NATO vs. Russia – Not a Football Game…

What do you think when you read or hear about Putin and Russia? The man wants to stay on as President because he believes that, “Stability is good for Mother Russia.” He and his followers have no hesitation in changing the Constitution to achieve that end. Can you imagine anyone in Europe playing such a game?

Then he has sent his fighter jets to help Mr. Assad bomb many parts of northern Syria to eradicate people who oppose Mr. Assad. This has caused over 4 million Syrian people to be displaced and seek shelter from Russian bombs that are deliberately, it appears, destroying hospitals, schools and other places where there are ordinary people. These crimes against so many innocent people resembles the Nazis in the late 1930’s and early 1940s. But we do not allow this in Europe anymore…

What is Trump doing about this horror and what is the EU doing? We should be doing much more to stop this massacre. We should be supporting Turkey and acting to smother Mr. Assad actions as well as stoping Russian fighters flying freely in Syria’s airspace. NATO is weaker when it should be acting and that is really bad. 

There is also the question of spending more money to buy more arms. Trump and others are screaming for more money – but we are already spending too much when we need to stop climate change, and so many people need better education and healthcare. Russia and China can ill-afford to spending more on weapons and destruction. Look at the numbers of GDP per head. They are far behind – in football terms they lose 5 to 1 goals.

The Finnish government is considering buying many new jet fighters with a budget of €10 billion. There can be no doubt in the minds of politicians and the defence forces here that this is a necessary investment made for our protection. We need to protect our borders and let’s be clear there is no threat from Sweden or Norway but there may be from our other neighbours if we don’t keep up a strong wall of defence. Many small countries like Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, etc., are not members of NATO for historical reasons but we cooperate with NATO and that is useful for global peace.  

In today’s world with Trump and others playing a protectionist game and playing with non-scientific ideas that climate change is not happening, it is worth sitting back to consider what are the real threats to global peace and well-being when it can be easily guaranteed no and for the future.  

What is really striking, in the football sense, is that the game of military defence is certainly not like league football. If it were then “NATO vs. Russia” on the football field would be a walkover for NATO.

Let’s look at the figures. In the above table you will see that the defence game is certainly not anything like a football match: 

  1. NATO spends over US$ 1 trillion on defence compared to Russia’s US$ 70 billion
    That is a 15 – 1 Home Win for NATO
  2. The population behind NATO is 940 million to Russia’s 146 million people making NATO
    That is another Home Win for Nato with a result of 6 – 1 goals
  3. NATO has a combined GDP of $42 trillion compared to Russia’s $1,6 trillion
    Another Home Win for NATO with 26 – 1 goals!

…and even if China joins in to support dear old Russia the odds do not change in favour of the Xi and Putin. Naturally, they have a lot of foot soldiers but it would be an unlikely partnership. It would also mean the end of history as far as this Earth is concerned. Trump is already doing his best to do so little! 

… so the question is why are we not trying harder to find ways to get them to cooperate with us? 

Democracy and peace have a better chance of growing as time passes without missiles and soldiers being placed on all of our doorsteps. 

Russia and China do not want war with us. Their leaders just want to do whatever they want to do inside their own boundaries. We on the outside cannot make change happen there, but we should be alert and act more deliberately when they start to drop bombs on innocents outside their own boundaries. Trump’s lack of a carefully constructed long term foreign policy on dealing with China and Russia has created really bad results. 

Proper international respect, cooperation or simple dialogue is needed, but so are firm and united policies needed when others stray outside with bombs and other nasty weapons. 

We could turn this chaos into a really friendly game of international soccer with a good ending for everyone. NATO has been created for peace and cannot lose the game so long as it works united with its allies.

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