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Bullies only understand one thing – Why the world can’t stand by and let Ukraine fall

March 2022

What the historic speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Canadian Parliament on 15 March hammers home is that the world simply can’t just stand by and let Ukraine fall to Vladimir Putin’s Russian army.

The hesitancy of NATO to get directly involved in the war is understandable to a point, regardless of the fact that NATO is already indirectly involved by suppling Ukraine with weapons and hardware. If NATO countries are to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, it would require that NATO fighter jets and air defence batteries engage directly with Russia’s air force, potentially killing Russians in the process. This would draw NATO countries into the war, effectively starting World War III.

Putin would take this as a direct threat and fight back, possibly with nuclear weapons, something he has threatened to do many times. Putin doesn’t seem deterred by the Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine that kept the United States and the former USSR from launching missiles at each other during the Cold War.

I certainly don’t want to see a Third World War break out, and I certainly don’t want any more soldiers and civilians die than already have been killed. I’m a retired Royal Canadian Navy reservist, but I’m at an age where I likely wouldn’t be drafted, and even if I was (I would volunteer long before being drafted), it’s highly unlikely that I would be involved in any front-line combat, unless I volunteered for that duty on board a ship. That said, this issue goes beyond whether or not others would have to go and fight in my stead.

Sure, sanctions can have a crippling impact, and are in fact doing just that, but it will take time to directly cripple Putin himself; time that the Ukrainians don’t have. The Russian Army is getting bogged down in by fierce fighting from the Ukrainian Army and local Militias, along with the one factor that can bring even the strongest, fiercest armies to their knees, that being supply-line issues, but that is only a temporary problem.

Diplomacy should always be attempted before sending armies off to war, but at some point, you have to stop talking and start acting. At what point does NATO, and frankly the free world, say enough is enough, and strike back at Putin with all our military might?

Besides being a war criminal, Putin is a bully, plain and simple. In my personal experience with bullies in the schoolyard when I was young, there is only one thing that a bully understands: a hard punch to the nose. Regardless of whether after landing that punch on the bully’s nose, that bully promptly pounded me into the ground, whether I pounded the bully into the ground, or it was a draw, they left me alone after that. Trying to reason with them didn’t work, neither did ignoring them.

Bullies pick on those whom they perceive as weak; as an easy target. Right now, NATO and the west appear weak to Putin. Our past reactions to actions like his previous invasions of Georgia in 2008 and Crimea 2014, along with his gassing of civilians in Syria and the pathetic American retreat from Afghanistan (a country that we shouldn’t have stayed in forever regardless), have done nothing but embolden Putin.

At some point, western nations are going to have to punch the bully in the nose. If that punch is hard enough, Putin won’t get back up again, and hopefully we can avoid World War III. I’m not saying that NATO needs to kill Putin; just disable his ability to continue the war. I’m sure Ukrainians would be more than happy to take things from there, perhaps assisted by sympathetic Russians. Don’t forget that two of the three assassination attempts on Zelenskyy were thwarted because agents of Russia’s Federal Security Service alerted Ukrainian officials.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/bullies-only-understand-one-thing-why-the-world-cant-stand-by-and-let-ukraine-fall/

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