There’ve been plenty of recent and significant military events in the world but they all seemed fairly remote from home. Vietnam, the UK didn’t take part. Iraq wasn’t too far away but seemed limited to one country. Afghanistan seems a long way. Northern Ireland was close but didn’t threaten our whole way of life.
Things are happening now that are closer to home and have the potential to be big. The Middle East from Libya to Syria on the borders of Europe has major conflicts. The Russians are knocking on Ukraine’s door and there is the potential for a major conflict close to home.
Of these only Ukraine could be said to be within our influence. The alternatives being to back away and see what happens or to support Ukraine. The risk of backing away is that it isn’t certain whether Russia would stop at Ukraine. Perhaps we’re now locked into a spiral where tension will continue and things could get worse before sense prevails, if it does.
If we have a bad winter could Russia turn off the gas? Although what would their other customer, China think. China must realise from events in Ukraine that Russia isn’t a dependable neighbour but they’ve just signed up to take gas from Russia.
Energy is the Achilles heel of Europe. All the major sources are either from unstable regions or a very long way away, like Australia. Independence should be a goal. From the debate about military tensions we get to the seemingly minor consideration of spending a lot more on insulating our buildings. How much energy could we save with such low-tech investment. We no longer have many energy intensive industries so heating is a significant percentage of energy use.