Or, posing the question somewhat differently; will The European nations that belong to NATO finally resist the dictates of the U.S. government as it pressures them to take part in strong sanctions against Russia and actively participate in NATO's objective to "surround" that country with military power?
Unless wiser heads prevail, we are heading for an almost inevitable military confrontation between the Western/NATO powers on one side and Russia on the other, over which one will control Ukraine. What will these European NATO countries do as this situation intensifies, what options do they have? Will they continue to simply remain subservient and submissive and do exactly what they are told, or will they finally do what they believe is in the best interests of their countries and citizens?
They have long been a part of NATO, the military organization that, in recent times, has concentrated on weakening Russia and neutralizing its military capabilities. That goal is contrary to NATO's original objective which involved the defense of the North Atlantic region of the world. But times have changed and offense is now the name of the game.
These close allies of America may not have liked it but they have consistently accepted their supporting role and complied with whatever policy and actions the U.S. government has mandated. However, many of them do not savor any major military confrontation with Russia. Why? Well, because most of them, and particularly Germany, have established very strong trading relationships with Russia.
That trade between these nations and Russia, with all elements of goods and services included, has now reached $520 billion annually. And within this trade relationship the European nations import nearly 40% of their total natural gas requirements. So do we think that they are about to jeopardize those critically important trade connections and create havoc within their business and societal sectors?
So this close association with NATO is becoming more and more problematic for many of these nations. Over time NATO has evolved into a subsidiary of the U.S. military establishment. When an American president declares that a perceived enemy such as Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya must be attacked and looks for support and justification, NATO is there to rubber stamp it. So a natural question would be: do these European nations want to continue to be seen as accessories to these highly questionable military actions, most of which cannot be justified in any way?
These nations are also having increasing difficulties with their economies; some experts fear that the European Union, the politico-economic union that involves 28 member states, mostly in Europe, could very well have to be dismantled at some point. Combine these fears with the ongoing costs of NATO involvement and the pressure coming from the U.S. to pin Russia in a corner, and this situation becomes very tenuous indeed.
So what's going to happen? Will these mostly peaceful nations continue to submit to the demands of the U.S. government, to the point that they will take their countries to the brink of war? Will they risk severely damaging their economies by tearing down this trade relationship and, in the process, also endanger their imports of natural gas?
One thing for certain; Russia, is not going to allow the U.S. and NATO to take full control of Ukraine; Putin has clearly stated that he will go to war to prevent that from happening. Just think about what happens when you corner a wounded animal; it will come after you with a fury that will make you wish that you would have left it alone.
These European nations have arrived at a crossroads and have to decide which direction to take. It's a situation that must be dealt with, it's not going to go away; and it's so volatile that one small spark could set off a massive firestorm. Therefore, a very difficult decision must be made and here is what I envision them doing:
There's a good chance that they will, after some very serious discussions, make it known to the U.S. that they cannot afford to go forward with this confrontation and that they will back off because they must maintain these trade relationships. If that happens, the U.S. government would, without a doubt, react negatively and quite likely issue some form of minor economic threats against them; but that would be for naught.
The Europeans, if they reject the dictates of Washington, certainly will not become allies of Russia. However, the current, rising tensions between the two sides will diminish and they will continue to maintain a mutual business relationship. These European nations will not consider breaking their strong ties with the U.S., but they will no longer be submissive and subservient.
We could very well see NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization revert back to its original charter; that of a defensive military alliance. That's how NATO successfully functioned before the war mongering elements of the U.S. government, with the aid of some like-minded individuals in Europe, transformed it into an aggressive military force.
If this course is followed, it will be a win-win situation for everyone except the war hawks that control Washington D.C. It would immediately reduce tensions between all parties. The U.S. would know that to try to aggressively move against Russia without its European allies would prove to be a disaster; it would likely follow that NATO's current involvement in Ukraine would end and that country and Russia would be left to work out their great differences between themselves.
These European nations have the opportunity to move in a new, positive direction and away from war and constant turmoil. That time has come; will they seize the moment?