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102 votes

Why does Russia see NATO as an aggressor when the Istanbul document signed by Russia grants each participant the right to chose its allies separately?

Russia (the Russian government) claims to believe that Ukraine and Europe are not sovereign actors, but rather controlled by the US. I do not know if they actually do believe that, but considering ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 112k
94 votes

Why didn't the US just complement Russia's security demands to avoid the invasion of Ukraine?

Russia essentially asked to ban not-yet-joined ex-USSR countries, which I find quite reasonable for maintaining the so-called buffer zone. That's not reasonable. Those are sovereign countries with ...
JJJ's user avatar
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90 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't Russia build more missile defense systems instead of complaining about NATO's systems?

Complaining is Cheap, Building is Expensive Simply put, it takes very little money and effort to complain, even on a diplomatic stage. (This is also why the most common reaction to a problem on the ...
vicky_molokh's user avatar
74 votes

What is the motivation for the expansion of NATO in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, at the risk of starting a hot war with Russia?

However, what NATO was doing in the recent years seemed to raise the risk of hot war with Russia. For example, NATO tried to build missile bases in Eastern Europe and even trying to include Ukraine, ...
JJJ's user avatar
  • 39.1k
69 votes
Accepted

Why don't the other countries of Europe maintain as massive a military as Russia does?

This is a great question about both politics and history. It relates directly to the changing nature of what a "country" is. First, let me directly answer your questions: Given that France, ...
Astor Florida's user avatar
66 votes
Accepted

Why didn't the US just complement Russia's security demands to avoid the invasion of Ukraine?

Well, the catch is that Russia put out two documents (the same day). You missed the other one which did have proposals found a lot more objectionable in the West. Article 4 The Russian Federation and ...
got trolled too much this week's user avatar
65 votes

Why does Germany have such a rather small defense budget?

The 2% goal for defense spending of all NATO countries originates from the Wales Summit of 2014. However, the people who made that commitment are heads of governments, many of which don't actually ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 77.9k
64 votes

What is the basis for the Western leaders to believe that harsh economic sanctions will not lead to a nuclear war with Russia eventually?

That's not necessarily the belief. When trying to make arrangements for future outcomes, anything can go wrong. The best that people can do is try to maximize probabilities of good outcomes and ...
wrod's user avatar
  • 9,609
62 votes
Accepted

Would a (nuclear) strike that hits an NATO member state embassy/extraterritoriality in Ukraine be considered a (nuclear) strike against NATO?

The NATO charter is not a smart contract that executes automatically. Article 5 doesn't just "trigger" and automatically launch jets and missiles. The first point of the article is giving ...
Therac's user avatar
  • 6,642
60 votes

Why doesn't Russia build more missile defense systems instead of complaining about NATO's systems?

A missile defence system that can intercept ICBMs is a tricky proposition. ICBMs move very high (above the atmosphere) and fast. Hitting them in the orbital coasting phase is nigh-on impossible, ...
PhillS's user avatar
  • 7,547
54 votes
Accepted

How could the past NATO expansions in Eastern Europe be seen as justification of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022?

First, let's concede that many people will "justify" whatever they have chosen to justify. Giving support to Ukraine and oppossing Rusia involves some risks and cost. I have met some of ...
SJuan76's user avatar
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52 votes
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How true are Trump’s claims about NATO spending?

Imprecise but partly true First claim: exaggerated In the three decades before Trump's election, NATO spending declined by two-thirds. On page 4 of this 1987 report(pdf) on NATO military spending, we ...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 7,065
51 votes

Why don't the other countries of Europe maintain as massive a military as Russia does?

It is impossible to understand Russia's preoccupation over seven decades with military power without understanding the country's experience in WW2. The war had a huge impact on the national psyche ...
WS2's user avatar
  • 10.7k
51 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't Russia object to Norway's NATO membership?

Norway has been in NATO from day one. Norway and NATO As a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Norway has been an active participant in NATO since the signing of the North ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
49 votes
Accepted

What are the de facto advantages of Sweden and Finland joining NATO?

