraine in 2022 is not the surprise attack of 2014 in the chaos of the Euromaidan Revolution. 2022 would be a real invasion and a real war and the economic consequences for Russia will be devastating. Confiscations of assets and trade interdictions are what hostile nations do during war. Ukraine will fight if attacked but we would not just watch and see Ukraine defeated at our doorstep. There is the naïve thinking that Russia supplies our energy and so we cannot cut all ties in energy overnight. In case of war we can and we will. Sure there will be costs to that. Significant but who is really king in the market? The supplier of 300 Billion Euro of energy, coal, uranium, gas and petrol combined per year that Europeans buy and fund Russian with or the payer able to pay 300 Billion Euro? And do you not think others in the World, from our Allies America to the Arab world will not be most happy to sell our carbon of which we anyhow want to burn less every year now? It might be a bit dark and cold in some parts of Eastern Europe for some weeks but we have not been completely idle in the last 20 years with the energy weapon at gunpoint against our heads and we will certainly find a way. Russia cannot find another customer so easily because we else live with 680 million of the richest consumers in the world?

So while we won’t fight for Ukraine as Russia managed to keep Ukraine out for NATO for now, we will fund and arm Ukraine to the max and we will boycott all Russian produce, freeze each single Russian asset we can get hold off and pressure each single jurisdiction on this planet to comply. Russia might have half a trillion of a sovereign fund and much natural resources to sustain itself and cut off all global markets but let us see how long that lasts. It took 2 years of a closed Bosporus to bring Russian to revolution, the Baltic Sea will be closed, Murmansk will not be supplied by Atlantic convoys, where is no land access to Iran anymore, Central Asia will be neutral and is land locked so what remains is China and the access to East Asia where Japan is a Western Ally and the USA Navy in the Pacific will be vigilant. Russia is a 1.6 Trillion GDP economy in the 94 Trillion world, 80 Trillion produced in and by the Free World and if you can count on China and Iran 18 Trillion remains to be seen. If you think you can challenge the world by being the brutal war waging bully of the world I suggest studying German history very carefully.

Will Russia attack NATO Estonia or EU Finland or anybody else?

Next to Ukraine will Russia attack EU and NATO Members at the Russian border? Attacking NATO would trigger Article 5 and attacking EU would trigger Article 42 so will that really be happening? We will have to defend all NATO and EU allies, and we will. Fancy that Russia? Even if the new Eastern Front might be far and hard to reach but the basically unlimited industrial and fiscal capacity will prevail for sure and again all such scenarios include the mad nuclear logic, as well as the devastating economic response and our basically unlimited fiscal and industrial capacity in times of war and the significant technologically advantage would make no doubt of the result of such a war by Russia against the united West. Nobody in America will be too proud to fight in case of an attack on a NATO Ally, be sure about it no matter how much money is flowing into the Trumpian GOP or similar pro Russian outlets in the USA. No state has ever attacked a NATO Ally and that for good reason. And let us not forget being a clear aggressor nation as Russia would be in that case would result in the end of Russia holding the UNO Security Council Seat with Veto right. As openly violating such clear rule would requires to suspend Russia last remaining relict of political significance and great power status in political terms and if China vetoes that we can easily leave the UNO and establish a Union of Allied Democracies as the UNO was established just as that United Nations against the enemies of that time. We can do that again and maybe we will if you attack us. Why shall we keep Russia in the global system we as the West have built and continue to pay. So out of UNO, WTO and all connected organizations will be the result of any such attack. And true Russia might be able to make some land gains in the start of such a war similar as in 1941 that is hard to avoid the northern European plains but how to keep any of that in long term. This time there will be no UK and USA to keep Russia in the fight and if China will do so without any interest in the Far East is anybody’s guess. Fancy that Russia?

Will Russia intervene unconventionally against the West, again?

Russia is intervening in our political system, funding extreme parties, buying politicians, making cyber attacks, leaking data to change election results, funding referendum campaigns and doing all that harms NATO and EU already intensively since 2007/2008 and we are still around. Russian can do more of it but by now most have understood what is going on and the impact is diminishing, the law of demising return applies as well in this area. Russia did so much damage already the last 14 years from 2007 Munich Security Conference to now and we are still around and kicking and producing half of world GDP and having 30 NATO allies and growing. While Russia inflicted some painful defeats, with Brexit and the Trump 2016 election the most damaging, we are recovering and adapting as flexible market democracies always do and well we are back. And more to come during the 2020s, be sure about it.

