World needs peace - GulfToday

World needs peace

The Abram tank during a drill.

The Abram tank in action during a drill.

This is with reference to the aggravated debates amongst the Western allies, whether to send heavy tanks, like the Leopards made in Germany and Abrams made in the USA, to Ukraine to fight the Russians.

The UK has agreed to send Challenger 2 tanks. Germany is still pondering. Poland needs permission from Germany to send its Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

As a common citizen, I would strongly urge the Western allies not to exasperate the horrible situation in the Russian-Ukraine war, by providing Western manufactured tanks to Ukraine. This will be seen as a declaration of war and will only anger President Putin. It will add fuel to the existing fire. It will drive President Putin to consider a nuclear option. A nuclear option will involve the entire world. The USA and Western allies will react to a nuclear resort by Russia. The world will be plunged into another World War. No country or person will be safe.

This is the time to be circumspect, not macho. The guns will be silenced in the Russia-Ukraine war, only through discussion, negotiation and a ceasefire. In any negotiation, it is wise to leave enough room for the opposition to manoeuvre around. Sending tanks to Ukraine to fight Russia will box-in President Putin. This would not be smart.

Around 200,000 Russian and Ukrainian soldiers have died in the horrendous conflict. It is further reported that Russia has lost more soldiers in this current battle, than America lost in World War II. All this should shame us. Human lives cannot be wasted.

We elect leaders across the world to avoid wars and let ordinary citizens work and prosper in their lives. Now, the world is hurtling towards a global conflagration. In this age and era, it is indeed reprehensible that soldiers have to die in thousands, for conflicts to be resolved.

As President John Kennedy advised, in his inaugural speech in 1961, “Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belabouring those problems which divide us.” It took almost four decades to end the Cold War, which commenced after World War II. The herculean efforts of President Ronald Reagan, President George Bush, Sr. and President Mikhail Gorbachev made the world a safe place to live in. These endeavours should not go in vain.

We cannot throw all the peaceful efforts of the past and hurtle to make “this planet a flaming funeral pyre”, as President John Kennedy warned in his address to the UN General Assembly in 1961. President Biden should bide his time.

Rajendra Aneja,
Mumbai, India

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