In a symbolic act, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

His position is actually that of a typical senior clerk working in international organizations in the age of comprehensive peace that has been infected with all-encompassing pacifism, the type of pacifism which, unfortunately, leads to war.

This is the very same secretary-general who has for years debated the need to raise spending on defense to 2 percent of GDP, his argument being that Moscow could have interpreted that decision as an unfriendly move.  

But Stoltenberg is an unsuitable nominee in a time of war.

In these dark and difficult times, the world needs a different type of leader, but there is no such leader to be seen.

One who understands that an enemy who destroys civilization and kills people is only able to recognize a strong opponent.

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For a policy of appeasement and disarmament only encourages the enemy to wage war.

Vladimir Putin’s predatory reaction is triggered by such reactions. Like a hyena, he senses weakness, blood and fear and attacks his prey.

The policy of cautious officials, hesitant about frightening Putin with NATO expansion or an increase in defense spending, has crashed and crumbled to the piercing sounds of Russian missiles and aerial bombs.

This policy has led to the biggest war on the European continent since World War II.

And just the thought of being feared in the world has made Putin euphoric for many years to come.

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Even before the meeting opened, the war in Ukraine took centre stage. The Group of Seven countries held their own talks on the sidelines to discuss shoring up Western support for Kyiv.

He has continued to pump billions of energy-supplied dollars into his army, trading with those who were apprehensive about increasing defense spending to the infamous 2 percent of GDP.  

Politology text books should for future generations of politicians contain this imperative in bold type: the policy of flirting with dictatorships does not stop wars. It provokes them.

And now with Russia’s war against Ukraine continuing to rage, we understand that when our partners spoon-feed us essential artillery systems or air defense systems, it is not because they are greedy. They have too few or no such weapons.

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For example, the IRIS-T missile arrived in Ukraine immediately after being tested by its manufacturers in Germany...

It’s all the more surprising that the world has already seen the results of this "political pacifism" and cautious statements made in 2014 after Russia instigated its war in Ukraine.

No-one wanted to spoil the morning mood in Moscow. Back then, the world had time to adjust its position.

Instead, it stood spellbound, watching Putin’s regime prepare for a full-scale invasion.

The stance was that of paralysis and a political coma. Accompanied by statements made by NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg that the war must not escalate beyond Ukraine.     

Well, we’ve been able to "appreciate" such political "farsightedness," which has almost served as a signal to occupiers: you can fight there, but not here. You’re allowed to wipe cities off the face of the Earth there, but not here. Murder is OK there, but not here.

The secretary-general must have been aware that this was the way Putin’s regime interpreted his words!  

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We’ve got to admit that Europe was unprepared for this war. Only now is it restoring its ability to resist.

It is recovering slowly, allocating money for defense and launching the production of military equipment and anti-missile defense systems. Returning American forces to the European continent. U.S. troops are currently arriving at Vlissingen in the Netherlands.

After that, they will go to Lithuania and Poland to strengthen the eastern flank of the North Atlantic Alliance. In this redeployment, the Americans will be assisted by the Dutch military.

The current strengthening of the eastern democracies of Europe is rather substantial: 1,275 pieces of equipment, including the famous M-1 Abrams tanks - the stuff of dreams of the Ukrainian military.

The east of the continent will also be reinforced with Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. And this is also bad news for Russian generals and their commander-in-chief Putin.

Bradley IFVs are actually cover vehicles for Abrams tanks. And all these movements of troops and equipment show that the Americans are ready to enter into battle in the event of Russian aggression from Belarusian territory in the direction of NATO countries.

And they seem ready for counter-offensive actions in the event of a Russian attack on the West.

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I believe that analysts in Moscow and Minsk are perfectly aware of this unpleasant prospect.

Because they have not been able to advance into the depth of Ukraine’s East, despite their numerous daily attempts to storm the cities of Bakhmut and Soledar, resulting in personnel losses running into thousands.

The majority of these forces are freshly mobilized soldiers, who were civilians only a day ago, supporting the invasion on sofas in front of their TV sets.   

What is more, if we allow ourselves to dream a little, we can assume that part of this powerful military equipment, handed over by the U.S. to Eastern  Europe, may eventually be transferred to the Ukrainian army and replaced by new U.S. equipment.

Fortunately, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have given the free nations an opportunity to make up for their mistakes.

At the same time, everyone has to pay. And Ukrainians are paying the highest price with their lives.

Of course, Stoltenberg cannot be blamed for all the mistakes of the free world. He is just a general-secretary.  Practically, a political spokesperson of the NATO alliance.

But, believe me, speakers do have weight in a democratic world. They meet leaders behind closed doors, they have the opportunity to report on the reality of the situation and the level of threat, they give interviews and speak to the military.

Nevertheless, I will not be surprised if Stoltenberg does receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

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He is, after all, the secretary-general of a military alliance who is a dove of peace.

And this would be a perfect fit in a world of goodness, light, warmth, and love for one's neighbor.

But we live in a different world that needs different leaders.

And a different NATO secretary-general, one who would understand another formula for coexistence with Moscow-like regimes: "If you want peace, prepare for war!"

 The views expressed in this article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post.  

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