Will it be MAD? China’s Direct Involvement in Ukraine-Russia Conflict Will Turn It into World War III
Russia-Ukraine war will no longer be a bilateral conflict. An armed conflict will ensue, which will most certainly consume Europe and North America. From Asia, you would have South Korea and Japan supporting it. (Photo: AP/PTI)
Russia-Ukraine war: When that happens, it will be a matter of time as to who will press the nuclear button and there will be Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), and end of the economy and world at large
WORLD AT WAR — DEFINITION
My father-in-law, born in 1926 and studied to be a barrister, used to refer to World War as the ‘Great War’. That is how many in the world referred to both World War I and II. The term World War itself precedes both the world wars to some Nordic poems published in the 17th century. A more accepted definition is derived from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which defines it as ‘War engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world’ Coming to the word WAR. It is defined as “A state of actual armed hostilities regardless of a formal declaration of war”. by both these definitions, the question, “Has World War three already begun?” is the legitimate one.
HOW MANY NATIONS ARE IN THE FRAY?
Apart from the founding NATO countries, namely Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We have Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Rep, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Greece, Germany, Poland, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey willy-nilly involved.
Outside of Europe, Ukraine has excellent support from Japan, South Korea and Australia. This support could have been USA brokered.
Russian camp includes China, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and Cuba will stand by Russia. Though a significant beneficiary of NATO and the USA, Turkey has a more ideological leaning toward Russia, not to mention the hatred that the USA enjoys amongst its masses.
India has maintained a position of neutrality due to its good relations with the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Azerbaijan, too, ignores any calls for rising against Russia in this conflict.
Military-industrial complex got to work in a weapon testing ground called ‘Ukraine.’
Russian tanks roll along a street in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Mariupol, Ukraine. (Photo: AP/PTI)
United States of America
The US allocated $350 million through the Foreign Assistance Act. Over the past year, it has committed more than $1 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. A large shipment of Javelin anti-tank weapons and Stinger air defence missiles reportedly has been supplied to Ukraine. Other armaments included anti-armour, small arms, body armour and various munitions and not to mention US security agencies in which veterans are the fighting force have been engaged in direct conflict with Russia. Whatever be the guise that has been put on this mercenary force, the US is in direct conflict with Russia. There were rumours that the Russian warship Moskva (the Russian name for Moscow) was sunk by US marines and not Ukrainian forces.
European Union & UK
The European Union is financing the purchase and delivery of arms after leaders agree to transport weapons worth 450 million euros ($502 million). UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Parliament, “This will include lethal aid in defensive weapons and non-lethal aid.”
France, which has already sent help to Ukraine, is dispatching more military equipment and fuel. Paris said it has acted on earlier Ukrainian requests for defensive anti-aircraft and digital weapons.
Netherland’s supply of 200 Stinger air defence missiles and “Panzerfaust 3” anti-tank weapons have made a significant dent in the Russian offensive. Dutch and the US will soon be deploying Patriot air defence system. Deployment may not be on the Ukrainian soil but can engage targets flying over it.
Germany had a long-standing policy of banning weapon exports to a conflict zone. All such policies went out of the window, and they supplied 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger SAMs. This U-turn in policy reminded me of Chamberlin’s return from Germany. He came with a paper to declare to his population that he had averted the war; little did he realise that the agreement was revoked while he was flying towards England.
Whatever their older brother and the knight in shining armour, the US, does, Ottawa will follow. Canada sends arms worth half a billion Canadian dollars ($394m) to Ukraine.
Sweden, Norway and Denmark
Stockholm Syndrome infected Stockholm too. It broke its historic neutral stance to send 5,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, with Denmark contributing a further 2,700. Norway sends helmets, body armour, and up to 2,000 M72 anti-tank weapons.
Finland was supposed to be neutral; they, too, threw that paper that said ‘Neutral’ out of the window. One thousand five hundred rocket launchers, 2,500 assault rifles, 150,000 rounds of ammunition, and 70,000 packets of field rations were hurriedly sent to Ukraine.
Belgium didn’t have any use for its 3,000 more automatic rifles and 200 anti-tank weapons, and 3,800 tonnes of fuel. They packed it all and sent it to Ukraine.
Portugal’s night-vision goggles, bulletproof vests, helmets, grenades, ammunition and automatic G3 rifles came as a boon to Ukrainian non-existent infantry. To use them, many countries sent mercenaries.
Greece, economically, is at the edge. It can’t solve its crisis, let alone help anyone. Greece has a large diaspora community in Ukraine, so people passed the hat around and sent some military aid to Ukraine.
Romania is sending fuel, bulletproof vests, helmets and other “weapons worth $3.3 million, not to mention treating the wounded at their hospitals.
Spain’s 1,370 grenade launchers, 700,000 munitions and light automatic weapons indeed replace dwindling consumables.
Prague sent 4,000 mortars, 30,000 pistols, 7,000 assault rifles, 3,000 machine guns, many sniper rifles and a million bullets and $1.6 million.
Sixteen million euros’ worth of small arms and body armour is the contribution of this small nation.
Poland’s gift of 200 T-72 Russian Tanks (Irony) will be a shot in the arm to Ukraine.
The latest package will bring Australia’s total military assistance to $191.5 million. This includes armoured vehicles, GPS systems, communication systems, and Bushmaster (Something like a Humvee) vehicles.
South Korea’s package includes bulletproof vests, helmets, medicines and dry rations worth 2 billion won (USD 1.6m).
Tokyo plans to send Self-Defense Forces drones and chemical weapons protection gear.
IS THE WORLD AT WAR?
Definitions aside, if Russia is attacked by other European nations, the US will jump into the party. Like it happened after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Russia-Ukraine war will no longer be a bilateral conflict. An armed conflict will ensue, which will most certainly consume the entire Europe and the North American region. From Asia, you would have South Korea and Japan supporting it with weapons and probably soldiers. Australia, most certainly, will jump into this war with all its might.
China has a longstanding relationship with Russia; both ideologically and economically, they are intertwined. If China comes in direct support of Russia, the world economy will collapse. The world will genuinely see a World War III. At what point who will press the nuclear button is anybody’s guess. When that happens, it will be Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) and the end of the world as we know it.
In all this, the contribution of the United Nations, which was mandated to prevent such an occurrence, remains to be seen. If the UN was structured/restructured to cater to post-World War II scenarios, we wouldn’t have had such a conflict. After this conflict, we are likely to see a restructuring of the United Nations. How long will it take? What will the new structure be? Is anybody’s guess.
Until then fingers crossed.
The author is Group Captain (retd), Fighter Pilot, MiG-21, Mirage-2000. He is DGCA-nominated Qualified Flying Instructor and Aircraft Accident Investigator. Vineet Maliakal is COO, AutoMicroUAS. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not represent the stand of this publication.