Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
That is very possible, yes.

And Ukraine is then the big loser, with EU as secondary losers.

The reason I try to focus on what we know and don't know, is that everyone, and in particular organisations, act on what they think they know, and sometimes they are plain wrong. The Russian government could think that the sanctions won't bite because it would punish the EU more, or they could think that sanctions is coming anyway. Both would lead to ignoring threats of sanctions, regardless of if they are true. The US government could think that by claiming that Russia is about to attack they force the Russian hand, but the predicted move could have been something other than what happened.

I keep coming back to Failure of a mission, by Sir Nevile Henderson, British embassador to Nazi Germany. He describes appeasement from the inside. Essentially they thought that the Versailles treaty was a mistake that led to the rise of Nazism (and thus far most historians would agree to some extent), therefore it could be turned around by giving Germany the borders it should have gotten in Versailles. And if it gained those borders peacefully it would strengthen the peace wing within the Nazi party. This was proven wrong when Germany invaded rump Czechoslovakia, so Brittain started preparing for war. Henderson was wrong, but it wasn't unreasonable given what they knew.

On the other side, the German government thought that Brittains acceptance of the annexation of Austria and the Munich treaty was proof that Brittain would never go to war over east Europe and for a long time expected Brittain to stay out or make a separate peace. They were also wrong.

And the USSR government thought they had bought enough time to build up so they could attack and defeat Nazi Germany. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

And of course, I could be wrong. If Russia uses Donbas as a spring board and attacks the rest of Ukraine, then I was wrong. That the US is crying wolf doesn't prove there isn't a wolf. But I sure hope there isn't a war.

by fjallstrom on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 07:08:13 PM EST
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