According to the generally accepted understanding, wars are the continuation of politics through other means. Whether waging or waging war, whether participating directly or indirectly, there is a political purpose behind it, a goal to be achieved. Sometimes territorial expansion is sought, sometimes political influence is sought. Preventive war, defending against aggression, responding to terrorism, regime change, colonization of a country or region, or humanitarian purposes, although not very often.
Wars sometimes end in victory and sometimes in defeat for those who start or wage them. Once a document is signed registering losses and gains, it is assumed that the war is over and that neither side will suffer the consequences of the use of violence any longer. From that moment on, the wounds will be healed, the loser will be left with what he lost and the winner with what he won. If the war is large-scale and multi-actor, it is assumed that a new world order will be established and relations will take place within these parameters.
But the calculation at home often does not match the calculation at the market. Wars not only bring about expected and desired results, but also unintended and unexpected consequences through the violence and social upheaval they create. For example, France supported the revolution in America against Britain, but the bankruptcy of its finances led to its revolution six years later in 1789 and the guillotining of King Louis XVI in 1793. A similar fate awaited Tsar Nicholas II in 1918 when he escalated the war in support of Serbia.
In fact, the First World War, or rather the Peace of Versailles, led to the latter. France’s lust for revenge and plunder, combined with the crisis of 1929, led to the regime change in Germany in 1933. Revisionist demands led to maximalist expansion and the greatest genocide in history. Even at the end of the Second World War, the animosity and the raw passion did not end. Mutual fears led to the outbreak of the Cold War, with rivalries favoring indirect over direct confrontation, fighting through proxies in Korea, Vietnam and many other places.
The series of interventions that began after Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait eventually paved the way for al-Qaeda and ISIS. Groups that were previously supported by the idea that the Soviets would wear down in Afghanistan turned on their supporters. 9/11 happened, followed by the intervention in Afghanistan. Then America again chose Iraq as its target. But each intervention creates more problems than it solves. In short, if wars are not managed well, if they do not take into account what the other side thinks and what they mean for themselves, they can lead to unexpected and undesirable results.
This is true today for Russia, Ukraine and the warring parties, the EU and the US. On February 24, 2022, leaving aside what it could achieve through a show of force and diplomacy, Russia, which is trying to solve its problem through the use of force, should realize that the war it has started has reached its saturation point, that it has worn itself out as much as its direct interlocutor, that if it escalates, it may lead to unexpected and unpleasant consequences, create political instability, and cause trouble for those who are dissatisfied with the functioning of the regime.
Ukraine must also realize that it is increasingly backed into a corner, that even if it still receives some help from the EU for salaries and social support, military support is dwindling, that the Republicans in the US are doing everything they can to cut off aid to them even before they come to power, that a few F-16s or any other weapon system will not be enough to change the overall course of the war, that Russia is recovering strategically, as Mick Ryan recently wrote in Foreign Affairs, and that the deep political crisis in Kiev cannot be overcome by impeachments.
I think it is also essential for the US to realize that it has no choice but to develop initiatives that can open the door to peace. Because the war has worn Russia down enough, it is not in anyone’s interest for it to be worn down further, for it to be torn apart and dragged into civil war, as some are predicting. If Russia disintegrates, everyone will have to bear the consequences. What needs to be done is to compromise with Russia on NATO enlargement, to postpone the final solution of the Ukrainian problem, and to work for Ukraine to become a member of the EU in a similar way to Cyprus.
If the war continues, among other risks, the EU must take into account the risk of ceasing to be the EU, of being shaken to the core. The main reason behind the demonstrations with tractors, straw and fertilizer that are shaking Germany and France today is the war in Ukraine and the decline in living standards due to inflation. Far right and populism are on the rise in almost every member state. The processes of marginalization are working more effectively and faster than ever before. The end result, I fear, will be the end of the Pax-EU peace…
Translated from Turkish into English Source : https://www.karar.com