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Ukraine: Whose Miscalculation Is This? – OpEd

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Undoubtedly, War must be condemned in strictest of words, it must be avoided at all cost. It brings untold misery upon the people on both sides of the border. Many lose their sons, their husbands, their father, and their brothers. Families after families gets shattered. One shudders when one thinks and imagines about it. Its impact stays with generations.  

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Learning from the theoretical framework of an “International Global Order” I was of the view that the war is not a possibility as both sides have tremendous economic stakes involved. Once they reach the brink; one of them would chicken out; and next morning newspapers would carry the pictures of “leaders shaking hands”. However, it was miscalculations for those who had immense faith in the theories of international relations and the available interpretations of the contemporary global order.  

Therefore, one also needs to learn and think pragmatically who made the war, whose miscalculations is it anyway; and why? 

First, it happened on account of gross Ukrainian miscalculations. Putin must have made long-term and short-term calculations as these days the political leaders are very well and adequately informed on account of digitalization and big data. They also simulate war digitally to learn its consequences. Putin too must have calculated the prospects of the demise of his regime. He must be in full knowledge of the way West and NATO would react. Therefore, it is difficult to be sure that Putin may have miscalculated and his war is an act of overreaching. 

Secondly, the ongoing war indeed is scheduled to create geopolitical earthquakes across the globe as many countries are still calculating which side of the spectrum they should stand? They are perplexed and finding it difficult to count and calculate their loss and gains from the side that they will take. Hence, it is difficult to foresee, what would be the situation as the war progress. Most countries would be calculating their pros and cons before the war takes an ugly turn, and gets transformed into a world war.  

Thirdly, wild west fuelled the war, making Ukraine the scapegoat. Hence, West would continue to advocate that it is gross miscalculation on parts of Russia and Putin. That, it is the consequence of Putin’s over-ambitious zeal and sinister design. Without accepting that democratic regimes must have freedom to decide for themselves but not at the cost of their neighbour’s security. NATO would have been NATO even without Ukraine. Ukraine would have been safer even without being a member of NATO. What did Ukraine gained being lured by NATO to the battle front. NATO under US leadership pushed Ukraine to the brink of war and then kept paying lip service that they would teach a lesson to Russia. Rather, the lessons have turned out to be for Ukraine. NATO made Volodymyr Zelensky to devastate Ukraine for no fault of its people. Rather it was fuelled and pumped power ambitions of Zelensky that the people of Ukraine are paying a price with their life, liberty, prosperity and irreparable loss of confidence. It is bound to ruin the regional and global personality of Ukraine within the comity of nations. Ukraine is fighting a lost war for the folly of crooked friends, who were in reality its enemies. 

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Fourthly, Kissinger was right when he said, for US there is no permanent friend, or enemy, its interest is supreme. Thus, one must not have any doubt in mind that only ‘national interests’ are permanent for nation-states within the international system and for USA, it is this that which counts most. The international relations experts who keep advocating ‘decline of USA’, these declinists should know how USA is trying to regain the lost space and distorted image of ‘global leader’ within the existing world order. Yes, by weakening Russia, Ukraine and maligning the image of NATO. Biden’s lessons to NATO must also be clear that it can do nothing unless Biden takes the initiative. If USA declares a war on Russia tomorrow, NATO will become pro-active. Hence, NATO too miscalculated what Biden was aiming at. 

Fifthly, NATO must not be believed as it is led more by US than by Europe. Lip service alone, does not matter any more in international politics. No body is going to fight your war, you have to fight it yourselves. It’s also a lesson for countries like India that it must keep this in mind while being proactive against China and Pakistan. QUAD can never become Asian NATO. 

Sixthly, the advocates of democracy must also understand that Russia and Ukraine are equally democratic. Both have elected leadership. Russian leadership was stronger than the Ukrainian. Russia had equal right with Ukraine to ensure its own security. Given, Russian status on the globe, it had no choice but to act. This is the sign of neither being ambitious, nor a sign of being undemocratic. Who is ruthlessly autocratic, then? It is Zelensky rather than Putin. It is Biden rather than Putin. It is NATO members rather than Putin. War is diplomacy by other means—Russia is endeavouring to achieve the same to let the world know it must not be considered a spent force in international system. USA must not try to push the world towards unipolarity. Hence, irrespective of the result of the ongoing war, Russia has acted more in self-defence and to maintain its own international personality, rather than being anti-democratic.

Seventhly, what is the efficacy of multilateral international organizations? Global Community has seen the effectiveness of UN and other Multilateral bodies during Gulf Wars, Sudan Crisis, Military takeovers in different parts of the world, and Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. World has also been the witness of USA activities across the globe. USA always champions the cause of democracy and democratic order in the world. Fact remains, that on the name of installing democracy USA has ruined Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries of the world. Ukraine being the latest one in the series of US traps. 

Seventhly, there are many zones of conflict in different parts of planet earth. Therefore, Taiwan, POK, Kashmir, and such ilk must not to be mistaken as ‘Ukraine’ by stakeholders. Ukraine is a different story altogether. These disputed areas have claims and counter-claims by stakeholders and have been existing on account of mistakes of past political leaders and now the matter may have reached to a stage where political solution alone is possible than a military solution.  