So Russia can do little to really hurt us?

A further war in Ukraine will cost a lot of lives. So it has to be avoided. But how? Caving is what we have been doing since Bucharest summit 2008 and it led to ever more wars, as appeasement does not work. As if the world did not learn from the Munich debacle. The new Munich, the Bucharest Summit 2008 was a complete disaster and we are paying the price today. What we need to do is to come back to the victory strategy of the Cold War. The Cold War was won by defending South Korea and then having the courage of rearming and integrating West Germany in the Free world and allowing West Germany to join NATO in 1955 and this has led to the unprecedented growth in Western Germany at the division line between a divided Germany and it was the Eastern Germans running off and tearing down the Berlin Wall via Austria and the Czechoslovakia.  Sure it was American industrial, military and economic power outperforming the Soviets and the drop in oil prices and the internal failures of the soviet decaying economy and the Afghanistan debacle and the NATO rearmament of double track and the brutally of the Chinese Communist Tien an men massacre all this played a vital role but the key reason for the end of the Soviet Union was the Eastern Germans running away as the income and wealth and welfare differential became so big at the German-German border that is was unsustainable.  And so the dam broke. And freedom came and so it will again. So how to avoid a further war in Ukraine? Simply get Ukraine in NATO and by doing so make sure we will defend Ukraine once in and in the meantime let us fund and arm Ukraine, the shield of Free Europe against Russian aggression.

Winning the new cold war by more unity, better economic and outperforming Russia is better than open war.

And we could avoid war during the Cold War in Europe from 1948 onwards from the Berlin Blockade which is generally seen as the start of the Cold War together with the Communist take over in Czechoslovakia it was possible to have a stable equilibrium between the superpower in Europe after the Greek Civil War has ended and the fronts have stabilized. So instead of freezing NATO enlargement or ceding all Ukraine back to Russian influence against the will of most Ukrainians we should accept division and invite Free Ukraine to NATO and EU and reduce the pressure on issues of Crimea and Donbas return to Ukraine. As I have stated many times we can keep the theoretical concept of Ukrainian unity, the same as German unity was always constitutional reality until it turned into a reality on the ground in 1990. And we have learnt to live with the GDR over time and well good that GDR is gone and good riddance, nobody needed that unlawful criminal state of the GDR. But given the power reality of the Cold War it was a useful construct even when it was a prison for millions of people but against the power of the Soviet Union there was no way but to wait until the Soviet collapse by themselves. So instead of ceding all Ukraine to Russia and leaving Ukraine to itself and to Russia we should invite free Ukraine and accept division of Ukraine along today’s lines. Free Ukraine joins NATO and EU and Eastern Donbas and Crimea will be integrated into the Russian Federation. Ukraine will never recognize this same as Germany never did but we can live with it if Free Ukraine can join NATO and EU in exchange, same for Moldova and Georgia, divided they are already, so let us accept the fact grudgingly but as part of the 2nd Cold War we war in since 2008. That is far from a perfect result for both sides and should allow a new stable equilibrium in the coming decade until the fall of Putin. And once a new 1991 comes for Russia we can anyhow assess the situation anew.

So all join NATO from Austria to Georgia, Ireland to Ukraine and show Russia we really are united against her threat and so call the bluff. In reality Russia can do little and what Russia can do comes at prohibitively high cost.  So the better strategy is to get Ukraine in NATO fast as West Germany got in NATO within a decade after the end of World War 2.  And in the process we will invite all 10 and the EU and prepare for the 4 remaining to complete NATO enlargement to 45 and in the process Russia can do little but watch and fall apart internally seeing the West getting ever more successful and more united.

