Deeply, frighteningly, delusional – the UK’s Foreign Secretary

This is the wildly out-of-her depth British Foreign Secretary continuing her awkward display of more or less unimaginable stupidity. In an interview with the Mail on Sunday [1] Truss asserts (asserts not even postulates);

We need to stop Putin because he will not stop at Ukraine

The Baltic States are at risk… the Western Balkans as well

Putin has said all this publicly, that he wants to create the Greater Russia, that he wants to go back to the situation as it was before where Russia had control over huge swathes of Eastern Europe

It could be Ukraine next week but then which country will it be next?

Oh my gosh. Where to start? It wasn’t Russia that had control over ‘huge swathes of Eastern Europe’; it was the USSR.

This nonsense about ‘Putin has said publicly’ is a reference to the out-of-context quote when Putin said the fall of the USSR was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century“. For context let’s turn to an academic:

He reiterated that view in April 2005 when he characterized the break-up of the Soviet Union as ‘the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century’ but promptly added that it was impossible to fantasize about resurrecting the old Soviet state

Freeze, Gregory L.. Russia (p. 495). OUP Oxford. Kindle Edition.

Or again:

The view of some in the West that Putin wants to rebuild the Soviet Union is, I believe, a fantasy that a realist like Putin has himself rejected. Yes, in 2005 Putin commented that the collapse of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [20th] century” and “a genuine tragedy” – a sentiment he shares with a majority of Russians. But pundits in the West are less eager to reference Putin’s other pronouncement that “He who does not regret the break-up of the Soviet Union has no heart; he who wants to revive it in its previous form has no head

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/russia-ukraine-invasion-putin-diplomacy-b2017462.html Ronald Suny, History Professor, Michigan

Ms Truss is the Foreign Secretary – shouldn’t she have informed herself on this point?

As for “the Baltic states are at risk”. This beyond stupid. All 3 Baltic States – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are members of NATO. If Russia were to attack any of these countries they would be at war with NATO. Russia’s entire army is barely big enough to successfully invade Ukraine – they are hardly likely (in military terms alone) to start a war with NATO. The US alone has a military budget 10 times that of Russia! She can’t have thought this one through beyond the end of the sentence.

And – why would Russia invade Ukraine, let alone Latvia or Lithuania? Can she even think to the next step of what she is saying? What would Russia do with these countries? How would they rule them with their obviously resistant populations? What military or economic reasons would Russia have to invade these countries? (But already we are in crazy-land; if Russia invaded the Baltic countries they would be at war with NATO and the question of how to rule these countries would not even arise).

If Ms Truss is stupid enough to propose that Russia is going to start a war with NATO it is unlikely that she has enough intelligence or analytical skill (in the field of international relations) to grasp that Russia is not an expansionist power. The current leadership of Russia is well aware of their limitations. All sensible commentators on modern Russia note that it is a regional power in a defensive mode, well aware of the limits of their ability to project power. (Something that Putin has also commented on publicly).

These ideas are so stupid, so obviously stupid, that one wonders how this can simply carry on. But it can and she does – which tells us something about the overall intellectual level of the British political and media elites at the moment.

Notes

  1. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10531241/Liz-Truss-warns-stopping-Vladimir-Putin-save-future-wars-Baltic-states.html

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer