For the past 30 years, there has been an assumption that the security system in Europe should be built in the presence of Russia. Change is needed in this strategic culture. But it will take time – said Dr. Andrew Mista, dean of the George Marshall Center on TVN24. In his opinion, “First, the bandwagon must be rebuilt, and the French must stop thinking only in terms of the South.” He added that the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO would be absolutely crucial.
According to Dr. Andrew Michi, we are not part of the same civilization with Russia because of the way the Russian military behaves and the relationship between the citizen and the state. – These are all completely different from the center of the West – he estimated. At the same time, he pointed out that “there is still a kind of passion for Russia, especially among countries that are not on the side of the (North Atlantic) alliance, have no direct contact with Russia and have no history.” .
Changing the strategic culture of Europe
The expert stressed the need to “change the strategic culture” in Europe. – For the past 30 years, Russia’s energy policy, the trade policy of France or many other countries, the presumption that the defense system in Europe should be built in the presence of Russia, Russia was considered. An important element of this structure. It is very difficult to change such a strategic culture. This needs time – he stressed.
In his view, Europe has enormous potential when it comes to resources that can be sent to defense. He pointed out that Germany’s GDP is almost four times higher than Russia’s. – It’s about political decisions and understanding how the world really is. Europe has become truly disarmed over the past 30 years. At the moment, despite making dramatic decisions about re-arming and rebuilding this conventional prevention system, it will take years, the expert said.
“Poland is one of the most responsible countries when it comes to rebuilding the armed forces,” Dr. Mista said. – But above all, bandages must be rebuilt, and the French must stop thinking only of the South, the Mediterranean or Africa, and begin to think of responsibility here in Europe. Finally, he added that the merger of Finland and Sweden into NATO would be absolutely crucial.
As he put it, “When Finland and Sweden join the Atlantic Alliance, the whole defense structure in the Baltic and Scandinavia will change.” – The Baltic states, which are in a very difficult security situation at the moment, will have a strategic depth that they do not have at the moment, he assessed. He predicted that Finland and Sweden would decide to join NATO, “because, given what the Russians are doing, being a NATO partner does not deter the enemy, so only the full membership guarantees security.”
Dr. Mista: The risk of nuclear war is unlikely
When asked about the risk of a nuclear conflict, Dr. “This kind of fear has a relatively low probability that not only will Putin violate a dramatic threshold, he may choose to do so,” but – he added – that China and India are in danger here.
– Russia alone is not an easy decision maker. Even if he sends a signal using a small and unpopulated weapon, the consequences will be enormous. It will cross a certain barrier and there are only unknowns behind it. And the reaction of states that are as neutral or supportive as India (Putin – Ed.), And of his Chinese ally, is unpredictable, the expert said. In this context, he said, Moscow’s threats were “an attempt to intimidate Europeans in particular, because any use of these weapons would have a direct impact on the entire continent.”
– Before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO was much more divided than it is now. Any attempt to increase it is contrary to expectation (Moscow – Ed.), Rated Dr. Mista. He said the fact that the Russians had begun to commit crimes against civilians in Ukraine had led to an even greater resolution of the coalition on the extent of aid to Ukraine from the West.
“Poland needs to expand its armed forces”
According to Dr. Mista, Poland should expand its armed forces. In his view, the purchase of military equipment, including US F-35 fighter jets, M1 Abrams tanks and anti-aircraft defense systems, was “completely intentional”. – For this it is necessary to build on the ground the whole systems to support these new aircraft, to operate them fully, and above all, to build military reserves of man and equipment – he noted.
As he put it, “Ukrainians have shown that a light infantry, well equipped with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, can defend the territory of the state.” Therefore, in his opinion, the wave of criticism against the regional security forces is “a little wrong”. – I believe that Poland should develop its armed forces. Poland is currently the leading country when it comes to alliances. West Germany was more or less the same during the Cold War – the expert explained.
He pointed out that because of what Russia has done, Poland today is “considered a key state of the alliance, and it changes both the political weight of Poland and its role when it comes to the whole geopolitical map of Europe.”
“Putin hopes to break European unity”
Dr. Mista noted that Europe “needs a policy change based on climate policy that has completely deviated from national security priorities for the past two decades.”
He noted that in 2014, Germany relied on Russian gas for about 35 percent, and now it is more than 60 percent.
– These are decisions taken by the respective governments. Germany has the remaining three nuclear reactors, which were due to close this year. You cannot create a climate policy that is completely detached from national security policies. We need a very strong reflection on how relations with Russia are conducted, the TVN24 guest argued.
In his view, “gas weapons”, as described in Moscow’s actions, are “an attempt to create the most divisive pressure possible, leading to the collapse of political unity.” “Putin hopes to break European unity,” he added.
Dr. Mista: Ukraine has changed the history of Europe
Dr. “Putin created a story within Russia just like Germany did in the middle of the war,” he said, convincing the public that Russia had betrayed and glorified the Russian military. According to him, “Until the (Russian) community realizes that there are no countries in this league that threaten international order, Russia will be the most serious threat to European and world security, that is, when the Russian military is defeated.” “Putin has lost his legitimacy to be considered one of the international leaders, no matter how this war ends,” the guest “One on One” said.
In his opinion, Ukraine’s chances of securing territory controlled by the authorities in Kiev are “very large” – even 70 percent. The expert estimates that the areas currently under Russian control are likely to recover 50:50. “Regardless of whether the Russians are destroyed or have some more operational capabilities, Russia’s victory in Ukraine will be a practical failure for Russia,” he said. He concluded that if Ukraine lost Donetsk and Luhansk, it would lose most of its industry. – This is unacceptable to the Ukrainians, so they will fight to the end, and the West supporting them with weapons compensates for the shortcomings – he stressed.
In his opinion, “Ukraine is fighting and it stood very hard, which was a big surprise to many European leaders and changed history in Europe”. – I think we can talk about lasting security and peace in Europe only if the Russians are expelled from Ukraine, putting an end to the tyrannical practice in Belarus – said Dr. Mista.
Main photo source: Puolustusvoimat / Finnish Security Forces
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