So instead of giving up and lying flat and sacrificing Ukraine to Putin’s anger tantrum in 2022 we should unite in NATO and EU and show the world that the west is back. There is no reason for our internal division.  One the one hand we show our strength in getting more united and enlarging NATO to include all Free Europe including Ukraine, Georgia, Bosnia and Kosovo who all by large majority want and offer NATO enlargement all EU and EU Neutrals as discussed but on other side we will only protest about the Anschluss of Belarus, the Anschluss of Crimea and the Anschluss of Eastern Donbas all already the reality against which we are neither able nor willing to change anything meaningful. We might even reduce the sanction against Russia in some aspects in such a strategy if considered useful to avoid war and ease some edges in Russia. But Free Ukraine and Free Georgia and Bosnia and Kosovo will be fast tracked into NATO.

A new iron curtain

Yes I argue for a new iron curtain dividing Free Europe from Russian Europe. Putin in a way manages in a way to recall the Belavezha accords which ended the Soviet Union in December 1991 – 30 years ago because Ukraine had voted in August 1991 for independence and was not ready for staying. And by his wars from 2014 Putin has made the split eternal, or at least until Russia became a true market democracy. Putin got Belarus and 7% of Ukraine, 2 small border regions in Georgia and to some extent an island of Transnistria. And a shaky Russia in decline and in open conflict with the Free World. And this is the dividing line between us and them until the fall of Putins and his version of Russia. It will come. Let us better prepare and get ready for that transition. Until then good-bye and let us make sure clear divorce is avoiding any hot war in Europe along that new division line.  It is not a perfect outcome, far from it and I am sorry for all in Belarus, Crimea, and Eastern Donbas who will end up, or end up at the dark side of that divide. But it is similar to the Hungarians, Poles and East Germans, Czech and Albanians, Ukrainians and many other who found themselves on the wrong side of the last divide during the Cold War and despite many hopes and wishes there was little to nothing the West could do for them but making sure the Free World survives and gets very day richer, freer and more successful and by contrast to win the completion and we won. And we will again. And those poor unfree people now on the other side of the new iron curtain will be free in the next generation or the following but given current trends of demographic and economic decline the new 1991 will not take 2 generations. Many as me regard this the last stand of the KGB elite of old, now in their 60ies and still trained and battle hardened and ready to take Russia and the Soviet Union and the world down into the abyss and we won’t let them. Let them have what they have already and then let us get the Free World more united and Ukraine inside NATO and EU, sadly divided for now and choke with the rest Russia and see you in the 2030 and 2040s and we will be around and will you?

But my main case is – united in NATO we can contain Russia and avoid war

The reflex of most Europeans is, Russia is ready for war so as we have no chance to defend ourselves so let us not provoke Russia and buy Russia off with more pipelines, freeze NATO and EU enlargement and who actually cares for the Ukrainians, they are anyhow Russians. Short reminder this attitude has led to the ongoing wars and Russia on rampage last decade. It is not US enlargement of NATO that has led to the crisis of the last decade but it is Russian aggression in all aspects that has led to the current crisis. And again it is not on Russia to dominate Europe, simply no, nobody outside Russia wants that as long as Russia thinks it can bully us into submission Russia will do so. So let us confront the bear by simply showing determined unity and unity in NATO. No, Russia cannot get away with the next war. No, we will not sacrifice Ukraine. No we will not freeze enlargement on the contrary, invite and we double down all who want, include them in NATO and if you let the tanks roll the iron dice of war will roll. And Russia will blink first. And no neutrality, buffer status or compromises will not lead to peace, but to war, be sure for that. The moment Russia smells weakness and can throw tantrums and claim fake promises and we are all impressed, we have lost and war is certain.  The determined and logically answer is to unite in calm determined unexcited manner do our unification homework including the Euro, Schengen OECD, WTO, RCC and CEFTA as I argue in great detail in my podcast PaxEuropeana all year long and roll gradually ahead and by being more united Russia can fume but hardly attack us and if we will be prepared but by being more united the massage is clear: Do not mess with the West. We are still the best and do not test the West mettle, bullying the West into submission will not work. Your strategy is an adjunct failure. Your threats of war only result in more NATO enlargement and more unity of West inside NATO and EU so thanks a lot for your anger tantrum – we will be ready 2022. 

Published by GunterFehlinger

Austrian Economist and pro NATO and pro European activist Podcast PaxEuropeana

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