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An essay about two competing groups within NATO

Though everybody in NATO has lost confidence in Ukraine's ability to win the war with Russia, there are still differences between two groups within the organisation about what the future might bring. Roughly speaking one group has given up on Ukraine, and they are begging the NATO-countries to save the investment by dragging what is left of the country into NATO, so it will be protected by 'Article 5', accepting the loss of what Russia is occupying already. The other group is convinced that the lack of progress on the Russian side is a clear indication that the Russians can't advance either, so why not leave it as it is, without surrendering the Donbas and Crimea, since Russia is 'bleeding' too?


My own assessment is that the Russians did not advance because they didn't want to. Not because they couldn't. They were engaged in a 'War of Attrition', with both Ukraine and NATO. And when they are ready, they will take what they regard as 'Culturally Russian' territory, and call it a day. Until that moment they sit tight, and will allow the Ukrainians to advance, if holding on to territory will cost them too much, only to kill more Ukrainian soldiers, and destroy more 'stuff', before returning to the terrain previously vacated. 


For the moment the group within NATO advocating for a quick decision to allow Ukraine to become a member, at the cost of saying farewell to the Donbas and Crimea, has too much opposition from within to make it happen. And Zelensky won't be able to sell it to the people he represents. It is unclear to me what Zelensky's position is at the moment, since there are all kinds of rumours about a fierce power struggle between 'his' side, and the military, represented by Zalushny, who recently lost an aid through a 'present' on his birthday containing live grenades. But several NATO countries won't be happy with Ukraine as a member under the circumstances, even if some semblance of stability would return to 'Kiev'. 


Part of the problem is that many leaders in NATO countries actually believed in their own propaganda, that Russia was interested in taking all of Ukraine. They are simply unable to see it differently, even after close to two years of fighting. Again, mainly because they believe NATO's own propaganda, which says that Russian losses are far higher than those of Ukraine, while it is the other way around. And by a significant margin. They are most certainly aware of the fact that NATO is falling short of supplying Ukraine with weapons and ammunition to sustain their effort, but not that Ukraine is running out of manpower, or that Russia has plenty of manpower, killing time behing the lines, and outproduces NATO in every respect. They can't wrap their brain around the possibility that their entire planning and assessment of Putin's intentions and Russia's capacity was wrong. 


Could it be that my own assessment is wrong? Always. But increasingly less likely, considering developments on the battlefield. I'm convinced that the domino's in Ukraine will fall, one after the other, without a firm Russian push, because Ukraine is exhausted. But in areas where they are resisting Russian advances they will be no match for the Russians, and they know it. The situation around Avdeevka is dire for the Ukrainians, and it could very well be that the Russians won't need to go the long way around the chemical plant, but go right through it, isolating the city/fortress which was used as a launching pad for attacks on Donetsk for years before the actual war started. But let's wait and see. 


In practice the group which doesn't want to act now, and drag Ukraine into NATO, accepting the loss of the Donbas and Crimea, and take it from there, will revisit that option somewhere in the not too distant future, but by then the Ukraine they control will be even smaller, and likely landlocked, as well as piss-poor, inhabited by elderly people and a remaining group of PTSD-stricken agitators. That is what I expect. But by then NATO itself may very well on its last legs, as well as the EU. Gambled and lost. With individual countries within the 'Alliance' and the 'Union' seeking ways to make peace with the BRICS-countries, unless some sore loser pushed us all the way to a nuclear Holocaust. My proposition is to not wait and see if that will happen, but to act now to make sure we don't go down that path, simply because NATO expansion didn't happen as planned.

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