NATO Summit in Madrid: The language that Putin understands | International

Who only believes in the law of force only understands the language of force. When someone talks about dialogue and transaction to this type of individuals, they understand that they are dealing with someone without the courage or power to continue fighting and willing to make more concessions. The answer, therefore, is to apply even more resolutely the law of force until achieving their surrender.

Until the Madrid summit, the Europeans had not been able to speak to Putin with one voice and without hesitation in the language of force. The continent historically with the greatest experience and bloodiest results in the use of the brutal language of war, between nations and within nations, had been forgetting in the last 75 years even the smallest expression of the vernacular with which they had been waged hundreds of conflicts, until reaching the culmination of the two world wars, the Holocaust and the horrors of Stalinism.

Putin was able to invade Crimea and seize part of Donbas in 2014, precisely thanks to this neglect and the lukewarm reaction provoked by his flagrant violation of treaties and international law at that time. The resolution with which he undertook his second attack against Ukraine on February 24, which he believed to be definitive, was due precisely to the precedent and the lukewarm reaction of public opinion, especially European opinion. He made a very common mistake in war and in politics. He believed that he would win this time just because he had won the previous one.

The language of force requires not only good knowledge and practical mastery, but above all the instruments to use it, that is, enough soldiers and weapons. Europe did not have them in 2014, it still does not have them in 2022 and only now has it proposed to acquire them quickly at the Madrid summit. NATO has openly designated its enemy and has committed itself without limits to the defense of Ukraine, as expressed in some words by Biden that recall the famous “whatever it takes” (as much as it takes) pronounced by Draghi in 2012 regarding the unlimited intervention of the European Central Bank in the face of the euro crisis. The president of the United States assured Thursday in Madrid that Washington and NATO would continue to help kyiv “as long as it takes so that Russia does not defeat Ukraine and then advance beyond Ukraine.”

Once the enemy has been identified and the collective resolution and commitment expressed, the forces deployed on Russia’s borders will be multiplied by eight, the supply of planes, ships and artillery will be reinforced and defense budgets will be at the level of these very tangible and immediate threats. It will have to be done quickly, given that the current deployment on the border flank with Russia, slightly reinforced since the war began, is extremely weak, according to the governments of the Baltic republics.

Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.


NATO’s current deployment responds to the concept of tripwire either trip wire, that is, a military presence inferior to that of the adversary and willing to enter into combat, with which the commitment to defend the territory is demonstrated, but without the effective capacity to stop the invasion. Such a situation means an even existential danger for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, countries that due to their small size could be completely destroyed in a few days, and requires their replacement by an advanced defense made up of forces capable of responding to an invasion like the Russian one in Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine is also fought as a race in time. The longer it goes on, the more force Putin will exert with the levers of global interdependencies, turned into weapons of blackmail. Ukraine can withstand the invasion at the front and bear the loss of life and the destruction of the country and its cities, but it is not clear that the allies will have as much endurance in the face of power cuts, famines, their repercussions on migratory flows towards Europe and the brutal loss of income due to galloping inflation. On the other hand, the longer the hostilities last, the more time NATO will have to prepare for the eventuality of an escalation that overflows the current perimeter of the war, therefore, for the worst, which would be an openly European war.

The battle lines hardly move. Russia is advancing wearily in Donbas, but has just lost Snake Island, of strategic value for maritime traffic in the Black Sea and for the reopening of grain exports from Ukraine. Biden is willing to hold his own for as long as it takes, but he must also be accompanied by the public opinions of democratic countries, which barely understand Putin’s language and have in their hands the vote to throw out governments and even to elect rulers more sympathetic to the Kremlin.

The language with which NATO is speaking may not yet be enough for Putin to consider the time for a ceasefire, for diplomacy and for peace to have arrived, but the language of weakness with which Europe has spoken to him up to now, and with which large majorities in many countries continue to speak, hardly leads to peace and instead serves the long war that Putin wants and may even serve his final victory.

Follow all the international information in Facebook Y Twitteror in our weekly newsletter.

50% off

Exclusive content for subscribers

read without limits

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button