Will the NATO or Chinese armies have fought in UKR or RU by EOY 2022?
China isn’t helping Russia in any material way, which matches their stated goal of wanting to remain neutral.
NATO and other economically prominent countries like Japan, Canada, etc have attacked Russia only with economic sanctions and they have said that they won’t send troops to Ukraine for fear of triggering WWIII.
The window of opportunity for a Russian-triggered WWIII is dwindling. Russia won’t be able to sustain the war for long because the West keeps supplying Ukraine with unlimited military aid, they’re being hit with economic sanctions from everywhere and their military results don’t look strong so far. Russia’s Victory Day, May 9, is approaching and Putin doesn’t have much to celebrate. If May 9 passes by without a decisive victory on their apparent current goal, annexing the Donbas area, then the ongoing war cost is likely going to become too politically costly even for Putin. I think there is a point where Russian people would rather go to prison than continue marching backwards towards the dark ages. On top of all of that his actions are making NATO stronger, with Finland and Sweden seriously considering joining NATO by summer, and Russia is losing more and more European oil and gas customers. The longer that Putin continues with this war the harder it will be for him to bring back the USSR, even with his generals lying to him and him being completely isolated, he must be seeing that.
I think the world is too connected, too interdependent, and people in power in the US, China and Europe have too much money and power to lose if the war escalates. I think NATO will only send troops in self-defense (“NATO article 5 - Collective Defence” or nuclear threat). And I think that Putin has enough problems with generals lying to him about how the war is going and being ostracized by rich nations to start using nukes. I think that he wants power and be remembered as the one who brought the USSR back. If that’s the case, he must know that if he uses nukes not even China will remain by his side.
Two things can happen to trigger this event:
- Russia attacks a NATO member.
- Russia uses nukes.
I think the chances of Russia willingly attacking a NATO member are very low because Russia’s army is struggling with Ukraine who even though is currently supplied by NATO, is not even part of NATO.
And I think the chances of nuclear war are even smaller than that.
I still give “Yes” a 10% because I trust the people who know more than me about war and who say that war is very unpredictable.
Counter-arguments / how I could be wrong:
- Public opinion appears to have changed the decisions of people in power. What if public opinion forces NATO to join the war?
- I don’t think this will happen unless Putin uses nukes. I see unity in western media (newspapers, twitter, etc) condemning the war and asking for more economic sanctions, not war. I think the majority of people know that WWIII isn’t a good outcome.
- There were also rich people / economic interests during WWI and WWII and war still happened, what is different this time?
- More economic interdependence (e.g. China - US), remember the impact of covid19 / lockdowns on supply chains.
- People are better informed about the true cost of war, at least in the West.