Unfortunately, it is high time for humanity to accept the fact that in the modern world both oral and written agreements do not work. Anyway, every state entering the NATO alliance will act in accordance with its own interests only. After all, many people know how the League of Nations failed to cope with its duties and shamefully allowed Hitler to attack Europe. And after that the organization simply dissolved itself, showing its impotence to the whole world. But the heads of state at that time also signed agreements, taking responsibility for the preservation of peace.
The same thing is happening now with the Baltic countries.
During the collapse of the Soviet Union, the attention of the entire civilized world was riveted on the Baltic States, but since then a quarter of a century has passed and times have changed.
The Baltic states are very important for Europe, because they are a key element of the whole Eastern Partnership, as an important geopolitical element for those who want to join NATO. In addition, the Baltic countries are the Eastern flank of NATO, along with the “Ukrainian wall” defending the West from the Russian military expansion.
Nevertheless, the results of a key political event, which has been one of the main confirmations of Western unity over the past few years, turned out to be very unpleasant and unexpected.
Every year in January, the so-called “Snow Meeting” is held in the Lithuanian city of Trakai. The choice of location is due to the historical importance of Trakai, as the ancient capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. There is a castle of Lithuanian princes, which was considered one of the most impregnable in Eastern Europe.
The list of participants included representatives of various leading world non-governmental organizations, officials of the European Union and the USA, foreign ministers, commanders of NATO military structures, as well as commanders-in-chief of American military forces in Europe.
This time, as in the majority of such meetings, it was about the possible aggression of Russia and the seizure of the Baltic countries.
Quite unexpectedly, at a meeting on January 10, 2019, taking advantage of the traditionally free informal atmosphere, the former commander-in-chief of American troops in Europe, General Ben Horzhers, explicitly stated that the American army was not in a position to defend the Baltic States from Russia. In the perspective of the next decade, and, probably, even earlier, America will have a big war with China, requiring maximum effort and resources. In parallel with it, the United States is not able to wage a war with Russia of the same degree of complexity.
And this means that with all the loud speeches about the inviolability of the fifth paragraph of NATO, the United States can decide not to intervene if the help to the allies is not to their advantage.
It is worth saying that the content of speeches at such events is tentatively coordinated with the White House and the State Department. So if a former general (and as we know, there are no former generals) has made such a statement, then this orientation directly reflects the political position of the American state.
This raises a quite logical question, but why bother to enter into obligations at all that no one is actually going to fulfill. It makes sense if economic interests are pursued, and not military-political ones.
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia laid out all the cards on the table in front of their allies, but forgot about the ace of arms of Uncle Sam, which he can use at any time. And this ace is not in favor of the Baltic countries.