During the heyday of fifth century BC conflict amongst Grecian city-states; Athens and Sparta, Spartan leadership fearing a dominance of Athenian growth, felt ‘the only way to stop an empire was to build one’. Now while that may not necessarily be negative, it was Spartan approach to such empire building that became a centerpiece which in the long run led to an eventual collapse of her agenda. While the Spartans attempted to forge their empire through force, conquering territories, coercing other city states in capitulation against their will, the Athenians consolidated on a notion of ‘Goodwill’ towards their member alliance, and worked towards harmonizing internal unity, building stronger cooperation in whatever way possible. Although it may not be entirely factual that the Athenian build-up was a symbol of perfection; as they too had numerous excesses, however, a basic resultant effect of the Spartan collapse more properly demonstrates an obvious necessity of taking into conscious thought the pattern through which one intends to forge a counter empire.
While a usage of the term empire may seem much bizarre in our 21st century context, one basic reality of which the present Russia-Ukrainian conflict portends is the idea of stopping what Putin may presume as the ‘Fast-building NATO empire’.
Practically the question of NATO’s expansionism has being echoed by Russia as being a threat to her own security; but here again is where Putin’s miscalculation comes into play. The categorization of ‘expansionism’ in it’s basic sense connotes some form of subjugation, a point to which military might becomes it’s major focal point; however in the ‘NATO condition,’ members are not coerced to join the alliance based on fear of being attacked by them but rather two basic factors come into play; the first of which is the idyllic happiness that comes from shared military partnership and security, and secondly a feeling of safety from a counter empire-builder Viz; the Russian federation. An obvious point to which Putin’s latest move only fuels.
By attacking Ukraine, Putin has shown to his neighbors that Russia is an obvious pariah state with a medieval era instinct for conquests which can only be stopped by turning around and joining the freedom-bearing alliance NATO, as one’s surest guarantee for safety. Factually, both NATO and the Russian federation under Putin presents clearly different sides of opposite coins. The first of which; a coin of self-defense, to which we may more properly classify Russia’s current antics; deploys tyranny as a means of achieving it’s aim ending up subjugating it’s neighbors, and forcing them in an obvious short-lived cooperation; obviously because tyranny never wins against freedom, no matter how long such subjugation may last.
For more than half a century, NATO’s acclaimed ‘expansionism’ has being heralded by a feeling of belongingness. Its members, bound with a sense of unity, and championed by equality on all sides, takes collective decisions without any member State making an attempt at superiority. The NATO alliance have survived onslaughts and even internal squabbles but have at each point chosen dialogue and collective decision-making over hostility and enmity. Probably Putin should be asked what has happened to Russia’s own counter-alliance?
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine shows an obvious hysterical move heralded not by an instinct of self preservation but a fear of obvious isolation. As have become more noticed, Russia has fewer friends on the world stage an obvious reality which not only owes to it’s past, but is more importantly re-enacted by it’s present. Putin’s actions in Ukraine, in the name of building a fear-laden picture of Russia as a country whose interests cannot be ignored have rather served to paint an obvious opposite picture of a despot whose tyrannical guts the world needs obvious protection from. Hence the obvious result of Putin’s invasion on Ukraine would be his isolation on the World stage and the realization by even non-aligned States that the real actor who exhibits expansionist desires is Putin’s Russia, and not NATO.
A Putin’s apologist may quickly snap back by asserting that Putin’s actions are justifiable as they are a result of his being ignored by NATO and an attempt by NATO member-States to completely surround Russia? However an obvious counter-assertion is the very fact that this ‘acclaimed solution’ adopted by Putin is in itself ‘the problem’, and not just ‘a problem’. Obviously, a basic reason why Russian neighbors seek to align themselves with NATO is the fear that Russia just might invade at anytime, and here Putin has rightly pointed out to it’s present indecisive neighbors that those fears are an obvious reality.
Under the pretext of DeNazifying, Putin adopts the Nazi’s expansionist strategy and adds with it Soviet era autocracy, which becomes a new mixture begging for a nomenclatural identity. The world itself is free and each Nation is governed by its interest, at no point have NATO determined for Putin what his foreign policy should be. If Nations avoid alliances with Russia, it behooves Putin to check within and identity the loopholes in his foreign policy seeking rather to amend them than spew a war venom on his neighbors.
The world is a level playing ground of obviously changeable and realistically yet-to-be harnessed interests. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows Putin’s obvious failure at diplomacy and an inability to create healthy alliances with Nations around the world. An obvious reality which would fast degenerate into Putin’s own isolation.