NATO’s Fraying Unity on Russia Policy, by Ted Galen Carpenter

The U.S. is getting most of the benefits, whatever those might be, of its proxy war via Ukraine on Russia, but Europe is bearing most of the costs. From Ted Galen Carpenter at

Maintaining a stance of knee-jerk support for Kiev is not a winning political strategy.

The Biden administration’s policy toward the Russia-Ukraine war was built on the assumption of widespread international support for a coercive response to Russia’s invasion. Even during the early weeks of the conflict, however, there were indications that Washington’s belief was faulty. Biden’s boast that the world stood united in its opposition to Russia’s “aggression” was little more than wishful thinking. Barely a week after the onset of the war, there were extensive defections from a United Nations General Assembly vote calling for the withdrawal of Russian forces. In addition to the five nay votes, there were 35 abstentions—even though the resolution did not commit U.N. members to take any substantive action.

Most of the abstentions came from Africa and Asia, and the vote proved to be a harbinger of widespread indifference to the war, combined with tenacious opposition to Washington’s drive to isolate and punish Russia. As time passed, the problem only grew worse. Aside from NATO and longstanding U.S. allies in East Asia, the global map showed almost no support for economic sanctions against Russia, much less for economic and military backing for Ukraine.

During the early months of the war, NATO did appear to be reasonably united behind Washington’s policy—with some notable exceptions, such as Hungary and Turkey. The contrast between NATO’s perspective and the position that countries elsewhere in the world adopted was glaring. Hudson Institute scholar Walter Russell Mead provided an apt summary of Washington’s lack of success in broadening the anti‐​Russia coalition beyond the network of traditional U.S. allies. “The West has never been more closely aligned. It has also rarely been more alone. Allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization plus Australia and Japan are united in revulsion against Vladimir Putin’s war and are cooperating with the most sweeping sanctions since World War II. The rest of the world, not so much.”

Despite massive U.S. diplomatic pressure on such key players as China, India, Brazil, and South Africa, that lack of wider support has not changed.

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One response to “NATO’s Fraying Unity on Russia Policy, by Ted Galen Carpenter

  1. Hegemony Cricket

    Rump vassal blocs don’t have the authority to get uppity and there won’t be any vote on it.
    Get your cannon fodder and free military gear for Ukraine ready and enjoy the long cold winter.


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