That neither side has an interest making the first move may be the saving grace. But tensions are growing absurdly nonetheless.

by Ted Snider, Responsible Statecraft

Aside from the horrendous loss of life, limb and land, the greatest danger of the war in Ukraine has been the threat of nuclear weapons and the risk that NATO could get drawn into a third world war. President Joe Biden has promised — repeatedly — that won’t happen.

But while NATO has so far avoided being drawn into a war with Russia and World War III on the Russian-Ukrainian border, things are threatening to go sideways on the Poland-Belarus border right now.

the polish army on exercises holding a flag and rifles

On the Belarusian side, the military has started drills along its border with NATO members Poland and Lithuania. In addition, there were reportedly upwards of 10,000 Russian Wagner Group forces headed to Belarus in July (according to a Wagner commander) and their mercenaries are training Belarusian special forces just a few miles from the boundary. On the Polish side, troops are are massing in response, and officials in Warsaw have accused Belarus of hosting “redeployed” Wagner forces “to NATO’s eastern flank to destabilize it.”

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