Procurement: NATO More Involved In Ukraine


July 1, 2024: The war in Ukraine is the kind of war NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was designed to cope with. While Ukraine was not a NATO member, Ukrainian efforts to join NATO were the main cause of the Russian invasion. Russia did not want another NATO member on their border, especially one that spoke a language Russian speakers could understand. NATO had agreed to accept Ukraine as a member, but first Ukraine had to undergo some military reforms to ensure that most of their weapons and military equipment, like radios, were compatible with those other NATO members were using.

At first, in 2022, Russia said it did not want a war with NATO. Now, in 2024, Russian leaders are talking about taking on the NATO alliance. One reason for this threat is the Russian belief that NATO would not unite, as it is supposed to, but fall apart as many members refused to get drawn into a war with Russia.

NATO is very much involved in the Ukraine War, but not with troops. NATO nations, especially the United States, have supplied Ukrainian forces with over $100 billion in weapons and that aid continues. NATO troops may not be in Ukraine but its weapons and munitions Ukrainians need to fight the Russian are. The fierce resistance of the Ukrainians has cost Russia most of its tank force and over half a million casualties. The war was not supposed to last this long because the initial invasion plan was based on the idea that the Ukrainian resistance would quickly collapse and pro-Russia Ukrainians would seize control of the government and make peace. Turned out that there were not enough pro-Russia Ukrainians to make a difference and that most Ukrainians agreed that the invading Russians must be halted and forced to leave Ukraine, including Crimea and portions of two eastern provinces Russia had seized in 2014.

Russia did not expect this much resistance and found itself unable to sustain their forces in Ukraine. At the same time the Ukrainians went on the offensive and demoralized Russian troops, many of them inducted into the army unwillingly, did not put up much resistance. The cost of the war wrecked the Russian economy and demoralized the Russian population who were initially told the invasion was to prevent NATO forces from taking control of Ukraine and then Russia itself. After about a year, few Russians believed that anymore and were wondering why their government was spending so much money and getting so many Russian soldiers killed inside Ukraine. There were no NATO troops in Ukraine, only angry Ukrainians fighting demoralized Russians.

The fighting in Ukraine has convinced NATO that they have to stop pretending that they are an organized defense organization with forces ready to oppose any attack. That has been a myth for decades, especially after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and the Cold War, which had been going on since the late 1940s, ended. If the Russians could invade Ukraine, they could invade nearby NATO countries that Russia still has claims on. Currently Russia cannot do that, but Russian leaders are openly talking about increasing Russian military power so that such larger scale aggression would be possible. NATO members are now agreeing that peace can only be maintained if NATO members upgrade their armed forces and show Russia that NATO is not unprepared and attacking NATO, which includes the United States and Canada, would be a costly mistake and lead to failure.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close