Our guest blogger, Dave Tisdale, recently published this opinion piece on the DefenceSynergia website, and kindly allowed us to reproduce it here. DefenceSynergia is a defence & strategy research group that exposes the incoherence and weaknesses in the United Kingdom’s defence and security strategies. Read more about the organisation here.
The Prime Minister (PM), David Cameron, is reported to have said:”…What has happened with respect to the Crimea is unacceptable… Russia has acted in flagrant breach of international law… This matters to the people of Britain because we depend on a world where countries obey the rules…”
As a graduate of Oxford, Mr Cameron must have a basic understanding of Great Britain’s geopolitical history. Not least the uncomfortable realisation that his stand against Russian ambitions in Ukraine, especially the Crimea, has striking symmetry with that of Mr Neville Chamberlain leading up to the 1938 Munich crisis. Like the hapless Mr Chamberlain the current PM has been taken off guard by the vehemently nationalistic intentions of a European leader who simply makes his own international ‘rules’. Herr Hitler in 1938 and Mr Putin in 2014 both using ethnic diaspora to provide the casus belli to initiate military intervention.
In the aftermath of the First World War Ukraine was absorbed into the emerging Soviet empire. Some seventy years later as the Soviet Empire itself disintegrated Ukraine declared its independence from Moscow and in 1994 the Russian Federation, the United States of America (USA) and United Kingdom (UK) became guarantors of Ukrainian independence when the new state gave up its nuclear arsenal. Yet it is Russia, one of those guarantors, that has violated the agreement on the flimsiest of pretexts to ensure Russian interests dominate along its borders.