The biggest failure in western democracies has been that they haven’t communicated to their public the critical importance of Ukraine, supported by NATO, winning the current conflict and expelling Russia from all Ukrainian territory. Thus the general public have not been prepared for the economic turmoil and the necessary sacrifices to come.
At present their is between a 10% and 20% chance of this conflict escalating to a nuclear exchange between Russia and NATO but in the event that Russia is allowed to retain illegally annexed territory because of a failure of will on the part of the West due to economic pressure or isolationist/pro-Kremlin political forces within western democracies; another conflict within the next 10 years, which would have a 80% chance of nuclear escaltion, is almost inevitable.
Over the last 15 years it has been established, despite wishful thinking, that there is no international treaty, memoranda of understanding, arrangement, or agreement that the current imperialist/nationalist ideological driven Russian regime can be trusted to adher to and unfortunately this goes beyond one individual. Russian exceptionalism perceives itself outside of any international rules and untouchable.
In the event that Russia is allowed to win, Russia will rearm and take another bite out of another neighbour, and sooner or later a NATO country because ‘the organism does what makes the organism successful’. Russia is prepared to endure short term pain in exchange for long term strategic gain. Russia is used to being an international pariah – it doesn’t care, the Russian population is used to poverty due to sanctions – the Russian authorities don’t care; in fact, western actions that create these situations feed into Russian victhimhood and exceptionalism that strengthen the imperailist/nationalist ideology.
NATO does not fear half as much the possibility of nuclear escalation today as it does the very high probability of nuclear exchange, due to Russia’s mistaken belief that NATO will back down if threatened, in the inevitable conflict that will come if NATO fails to win.
Ukraine, supported by NATO, must win. To fail is to create the conditions for a far more dangerous conflict. To this end there are no lengths that the West can recoil from, including economic and social conditions that would normally only be observed in wartime.
The general public in western democracies do not understand this calculus of risk and are completely unprepared for what may come and the failure of government to take the time to explain this can only lead to social unrest when, finally, onerous measures have to be taken.
My belief is that once the public understand what is at stake, that a dangerous confrontation now can only be put off at the expense of a far more dangerous confrontation in a few years time, they will be better prepared to accept what is to come.