U.S. and NATO Preparing for War in Europe

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Ready for a war between NATO and Russia?

NATO is getting ready for one, with the United States in the starring role. 


There has been a lot of talk over the past year about European countries arming up for a war with Russia. Generals have been talking about reinstituting the draft, politicians of upping defense spending, and limits on Ukraine's ability to strike into Russian territory with Western weapons lifted. 

What started out as a Western effort to bleed Russia dry in Ukraine (and let's face it, that is the primary reason Biden and European leaders poured so many weapons and so much intelligence into the country) is transforming into something else entirely: a brewing conflict between the major powers themselves. 

Putin's invasion of Ukraine was not, in my view, justifiable. But it was not wholly unprovoked either. Western countries did, at the end of the Cold War, assure Russia that NATO would not expand eastward, and that clearly wasn't true. It did. On the other hand, Eastern European countries had more than adequate reason to fear Russian expansionism, not only because Russians had ruled over their countries with an iron fist for decades but also because Putin made clear he believed the collapse of the Soviet Union was a world-historic disaster. 

My sympathies lies with the Eastern European countries, although ironically, with Ukraine the least before the war. The horrors of a war started by Russia are unforgivable, but Ukraine is not Poland of the Czech Republic. It is a corrupt state and the least Western of the East European states. It is also the state with the most Russians. This does not excuse the invasion but provides context. 


In short, the entire conflict is a mess. Lots of people are dying, and everybody miscalculated. And here we are. Tensions are escalating, and while World War III is not inevitable, we are closer than we would have been if Russia had been deterred--as they were in the years between Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Biden's vacillation in 2022. 

Biden, you may recall, sent signals to Russia prior to the invasion that the West might tolerate a "small incursion," much as April Glaspie implied to Saddam Hussein that the US might look the other way if Kuwait were invaded. 

On Wednesday, Biden had predicted Russia would invade Ukraine, but suggested there was a split among NATO members about how to respond if Moscow took action that stopped short of sending its troops across the border — something Biden referred to as a "minor incursion." He said:

"I think what you're going to see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades. And it depends on what it does. It's one thing if it's a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do."

Biden clearly miscalculated in his comments, and now the US and Europe are planning for how to rush troops to a front should Russia move further West

Nato is developing multiple “land corridors” to rush US troops and armour to the front lines in the event of a major European ground war with Russia.

American soldiers would land at one of five ports and be channelled along pre-planned logistical routes to confront a possible attack by Moscow, officials told The Telegraph.

It comes amid warnings from the Alliance’s top leaders that Western governments must prepare themselves for a conflict with Russia in the next two decades.

Logistical routes have become a key priority since Nato leaders agreed to prepare 300,000 troops to be kept in a state of high readiness to defend the alliance at a summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, last year.

Existing plans have US troops landing at Dutch ports before boarding trains that transport them through Germany and onwards to Poland.

 In the event of a Russian invasion of Nato, US troops would be shipped to the port of Rotterdam before being transported eastward.

But arrangements are also being made behind the scenes to expand the routes to other ports to ensure the ground line of communications cannot be severed by Moscow’s forces.

Lt Gen Alexander Sollfrank, the chief of Nato’s Jsec logistics command, told The Telegraph: “Ukraine suffers very much from these Russian long-range missile attacks on the logistic systems.” 


It would be an exaggeration to suggest that planning for a conflict in Eastern Europe makes war inevitable. In fact, the reason why NATO is making these noises and revealing that it is making plans is, I am sure, all about deterrence. At this juncture, not making plans would be imprudent. 

But we are at this point of increased tensions due to terrible miscalculations on both sides. I doubt that Russia has any designs on invading NATO countries; rather, they want to bully them with bluster and threats. This is about improving the correlation of forces in the region, rather than a desire to get territory that would be nearly impossible to rule. 

Putin is a bad man; Western European countries are weak and feckless; and Biden is stupid, having never made a single foreign policy decision that was not idiotic. 

The biggest danger is a miscalculation on the part of the West that would provoke Putin into believing that his regime is under existential threat. Unfortunately, Zelensky would be stupid to follow the US' Vietnam strategy and give Russia a safe haven across the border. He needs to defeat Russia to achieve his war aims. He must strike at logistics in order to do so. If I were advising Zelensky as a subordinate, I would certainly recommend hitting inside Russia. Putin is clearly willing to bleed Ukraine dry through attrition and willing to pay a high cost to do so. 


The projection of weakness in early 2022 led to this war. Of that, I have no doubt. The Afghanistan debacle and Biden's "minor incursion" comments reinforced a sense that the West lacked resolve. 

The closest historical parallel I can think of is the beginning of Kennedy's term, where he blew it with the building of the Berlin Wall and the Bay of Pigs debacle. Kruschev took those lessons to heart and decided to put missiles in Cuba, and the rest is history. 

People remember Kennedy as a strong leader during that crisis, but few note that the crisis was brought about by his weakness earlier in his term. It needn't have happened. 

Biden is much weaker than Kennedy. He has led us to this juncture. And right now we are hardly prepared. 

Nato only has 5 per cent of the necessary air defences to cover its eastern flank, the Jsec commander is concerned about surface-to-air capabilities to defend his key logistical hubs.

“Observing and assessing the Russian war in Ukraine, we have observed Russia has attacked Ukraine’s logistics bases,” he said.

“That must lead to the conclusion that it is clear that huge logistics bases, as we know it from Afghanistan and Iraq, are no longer possible because they will be attacked and destroyed very early on in a conflict situation.”

“With regards to air defence... It’s always scarce. I cannot imagine a situation that you have enough air defence. That is a good example where a military principle applies: ‘If you want to be strong everywhere, you are strong nowhere.’”


Any NATO military action in Europe is almost certain to be defensive. There is no stomach for nor reason to invade Russia. Why would we want that mess? 

But miscalculations happen. They already have. 

I hope they can keep them to a minimum in the future. Just sayin'.

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