There is a difference between providing arms and going to war. You are correct that under the current status quo, if Russia seriously threatened Sweden or Finland, NATO nations would unquestionably ...
TenthJustice's user avatar
  • 10.9k
48 votes

Why does Germany have such a rather small defense budget?

Absolute and relative amounts Germany has come much closer to the 2% goal due to the COVID crisis -- the GDP went down, the defense budget stayed the same, so the percentage went up. Similarly, good ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 112k
48 votes

What have the US and NATO done in Afghanistan for 20+ years?

TLDR: It would be grossly unfair to think that the NATO and US military did not try their very best to win this. Many soldiers paid a very high price and are now justifiably very distressed. Pretty ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
45 votes

If everyone knows NATO can beat Russia using conventional weapons, doesn’t that force them to rapidly escalate to nuclear to have any chance?

Russia might also be convinced that NATO lacks the political coherence and will to fight, and that going nuclear would be a "Pearl Harbor moment" which turns it into a fight-to-the-finish. ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 112k
43 votes

Why and since when did Russia stop integrating itself into the Western community?

There were many preexisting diverging views on international law. The open disagreements about e.g. the NATO intervention in Kosovo don't constitute the main problem, because in such a case the ...
Count Iblis's user avatar
  • 4,757
42 votes

Why didn't the US just complement Russia's security demands to avoid the invasion of Ukraine?

Putin’s ultimatum was a pretext. Russia would have invaded anyway. Russian officials stated multiple times that the goal is claiming Ukrainian lands and dismantling the democratically elected ...
Timur Shtatland's user avatar
42 votes
Accepted

Why are European countries increasing their defense budgets if they are members of a nuclear-armed NATO?

Nuclear deterrance doesn't avoid war. India and Pakistan are both nuclear powers yet they fought a war in 1999. Countries would always want to avoid the nuclear option - they will try to achieve their ...
whoisit's user avatar
  • 6,128
41 votes

Why did (most of) the European NATO members support Ukraine's aspirations to joining NATO?

I would first contest the premise made by the paragraph you cited. (..) Russia’s security concerns are in fact genuine, and NATO expansion eastward is seen by Russians as directed against their ...
QuantumWalnut's user avatar
41 votes
Accepted

Why didn't the US and allies supply Ukraine with air defense systems before the October strikes?

The question is both interesting and somewhat incorrect in its assumptions. Why didn't? Oh, but they did. Ukraine got a very sizable proportion of NATO's stock of MANPADS (Stingers) for example. ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
40 votes

Why doesn't U.S. use "strategic ambiguity" on whether or not to send troops to Ukraine just like they do for the Taiwan situation?

They are not the same situation, historically speaking. Ukraine's situation needs to be understood in the context of the Cold War. It is similar to the crushing of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Given 2 ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
40 votes
Accepted

Why does NATO accession require a treaty protocol?

The 1997 Congressional Research Service report NATO Enlargement: The Process and Allied Views states: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in considering the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949, ...
Simon Kissane's user avatar
38 votes

Why doesn't Russia join NATO and what would happen if it tried?

Let's entertain the hypothetical first. Your reasoning skips an important step. You seem to say that the current tensions between Russia and the West could be resolved by Russia joining NATO. In other ...
JJJ's user avatar
  • 39.1k
37 votes

How is the Russian invasion of Ukraine different from what the USA has done multiple times in the past?

Russia is questioning the statehood of Ukraine. Western invasions claimed to aim for the rebuilding of statehood in the Western model. This often failed, but Iraq, Bosnia, or Somalia have not become ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 112k
36 votes
Accepted

Does NATO have any obligation to defend Ukraine against Russia?

No. Obligations are listed under Article 5 of NATO. Article 5 The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
36 votes
Accepted

What are Turkey's objections to Finland and Sweden joining NATO?

According to Turkey's President Erdoğan, they will not immediately approve the enlargement unless Turkey's own security concerns are considered. In general, Erdoğan believes that they have not ...
Giter's user avatar
  • 10.2k

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