Cold War 2 is on the tips of many tongues although World War 3 is feared by many. But with NATO troops deployed some already believe we may look back and say that April 15, 2014 is the day when WW3 started, similar to how the trigger point for World War I was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, over the weekend fears over World War 3 reared its ugly head again when the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, said the “militants in eastern Ukraine were equipped with Russian weapons and the same uniforms as those worn by Russian forces that invaded Crimea.” Ukraine’s Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov has since mobilized the military in order to take back the government buildings, airports, and police stations seized by pro-Russian forces.
President Barack Obama “expressed grave concern” regarding Moscow’s support of pro-Russian separatists and appealed to Putin to ask the separatists to withdraw. Putin, however, told Obama that he should “use the American side’s capabilities to prevent the use of force and bloodshed as much as possible.”
NATO has already reported that around 40,000 Russian troops are stationed on the border with Ukraine. Putin claimed they took Crimea in order to “protect people” and Moscow has already reiterated that they may act to protect Ukraine’s pro-Russian citizens with force if a civil war were to begin. Russia also has already officially claimed they do not intend to cross over into Ukraine with their army, but the Kremlin also officially claimed the Russian Black Sea fleet did not issue a war ultimatum even though many independent journalists heard it blaring over megaphones with their own ears.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen explained why they had the NATO troops deployed to the Baltic region:
“Military staff from allied nations will deploy to enhance our preparedness, training and exercises. Our defense plans will be reviewed and reinforced. Our decisions today are about defense, deterrence and de-escalation. They are entirely in line with our international commitment. More (measures) will follow, if needed, in the weeks and months to come.”
Retired Admiral James Stavridis also said the US forces in Europe have been declining for 20 years, but due to the Ukraine crisis the “entire drawdown is being re-evaluated, and we may end up with three or even four combat brigades back in Europe, as well as restoration of the combat aircraft cuts of recent years.”
So far the Obama administration has not discussed increasing the United States’ military presence in Europe, although Secretary Of State John Kerry recently said the United States “will not hesitate to use 21st century tools to hold Russia accountable for 19th century behavior.” This statement has been interpreted to mean the White House will focus on tougher economic sanctions against Russia instead of using military force. The United States has already been offering food supplies to Ukraine’s military, but some claim this should be stepped up to include “body armor, night vision devises, communication gear and aviation fuel” as a form of “non-lethal assistance.”
While, so far, no one has openly declared war between nations, some feel World War 3 started already, just not officially. British journalist Edward Lucas believes that recent events may have been the trigger point for World War 3. But he apparently believes it can be avoided with a strong military stance:
“We are soon to face a bleak choice. We can chose to surrender any responsibility we have to protect Ukraine and the Baltic states — almost certainly Putin’s next target — from further Russian incursion. Or we can mount a last-ditch attempt to deter Russia from furthering its imperial ambitions. If we do choose to resist Putin, we will risk a terrifying military escalation, which I do not think it an exaggeration to say could bring us to the brink of nuclear war. Putin knows that. And he believes we will choose surrender…. If the West does stand up to Russia, Putin will put its nuclear forces on alert, all the while decrying our ‘aggressive behavior.'”
Over the past month, some have compared President Obama to Neville Chamberlain, who allowed Hitler to take over countries in Europe until open warfare between Britain and Germany was unavoidable. In the same manner, some accuse Obama of allowing Russia to start the same pattern with Ukraine, with the fear being that more former-Russian Baltic states will be absorbed by Putin with one excuse or another. Of course, some like Lt. Col. Ralph Peters say the comparison is not exactly accurate:
“The comparison between President Obama and Neville Chamberlain is grossly unfair…to Neville Chamberlain. Neville Chamberlain was trying to buy time while Britain desperately and frantically rearmed. Obama is shilly-shallying while America disarms.”
Others would disagree with that characterization of the situation. For example, former ambassador Nicholas Burns claims Obama is taking the right approach:
“Russia is a nuclear-weapons power. We are. It would be catastrophic to make this kind of a man-to-man duel, and the president wisely is not doing that…. [W]e have 16 European allies in NATO who are counting on us to be strong enough to deter whatever President Putin has in mind. We can’t afford to have a military that’s so reduced in capacity that it can’t fulfill that mission.”
Do you think Russia and the Ukraine crisis may trigger World War 3?