If Britain’s Foreign Minister Liz Truss gets her way, World War III will soon begin.
Truss delivered a saber-rattling speech at the Lord Mayor’s Easter Banquet in which she said NATO and the world must more deeply involve themselves in the war in Ukraine lest Russia try to conquer the world. The war is “our war,” she said, and indeed “everyone’s war.”
That means sending even more arms and aid to Ukraine — perhaps even combat troops — to defeat Russia. Further provoking Russian President Vladimir Putin would almost certainly tempt him to use nuclear weapons.
More Support for Ukraine
Attempting to resurrect Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech given in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946, Truss warned that Putin could inflict misery upon the world if Russian troops subdue Ukraine.
“We cannot be complacent — the fate of Ukraine hangs in the balance,” she said:
But let’s be clear — if Putin succeeds there will be untold further misery across Europe and terrible consequences across the globe. We would never feel safe again.
So we must be prepared for the long haul. We’ve got to double down on our support for Ukraine. And we must also follow through on the unity shown in the crisis. We must reboot, recast and remodel our approach.
My vision is a world where free nations are assertive and in the ascendant. Where freedom and democracy are strengthened through a network of economic and security partnerships. Where aggressors are contained and forced to take a better path.
This is the long term prize: a new era of peace, security of prosperity.
Falsely claiming that the West “restricted flows of trade, investment and technology to the USSR,” during the Cold War, Truss said Putin did not democratize post-Soviet Russia because he “feared losing control.”
Then came the threat to escalate aid to Ukraine, and very nearly a warning that British boys join the fight.
“Britain has always stood up to bullies,” Truss said:
We have always been risk takers. So we are prepared to be bold, using our strength in security and diplomacy, our economic heft, and our will and agility to lead the way.
We are already stepping up in Ukraine. The war in Ukraine is our war — it is everyone’s war because Ukraine’s victory is a strategic imperative for all of us. Heavy weapons, tanks, aeroplanes — digging deep into our inventories, ramping up production. We need to do all of this.
Our sanctions have already seen Russia facing its first external debt default for a century. We need to go further. There must be nowhere for Putin to fund this appalling war. That means cutting off oil and gas imports once and for all.
In other words, Britain and the West have already committed acts of war against Russia on behalf of a country that is not a NATO ally.
The world, Truss said, must help Ukraine. Britain’s goal is defeating Russia militarily.
“Ukraine deserves nothing less than a landmark international effort to rebuild their towns and cities, regenerate their industries, and secure their freedom for the long term,” she said. “We are doubling down. We will keep going further and faster to push Russia out of the whole of Ukraine.”
Again, those are acts of war.
Another possible provocation was her invitation to Sweden and Finland to join NATO: “NATO’s open door policy is sacrosanct. If Finland and Sweden choose to join in response to Russia’s aggression, we must integrate them as soon as possible.”
And Truss not only would fortify NATO’s Eastern Flank but also turn the treaty organization into a Global Sheriff’s Department.
“We need a global NATO,” she said:
By that I don’t mean extending the membership to those from other regions. I mean that NATO must have a global outlook, ready to tackle global threats.
We need to pre-empt threats in the Indo-Pacific, working with our allies like Japan and Australia to ensure the Pacific is protected. And we must ensure that democracies like Taiwan are able to defend themselves.
All of this will require resources. We are correcting a generation of underinvestment.
Of course, Truss didn’t say who would provide the money for it all. A safe bet is the American taxpayer.
Truss’s warning that Britain and the West must and would do more to defeat Putin might be the most imprudent few minutes of political rhetoric since President John F. Kennedy said “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.” Fourteen years later, more than 58,220 Americans had died in Vietnam.
Barely two weeks ago, Russia warned the United States that aid to Ukraine is “adding fuel” to the war and might invite “unpredictable consequences.”
As well, Russia warned that it would deploy nuclear weapons to the Baltics if Sweden and Finland join NATO.
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