Note: This video was recorded back in June, but it helps paint a picture of what is going down at the NATO summit.

As the NATO summit in Vilnius wraps up, we’re left with a result that was more or less expected. Ukraine won’t be getting called up to the big leagues anytime soon, but it’s not all bad news for Zelensky…

Now you’re probably thinking that the main reason NATO was formed was to keep Russia (formerly the Soviet Union) at bay. While that may be true, NATO has no interest in getting into a direct conflict with Russia.

On top of that, Ukraine doesn’t quite cross off all the requirements on the list. So even if everything went perfectly at the summit, the accession process still requires unanimity…so don’t hold your breath.

Despite NATO leaving Ukraine out of the party, that doesn’t mean they won’t try to tip the scales in Ukraine’s favor; many NATO countries have already offered aid, supplies and support and that won’t be stopping anytime soon. A new wave of aid will be headed Ukraine’s way, so at least Zelensky wasn’t left completely high and dry.

While missiles, artillery, rockets, and an air force are all part of a combined arms warfare system, there’s simply no substitute for ground forces. The Russians are finding that even Ukraine, a country they dwarf militarily and economically, can have a shot at the title if they have the numbers and the right equipment.

Prefer to read the transcript of the video? Click here

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Hey everybody. Peter Zeihan here coming to you from the Monterey Airport. Thunderstorms in Denver have delayed my departure, which means I’m stuck here for an extra 4 hours and I’m going to get to know the bartender very well. But I figured I might as well record some thoughts since I had the time on the topic of waiting in the wings for other people to make a damn decision.

But it was a good time to talk about NATO membership and the case of Ukraine. And now the NATO alliance is built by a series of countries that have unanimously agreed to look out for one another’s security. And that is something that has never happened in a multilateral environment before. Most security agreements that exist on the planet today and throughout human history have been at most bilateral pacts where countries are willing to back away. Its only article five of the NATO alliance that actually legally binds countries to look out for one another. Obviously, that’s the theory, and practice can be somewhat different. But the issue is this has always been the best security guarantee among countries at any point in human history. And Ukraine wants in. And there was a great joke going on last year when the Ukrainians were doing a great job against the Russians. Like, you know, that Nito is seeking membership in Ukraine rather the other way around. The conversation has again started up about what might be necessary for the Ukrainians to actually join NATO.

Let me start with the punch line. Not this year, not next year, not the year after. Not the year after that. For Ukraine to join NATO. One of the core issues, it has to be that you don’t have a border dispute with any of your neighbors and that eliminates Ukraine or right off the bat, even if the war were to end tomorrow, the Russians are certainly going to have some quibbles with the Ukrainians when it comes to where the international border is. And until that is resolved, one way or another, this is completely off the table. That was true for the Italians back in the immediate post-world War two environment. That has been true for the Croatians in the post Yugoslav war scenarios, and that is true for the Ukrainians today. There’s the second issue that while NATO’s was formed to keep the Russians at arm’s length, NATO’s is not like giddy about the possibility of getting into a slugfest with a nuclear power. And so as long, again, as we have these hostilities going on between Ukraine and Russia, it’s not that NATO countries are going to put their finger on the scale and try to adjust the outcome. That’s not what I’m saying at all. But they don’t want to get directly involved. And an Article five guarantee would guarantee that NATO’s immediately goes into a state of general war. So if you’re Ukraine, I’m afraid you have to take what you can get and do what you can do on your own. NATO is there. NATO’s helping, but the Article five guarantee that is years ahead. And even if Russia were to be defeated completely tomorrow and its fangs were moved so it could never launch another war again. Only then could NATO’s begin the process of its 30 odd members actually going through the accession process.

And that all by itself is another five years. Alright. I’ll see you in, I don’t know, like 20 minutes or something.

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