NATO — It’s Time To Flex The Muscle…

“Predicting Rain Doesn’t Count. Building Arks, Does” — this Noah Rule is attributed to Warren Buffett and it is my favourite business quote of all time. I quote it often to emphasize the importance of action — especially when making high-stake decisions is difficult and complex.

To me, not knowing what to do in stressful business situations, is regrettable. Knowing and not doing — is unforgivable. So, in all such cases, I often advise on the following 3-step discipline: analyze, plan, and… act. And most importantly — do not dither…

You may ask how is it relevant to politics? Well, I am truly amazed by all the daily speculations about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The predictions of the exact day and time of the attack just keep coming. And we are constantly bombarded with detailed maps showing possible moves of the Russian troops from all possible directions.

Not to be outdone, the endless scenarios of Russian false flags, provocations, and deliberate deceptions — just keep coming… So, let me make it ABSOLUTELY clear to all the politicians and the military leaders: I believe you. I really do. But what exactly are you expecting from flooding us with all that information? A medal?

Do you truly think that by exposing Putin’s canning and conniving to the world — he is going to send the Russian army away from Ukraine’s border? Or, that he is going to be so ashamed by being exposed that his secret invasion plans will be dropped and forgotten?

To make things worse, let me ask you a simple question: just for how much longer are we going to allow the Russian army and Putin’s crony capitalism to wreak havoc on Western Economies? Weren’t COVID, inflation, and the fear of interest rate hikes hard enough? Do we really need to add the Russian military scare to the destruction of investors’ confidence and the collapse of stock markets?

I say, NO… We don’t. So, please stop threatening the Russians with economic and diplomatic sanctions alone. Instead, put more trust into a collective military might of EU and NATO. It is time for NATO to start wearing helmets — instead of fortune teller hats….

What Doesn’t Work

2022 is not 1938. The world had seen what harm political naivety can do while watching Chamberlain’s overtures toward Hitler. A policy of appeasement is counterproductive with all dictators — and Putting is no exception. The Nazis didn’t stop with the annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia — the same way Putin will not stop with the take-over of Crimea…

A few years ago, I wrote a post about visiting a good friend in Arhus, Denmark. One evening, while enjoying a Carlsberg beer and browsing through the local TV channels — I noticed his uncontrollable giggle. And since it happened while listening to the local news channel — I was perplexed and asked for an explanation. Lo and behold, I was soon to learn about the most humorous question period in the Danish Parliament…

• I had no idea that Danish military conscription was mandatory, and that defense spending constitutes a significant part of that country’s budget. Although presently it hovers around 1.3% of GDP and was closer to 2% in the past — we are still talking about $billions. No wonder, the military spending of the government was an easy target for the opposition

• During the Cold War and after a grueling parliament session, the leader of the ruling party had enough of listening to the pointed questions from the opposition. Toward the end of parliamentary debate — he unexpectedly switched to sarcasm…

• So, he asked the leader of the opposition if the opposing party would support his proposal for a much smaller defense budget. In such a case, Denmark would install a gigantic network of public phone booths — at every street corner

• From that point, whoever sees Russian tanks first, calls in — and surrenders Denmark. One short, collect call to Russia to inform Moscow: we give up!

Well, I concur, the world has changed since my last visit to Denmark a few decades ago. For starters, perhaps we can now distribute the cheap Chinese cell phones to Ukrainians, instead?

So, What Works?

The threat of economic sanctions against Russia is necessary but it is not sufficient. To deter the Russian bullying, I recommend an immediate acceptance of Ukraine to NATO.

And because of Putin’s actions, NATO could immediately deploy 5,000 soldiers to Ukraine — from each NATO country. Now, let’s do the quick, back-of-the-envelope math here…

If 30 countries send 5,000 soldiers each — NATO would deliver a comparable force to the Russian presence. And with the large military presence on both sides of Ukraine’s border, the Russian-backed separatist groups in Eastern Ukraine wouldn’t shell kindergartens at will, or/and issue fake evacuation calls.

Moreover, swift acceptance of Ukraine to NATO will send a clear signal to Russia that hostile actions have immediate consequences — and perhaps serve as a deterrent from repeating similar hostilities in the future.

Just before invading Poland in WWII, the Nazis looked for constant provocations. One of their despicable PR tricks was to “rescue the oppressed German minority” in the city of Gdansk. So, instead of allowing Putin to play the same old tricks in 2022, why wouldn’t NATO launch a successful PR offensive of its own making — in addition to the show of strength?

For example, Russia is no longer a communist country. So, why not invite Russia to join NATO and sign its constitution? After all, Article 5 is offering collective security to all NATO countries and prevents any territorial aggressions against each other.

And if the Russians join NATO, sign on the dotted line, and give up on threats and bullying — the entire world wins. If not, NATO’s PR wins — as it wasn’t the NATO that rejected the olive branch…

Beyond Ukraine…

You may ask: would swift (no pun intended) action and shipping the soldiers from other NATO-like alliances to different countries, work? For example, would it counteract communist China’s threats against Taiwan?

