Late and bad, as usual


The International Community (IC) and all the organisations that make it up, live, dwell or swarm around it are an accumulation of 'good and great intentions' but are excessively slow or unproductive in their resolutions. Resolutions or decisions, which often arrive late, are ineffective, too decaffeinated or useless to alleviate the effects of the problem that gave rise to them.

Among them all, and leaving aside the UN, which takes first prize for ineffectiveness, the EU stands out; this very costly and massive organisation on which so many illusions and hopes are based, although it has still not changed its rhythms or the script for deciding to intervene effectively and emphatically in decisive places or at decisive moments.

Traditionally, although almost always in fits and starts, it placidly and calmly follows the steps set by Uncle Sam and tends to arrive not only late, but also badly where greater speed or energetic decisiveness was expected in matters that are its own because they affect its interests, of its concern according to its statutes, inherited from the course of events or sprinkled by neighbouring or nearby circumstances.

It was too late to prevent the shameful Brexit and its terrible consequences for the Trojans and the Tyrants; it has not handled any of the successive economic crises well by introducing dangerous changes of criteria; its indecision with South America or Africa or in the face of the refugee crises is patent; and the coronavirus pandemic showed not only great deficiencies in health matters, but also in coordination, cooperation and economy of effort, as well as in the protection of its people and borders. 

We leave much to be desired in the area of democratic politics, a flag that is waved in the wind on every occasion and for every reason; European arrest warrants are not applied among its members; some countries, such as Hungary and Poland, have been throwing their hat in the ring when it comes to controlling the organs of the administration of justice and the way they cover themselves without, for a long time, any coercive measures being taken against them. This fact has been shamefully copied by Spain, which, for the moment and I fear that, definitively, has only been given a few minor 'reprimands' in the form of recommendations, despite having carried out actions of dubious democratic character and very intrusive in the system of functioning and democratic coverage of positions of its fundamental elements.

We are witnessing with genuine dread the debates on security and defence with which we have spent years analysing the sex of angels and what would be the most convenient position for us to be taken seriously internationally or to be able to provide ourselves with a more than sufficient possibility of intervention or defence that would give us consistency and increase our sense of security based on our own capabilities and not be so dependent on a hesitant NATO that always walks hand in hand with the US on a delicate thread of wire that, any day, could break.

For almost a year now, with the war in Ukraine knocking on our doors, we have been unable to take sufficiently serious joint action despite the fact that this conflict affects our neighbours, our own energy sources and solutions to Russian threats.

The Ukrainians, led by their president Zelensky, after some skirmishes or reactions of various consequences, have learned the lesson that only with winter suits, great courage and a lot of love for their land, it is not possible to confront the behemoth that is Russia in the hands of a lunatic, who does not mind sacrificing thousands of his men, his own economy and investing whatever is necessary in armaments in order to satisfy his ego.

In this context, and as foreign military aid had decreased considerably except from the US, the need for the IC to provide it with more modern, powerful and effective tanks such as the Leopard (German), Abrams A1 (American) or the Challenger 2 (British) among others, to face the harsh counteroffensive that is expected this spring, has come to the fore.

After much bickering, President Biden recently decided to send 31 tanks (the equivalent of a Ukrainian tank battalion) and to pressure his German counterpart to make a similar gesture and to allow European countries (Poland and the Czech Republic, among others) - which have the same or earlier models of tanks in their forces - to send them without the contractual restrictions on their use outside European territory.

The day before yesterday, the decision was taken and Germany will provide a company of such tanks to Ukraine (some 12) and the Poles and Czechs are preparing to donate an unspecified number as soon as possible, while the United Kingdom has set a very early date for the arrival of its tanks. Even Morocco, which has nothing to do with this burial, has already sent some 20 recently modernised T-72 tanks without so much fuss.

Spain and our president, a specialist in marketing and selling smoke and mirrors, in the face of the haste of the decisions of others and for not lagging behind - as he has been doing, as demonstrated by not attending and underestimating the Ramstein summit on the 20th, where the international support to be provided was discussed - despite the opposition of part of the government and the parties that support him in office, changed his repeated refusals and justifications of obsolescence and inoperability of most of our stocks of this type, to announcing support, indefinite in all aspects such as the model (there are several), quantity, recovery of their operability, delivery times, spare parts, training of crews and maintenance personnel.

It is clear that these political moves are just selling smoke, stirring up the sleepy public, showing a willingness to change its image and not remain at the back of the pack; which I fear will be the case in the end, because so much hot air and hollow gestures showing abrupt changes of opinion are not to anyone's liking, least of all that of our allies.

In any case, today's sophisticated war machines are not simple toys that you just pull out and take into the field without weeks of training, their maintenance is difficult and sophisticated, and spare parts are often not compatible.  

Mixing so many models in the same basket in inexperienced hands can mean that they will all be out of service in a short time, unless they are properly trained and more than adequate maintenance support is maintained in situ, as wartime demands - elements that justify Zelenski's demand for support to be focused on the Leopard, the best tank available today.

I fear that all this paraphernalia will require too much extra effort and too much time, time that Ukraine does not have, and it will be nothing more than another toast to the sun by the IC to appease their unhealthy consciences and that some politicians, very close to us, have seen a great opportunity to improve their personal image by suddenly changing their minds.