If the situation were to escalate from an energy/trade war into military war, what would happen? Obviously Europe would be dragged into the conflict, but who else would most likely join the efforts of either side?

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    Real war? Realistically? Same countries who got dragged into defending Czechoslovakia in 1938. Nobody. Small fry would be outclassed. Western countries would be too chicken.
    – user4012
    Aug 15, 2014 at 15:30
  • Also, your title implies military war, but your body says "energy war". Which one is it?
    – user4012
    Aug 15, 2014 at 15:33
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    Prognostication is not what this SE is for. Some predictions could be made but the parameters you have provided are too broad for any useful analysis. Aug 15, 2014 at 15:52
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    Russia already invaded a part of the Ukraine (Crimea). This pretty much was an act of war. Or it would have been, when the fresh Ukrainian government would have been able to react and defend it.
    – Philipp
    Aug 15, 2014 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


Probably the same thing that happened in Hungary 1956 and Czechoslovakia 1968: nothing, aside from the absolute crushing of the country threatening to break away from the bloc. Except this time NATO has even less of a reason to intervene, with a majority of their own population against intervention. Simply put: Obama is not Romney or Bush, otherwise, I believe, we might be in the midst of World War 3 about now. And if the US does not intervene, none of the European NATO states would want to either, as nobody in Europe has the capability nor the will.

The only 'red line' Putin has to watch out for which would significantly increase the minute chance of intervention is if he crosses the Dneiper and brings back the rest of Ukraine into the arms of Russia. The reason I state this is because Ukrainians on the west bank of the Dneiper have more pro-EU stances and will likely cause problems for the Russians, who will likely respond in force.

  • I don't think it's so easy. Firstly the US and the EU NATO states are still independent of each other - see the Iraq War. And if Europe starts fighting right at it's border then the US has to come to aid or it will loose all credibility and all favors from europeans. Then the resentment of the population will surely change in the event of an actual, indisputable Russian attack and can even be ignored (HUGE protests against the Iraq war (I wasn't able to find poll results for britain)).
    – user45891
    Aug 15, 2014 at 19:47
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    -1 for "otherwise we would be in the midst of World War 3" unless you have evidence of that it does not belong in an answer here. This site is not for editorializing like this and answers like this make this site less relevant and less useful. Aug 15, 2014 at 20:23
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    Agree with Chad, -1 for editorializing. I seem to recall Russia invading Georgia during the Bush presidency, during which a World War mysteriously failed to break out. Aug 15, 2014 at 21:31
  • @Chad Romney clearly mentions in his electoral campaign a desire to be strong against Putin. Sarah Palin, iirc, mentions words to that effect. We'll never know since neither of them won the election, so I've replaced a word to make it sound that I'm being hypothetical. Aug 18, 2014 at 15:41
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    @user45891 see TenthJustice's post. Also see Georgia and Syria. What favors from Europeans? Almost every EU state is against sanctions as it hurts their already down economy. Aug 18, 2014 at 15:42

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