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No, NATO is not coming to Ukraine

Updated: Feb 12

by David Elley

Deep in the intestines of Mano’s Bar, on any given night, you can guarantee that the discussion of how this war will end comes up. A popular position held is that NATO is coming to save Ukraine by dismantling what is left of the Russian war machine in the east and south. They might come in the Spring of this year, or, after the US election, Spring of 2025. As Clint Eastwood once remarked about opinions, everyone has one, here is mine: NATO isn’t coming.

I am a joint UK/US citizen (since 2019), 35 years in the US. I have seen Gulf Wars 1 and 2, and Afghanistan through American eyes, and I have seen how much the US appetite for military involvement has soured over the decades. Today the US likes its wars to be like a trip to McDonalds, you know exactly what you are ordering, it comes in a minute or two, you know exactly how it is going to taste, and how you are going to feel afterwards. The only way the US is going to contemplate any military action in Ukraine is if there is some very serious and undeniable NATO Article 5 violation by Russia in the Baltics, Poland, or Romania (over Moldova). Another Ukrainian genocide is not enough. And if the US is not getting involved on the ground, neither is NATO.

Look at how difficult it is for a bill to pass granting aid to Ukraine right now in the US Congress. Oh, and by the way, also to Taiwan. Aid to Israel, which does not need it, is an easy sell to Americans. Ukraine and Taiwan are not. The politics of the election year in the US, has distorted policy-making so much, that the GOP refuses to even pass bills on one of their significant issues – “close the border”.  This is because they refuse to let President Biden take any kind of win into his second election. There are a consistent 31-33% of Americans who are Trump 'Make America Great Again' (MAGA) and stand with him on everything, especially Russia (see Pew poll clip from December).  This means a number of Republican Senators and a small group of about thirty mouth-breathers and droolers of the ‘MAGA caucus’ (Trump’s elected brownshirts), are impeding or at least slowing down aid to Ukraine, this is their job. Russian ‘dark’ money has probably flowed into the coffers of most of these politicians, including Speaker Mike Johnson. As journalist Greg Palast wrote many years ago: “America has the best democracy money can buy.” Putin has read that book.

Let us assume that Biden wins again in November. His track record for Ukraine goes back to the Obama administration, who let’s remember ignored Putin’s invasion of Georgia in 2008, and then produced little but bleating and handwringing in 2014, as Putin annexed Crimea and then attacked in Donbas. Also remember on February 21st, 2014, Obama’s admin, partnered with the EU, brokered a deal to keep Yanukovych in power for 10 more months, one day after 47 people were shot dead on Institutskya Street!  Biden was Obama’s VP. Biden has never made the case well-enough that Ukraine must decisively win and Russia must lose as a US national interest. The Biden Admin is filled with Cold War thinkers, Ukraine’s own agency counts for little in this foul-tasting Realpolitik.

In my opinion, in January 2025, Biden will have the House in Democratic hands, but will lose the Senate. The weak response will simply continue. At least it will be easier to pass aid for Ukraine and Taiwan because the spectre of Trump may have passed. Unless of course, Trump launches a second coup attempt (yes, it was a coup, predicted months in advance by Sarah Kendzior and Andrea Chalupa on their podcast Gaslitnation), then all Hell will break lose in the US and Ukraine loses again.

Second Trump presidency? That is the end for the US and for Ukraine, and maybe Taiwan too, we all lose. Trump is an authoritarian, his presidency will once again be a ‘transnational crime syndicate, masquerading as a government’ (“Hiding in Plain Sight” - Sarah Kendzior). Trump is motivated by revenge, and so Ukraine will be the very first to be ‘sold’ to Russia.

Biden will not try this as an election ploy, remember the McDonald’s?  He has no capital to do so, and his track record is frankly weak. A Trump win is an apocalypse too grim to contemplate. NATO is not coming. Everyone who is coming, we are already here.


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