Biden Needs A Lesson In Good Parenting
The Russian threat to Europe and the world is, and will continue to be, recurring unless the U.S. and its NATO allies understand one simple lesson that they could learn from responsible parents — rules that they lay down must be obeyed, which in turn means that they have to be enforced. If a child doesn’t like the rules, he or she can discuss them with the parent, but while the rules are in force, they must be obeyed. Moreover, as all parents know, if existing rules or boundaries are not enforced, then new rules will be broken; and it is best, even just to save face, not to enact rules if they are not going to be enforced.
World leaders are not that different from children. They will do whatever they want as long as they can get away with it! The best modern day example on the international scene may be Vladimir Putin and the boundaries he won’t respect. The reason for the UN’s existence is to promote peace. In Article 2(4) of its Charter, it states “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.” Yet Putin has trashed this overarching rule again and again. In 2008, Russia invaded Georgia and followed this up in 2014 by annexing the Crimea Peninsular and a large area of eastern Ukraine through surrogates. In all cases, NATO talked a lot and imposed what were ineffective sanctions with no real impact on Putin. His tough guy image of standing up against the West was re-enforced and his standing in Russia was further buoyed.
The message from NATO to Putin was clear: we are not going to do much as long as we are not attacked and as long as our economic and financial interests are not threatened. Why has the NATO-U.S. response to Putin been so timid and in my view even counterproductive? European and U.S. banks had large financial exposure to loans made to Russian institutions. Even more important, Europe is highly dependent on Russia’s oil and especially on piped natural gas, which comes through the Ukraine, with an underwater pipeline (Nord Stream2) slated to come on line by the end of 20222
How did such energy dependence come about?
First, Germany tolerated the over-the-top lobbying of their former chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, who approved the undersea pipeline in 2005, during the last days…