Last but not the least, “Liberal International Order” continues to be a myth: “It is neither liberal, nor international, and not even an order.” Global leaders are acting more for the cause of war than for the cause of peace. They would have sacrificed conflict, giving peace a chance. Yet, driven by their temptation to sell arms to adversaries and to re-energise their economy from the slumbers of pandemic they have resorted to such ugly acts. They have triggered conflict and then a war for their selfish economic ends. Hence, leaders are prevailing on most occasion, rather than citizens. Internationalism would have been a dominant force amidst globalization and enhanced connectivity, which is not so. Hence, there is hardly any internationalism as both global leadership and people are driven more by narrow parochial interests. Both Russian and Ukrainians share families across border, yet they are fighting. Regarding ‘Order’ in the world, one must not even think of. Had there been an order in the world, the parties at conflict would have sat together to resolve the conflict giving peace a chance than resort to war. They may have also resorted to the instrumentalities of multilateral organizations which would have strengthened these inter-governmental organizations too.  

Concluding the global population must understand that the need of the hour is to “Make Ethics the base of Politics” else “corrupt order will ruin the mankind leading to end of humanity on planet earth.” Degradation of political order, and politics devoid of ethics, have turned out to be the root causes of all evils, that the international society, and societies across the world, are suffering from. Hence, its high-time to emphasise more on ethics. Democracy is all about ethics as the base of politics.  

It is miscalculations on parts of first Ukraine, then Russia, followed by USA, and NATO which has precipitated  to the war. 

Dr. Alok Kumar Gupta

Dr. Alok Kumar Gupta, Associate Professor Department of Politics and International Relations, Central University of Jharkhand Ranchi, Jharkhand, India

5 thoughts on “Ukraine: Whose Miscalculation Is This? – OpEd

  • February 28, 2022 at 1:00 am
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    This is an astoundingly poor analysis, so bad in fact that it seems like satire.

    Is the editorial staff of the Eurasia review trying to be humourous?

    I am genuinely perplexed as to why something so dreadful in it’s lack of historical perspective has now indelibly stained your publication.

    Putin based his calculations on the basis that he believed the Ukrainian army would not fight, that the populace would flee, and panic would ensue. He has prepared badly, obviously acted on a whim, as despots and autocrats often do, and his troops are not adequately prepared.

    A glance at history would raise the question that if 100,000 well trained american troops could not hold a smaller country in terms of size or population, like Iraq, with the vast resources athe the US has, how would Russia hold a country the size of the Ukraine with 46 million people?

    As for Putin’s planning and preparation, answer me this, how competent is Putin, with the largest country in the world, vast natural resources, 165 million people, and an economy that is no bigger than Spains?

    Dr Gupta writes like a 12 year old, even more shocking that you have published such shabby shoddy work…

    Reply
  • February 28, 2022 at 1:08 am
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    I further write to say that I have been far too kind in my previous comments, I would expect better from a 12 year old.

    This is pure dyspeptic verbiage dressed up as comment by someone with no understanding whatsoever of International Affairs, and no knowledge of European history either.

    Have no doubt, anyone who comes across this article on your publication’s website will be likewise deeply unimpressed. Dr Gupta should give up the day job…

    Reply
  • February 28, 2022 at 2:30 am
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    As an educated man, so many of the points you make are to put it politely, ridiculous.

    The West wanted nothing more than Russia to become a partner and a reliable member of the international community. They have nothing to gain from a return to the height of the cold war, Ukraine was never seriously going to join Nato, and Nato understood that to do so would have seemed a provocation to Russia. Ukraine could have joined NATO at any time, which would have meant Russia was unable to attack them without triggering world war 3.

    Georgia. Crimea. Donbass. Radioactive weapons used to assassinate rivals. This is Putin. Despite all of these outrages, the West has still tried not to antagonise him,

    You make in particular, 2 comments which took my breath away, and reveal either real ignorance or bias on your part

    ”Sixthly, the advocates of democracy must also understand that Russia and Ukraine are equally democratic. Both have elected leadership” – Do you really believe Russia is a normal democracy and that Putin allows free and fair elections?

    ”Russia acted out of self defence”, ”zelensky is more autocratic than Putin”

    This comment makes you a complete laughing stock. I am no fan of American policy, and I think nato has many many flaws, but this article just makes me pray that you have no influence on Indian governmental decision making. After reading it, my first conclusion was that you have been paid directly from a pro Russian propaganda fund.

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  • February 28, 2022 at 6:55 am
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    Excelente analisis, por supuesto que la OTAN con su expansión continua, con sus bases militares y armas nucleares hacia Rusia es una amenaza y era obvio que tarde o temprano Rusia iba a poner un alto de manera radical.. . Gracias desde México

    Reply
  • February 28, 2022 at 10:28 am
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    I have to say – after reading first the bizarre, honestly at times incomprehensible article, then immediately after the comments left above, I am struck most at how much more persuasive AND articulately two random internet commentators (never a community known for eloquence and thoughtfulness) make their cases than the supposed professional author.
    To the editors of Eurasia Review, in the small chance you read this: I almost never ever comment on online articles, but am so compelled here so that I can write that you should be ashamed to have published something so lacking in perspective, scholarship, and even coherence. To quote Truman Capote, “that’s not writing, that’s typing”.

    Reply

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