NATO in the Ukraine Crisis by Karl Laubacher

NATO should be taking a leading role in the Crises like Ukraine because the members of the organization are being directly affected and could be further effected is there is a spillover effect of the conflict and it continues to escalate in how intense it is.  NATO has the economic, military, and gobal support to push back against Russia, bringing the conflict to a more even playing field.  It is doing this in a way by being the force that is taking the brunt of the responsibility in pushing back a possible large scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russians.  NATO allies have access to advanced intelligence gathering, giving the world a view of what movements the Russian Army is making so that commanders and the world can craft responses to the fast changing situation in the region  That intelligence gathering capability, its findings, and the force that NATO has on both the regional and global geopolitical stage has allowed NATO allies to rally support for coordinated sanctions, which have had a very strong effect on the Russian economy, putting Ukraine and NATO in a much strong bargaining position if those capabilities were not there.

The military leadership that NATO has provided has allowed for a single voice to rise against Russia in support of Ukraine, making Russia think twice about encroaching on more territory.  NATO is acting as a hostage holder against Russia, which is having an effect to buffer the movement and  unpredictability of Russian military movements.  If the EU were to attempt to be the voice against Putin, this would be seen as a weak move, because no nation that belongs to the EU would be able to match what the Russian military could send to Ukraine.  However, placing the United States in the game with its Article Five obligation makes the playing field much more even.  Brzezinski states in his Foreign Policy paper on the region that, “NATO’s real power derives from the fact that it combines the United States’ military capabilities and economic power with Europe’s collective political and economic weight (and occasionally some limited forces).” Putting the combination of the US military with the importance of the European economy to Russia, has made NATO a very powerful force in the region and in the conflict.  Additionally, the might of those two entities brings in allied support from around the world, which helps the case of Ukraine and NATO working to make Russia return to the borders before the conflict began.  Being able to lead a combined, multi-faceted response to Russian aggression with major power support from around the world is exactly what NATO needs to do in order to prevent further changes in the status quo of Europe.

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