I have no idea, but the appeasement of China wouldn’t work either. And by learning from history and accepting such facts — the world would be a better and safer place for all…

I often say: “Data gives us the facts; Facts give us the information; Information gives us the Knowledge; Knowledge turns into Wisdom, and Wisdom offers an ultimate Advice leading to a better decision”.

And as the number of civilian deaths rises, and the immense human tragedy in Ukraine unfolds in front of our very eyes — NATO and the EU need to start flexing their muscles.

How many more frightened women and children in Ukrainian bomb shelters do we need to see — before cutting off completely the trade with Russia until they go home?

Increasingly, Putin acts and reacts as the new Napoleon and the next emperor of Russia. So, perhaps a complete embargo on Russian energy products will stop his deranged tirades, accusations, and finger-pointing to the cameras?

I am sure that Ukrainians, Latvians, Estonians, Germans, Finns, or Swedes — would all rather see 10% higher gas prices at their pumps — instead of Russian tanks on their streets. So, Canada and the USA must do all they can to replace the Russian energy supplies with the N/A natural gas and gasoline products.

The existential threats of the Russian Bonaparte are far more immediate and far more deadly than all the other threats, combined. And after all the Russian soldiers left the Ukrainian soil and we successfully decupled our European allies from their dependency on Russian oil, Canada and the USA can resume the self-imposed climate change curtailments in N/A — with vigor and conviction.

In Conclusion

It is time for NATO to stop REACTING to the Russian invasion and run an endless analysis of a possible spillover of the conflict into additional NATO countries. Instead, I recommend to NATO the following 3 steps — in the spirit of the proverbial KISS Principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid):

1) Offer 48 hours for Russia to join NATO and withdraw from Ukraine

a. It would eliminate all the prefabricated Russian security concerns and offer non-aggression guarantees to both: Russia & NATO countries

2) Admit Ukraine to NATO in the same 48 hours time-frame

a. If Russian forces do not leave Ukraine by then — NATO will invoke article 5 and use its military to defend Ukraine’s independence

3) Restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity

a. All the regions annexed by Russia will go back under Ukraine’s jurisdiction

We have seen plenty of scenarios, hypotheses, data, facts, and information, already. What I am waiting for, is to see less talk and more action — to stop the Russian war crimes briskly and forcefully. Noah’s Rule anyone?

For More Information

Please see my additional posts on Linkedin, Twitter, Medium, and CGE’s website.

AI Boogeyman

You can also find additional info in my book on amazon: “AI Boogeyman — Dispelling Fake News About Job Losses”, and on our YouTube Studio channel… Thank you.

“BODs Serve Investors, Advisory Boards Are CEOs’ Best Friends”

• By definition, entrepreneurs… solve problems. And I’ve been solving a lot of problems over the last 30+ years.

• Some problems thought me the most effective ways to expedite customers’ “buy-in” by solving the so-called “DO NOTHING” decision-making and the bias of the “STATUS QUO”. So, I wrote about it in my LinkedIn post: “The Curse Of Doing Nothing”.

• Other challenges made me realize how to deal with ambiguity and make decisions despite the insufficient data — please see: “The Power Of The OPPOSITES”. And since imitation works best in karaoke bars, not in business, I join Advisory Boards to unlock Radical Innovation.

• Good advisors help increase REVENUES & reduce COSTS. Great ones, turn COST into PROFIT centers — so I deliver the right KEE (Knowledge, Experience, and Expertise) to do so.

• Warren Buffett once said: “predicting rain doesn’t count; building arks, does”. So, while in the past, I helped thousands of Cleantech companies to succeed — now, I design & deploy our own organically grown startups.

• We launch organically grown moonshots — but instead of flying the rich to the moon, we bring the moonshots down to earth…

• Moreover, I am convinced that Digitization, IT, and Artificial Intelligence are causing the greatest disruption of the last 50 years. I welcome such ambitious transformations and my goal is to help progressive entities to embrace BusinessAI™ advice.

• As a founder of Canada Green ESCO Inc. (CGE), I used BusinessAI™ strategies in Cleantech — focused on fighting Climate Change & utility-scale Environmental Risks. In total, CGE raised $1B+ in project finance linked to solar, wind, geothermal, Waste-To-Energy (WTE), energy efficiency, and more.

• Now, I help maximize returns also in Fintech and other sectors. And I apply the same structured finance expertise I acquired through financing Cleantech projects.

• My pattern recognition abilities allow me to see what is still missing & how to maximize business offerings & profitability. And as a coach & mentor, I bring unparalleled business savvy to separate the wheat from the chaff…

• What I learned over the years is that it is not just technology innovation that makes all the difference. Business Model Innovation is as disruptive as Technology Innovation and yet I see too many companies focused on pushing their product out the door — while losing ~70% of untapped revenue streams…

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I used #AI in #Technology, #Finance, & #Renewable #Energy for 30-yrs. Now, I help #VC/#CVC during due diligence of AI investments & advise their portfolio Cos.

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Oleg Feldgajer

Oleg Feldgajer

I used #AI in #Technology, #Finance, & #Renewable #Energy for 30-yrs. Now, I help #VC/#CVC during due diligence of AI investments & advise their portfolio Cos.

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