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Is a Russia-NATO clash over Ukraine ahead?

When Hungarian rebels arose in 1956 to overthrow the Communist regime imposed by Joseph Stalin, President Dwight Eisenhower refused to send U.S. forces to aid the Hungarians.

Ike would not take America to war with Russia over a small country in Central Europe.

While the Hungarians were heroic and inspirational, Hungary was neither a member of NATO nor a vital U.S. interest. Moreover, it was on the Soviet side of the Yalta line dividing Europe, and agreed to by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill at Yalta in 1945.

For similar reasons today, President Joe Biden has refused to send U.S. troops, ships or planes to attack Russian forces invading Ukraine.

Though a nation of 44 million and almost as large as Texas, Ukraine is neither a vital U.S. interest nor a member of NATO.

However, were Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade Estonia, whose population is 3% of Ukraine’s, America would be obligated to go to war with Russia.

Does this disparity make strategic sense?

Should not America have the same freedom of action to decide whether to fight for Estonia as we do to decide whether to fight for Ukraine? After all, Ukraine is far larger and more populous and strategic.

In 1948, President Harry Truman refused to use force to break Stalin’s Berlin Blockade. In 1956, Eisenhower refused to intervene to save Hungary. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy refused to use force to stop the building of the Berlin Wall.

In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson refused to intervene when the USSR invaded Czechoslovakia to crush the pro-democracy “Prague Spring.”

Yet, today, America’s leaders do not have the same freedom not to act as did Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson. We are obligated to act. Why?

Because, since the end of the Cold War, we have expanded the membership of NATO, and there are now 28 nations of Europe we are obligated to defend if they are attacked.

Ukraine is not one of them, but five of them that border Russia or Ukraine — Romania, Slovakia, Poland, Latvia and Estonia — are currently providing Stinger or Javelin missiles to Ukraine to destroy Russian tanks, down Russian aircraft, and kill Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

If Putin retaliated against any of these countries for these arms transfers that are killing Russian soldiers, the U.S. would be obligated, under Article 5 of NATO, to fight Russia on behalf of these NATO nations.

Article 5 automatically conscripts the United States into a war with Russia, if Moscow retaliates against a NATO nation providing weapons to kill Russian soldiers.

Why have we willingly tied our own hands in this manner?

During 40 years of Cold War, America remained secure while East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were all under Moscow’s control.

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For similar reasons today, President Joe Biden has refused to send U.S. troops, ships or planes to attack Russian forces invading Ukraine.

Source: https://www.theintermountain.com/uncategorized/2022/03/is-a-russia-nato-clash-over-ukraine-ahead/

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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