On February 9 a massive explosion, rumored to be a tactical nuke, detonated in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk. There are conflicting reports, with officials stating that an artillery shell hit a chemical plant, while others claim that it was a munitions factory. Witnesses report that the blast shattered windows and shook houses miles away. It is interesting that the media in the U.S. did not pick this story up, especially given their penchant for explosions. Here’s a video.
Maybe it was a tactical nuclear device, and maybe it wasn’t, but either way, the conflict in the Ukraine shows no signs of letting up, and as the U.S. gets more involved, the stakes are getting higher by the minute. Russian convoys move into Eastern Ukraine with impunity, bringing relief supplies to civilians, and also heavy weapons, armored vehicles, and special forces ground troops. Russian-made rockets and mortars are smashing civilian areas in the Ukraine, killing innocent people, while Ukrainian forces shell rebel-held strongholds like Donetsk, with rounds dropping on schools and hospitals. It’s a bloody, terrible conflict, and not quite as black and white as many here in the States would like to believe.
Many Eastern Ukrainians do in fact feel allegiance to Russia, and remember the days of the Soviet Union with fondness; they speak Russian and have more in common with them than their own countrymen. They are rebels who desire closer ties to Russia than the western Europe. Both sides are waging a bloody war, trying to gain ground ahead of peace talks which seem unlikely to resolve the issue, with rebel forces currently on the offensive to seize key rail yards and rail lines.
On December 23, 2014 the Ukraine renounced its non-aligned status with NATO, which makes the current debacle all the more dangerous, and outright involvement by the United States a frightening and somewhat hypocritical possibility. Here’s why.
In 1823 the U.S. adopted the Monroe Doctrine, which simply put, stated that interference by European powers in South America would be considered an act of aggression. The U.S. doesn’t tolerate other countries bashing around in our back yard. The Truman Doctrine, which became the bedrock of American foreign policy for decades, dictated that the U.S. would pursue containment of Soviet expansion, and this led to proxy wars in South America and Eastern Europe. As the cold war has begun anew and tensions with Russia have reached new heights, the Ukraine conflict threatens to become a new battleground between nuclear superpowers. I for one, would rather avoid that!
There is a compelling argument that appeasement does not work, and that Russian aggression needs to be stopped now. Various pundits compare Russian president Vladimir Putin to Hitler at the start of World War II, when Europe wrung its hands in the face of the Nazi advance. Russian armored divisions are poised to move into Ukraine, and NATO is woefully unprepared to halt the attack, should the Russians choose to roll in. Most of the Abrams tanks are gone,Western Europe is largely toothless. NATO relies on air power and the United States to deter further incursions.Should peace talks fail, it is easily conceivable that Putin will order Russian forces into the Eastern Ukraine. The only way to stop them would be with the use of tactical nuclear weapons, targeting the armor and infantry divisions. That’s how the end of the world begins.
So, here’s to hoping that clear heads prevail. Perhaps a peace can be brokered, one which appeases the rebel forces who wish to align themselves with Russia, but also keeps the Ukraine intact.
What does it look like after a global nuclear war? Check out the WRATH trilogy.