When the Ukraine war spreads to a NATO nation

As Russian military activity moves nearer the Ukrainian border with NATO, the potential for direct confrontation between Russia and the alliance increases. On March 13, Russian aircraft reportedly fired rockets at the Yavoriv International Center for Peacekeeping and Security, 20 kilometers from Ukraine’s border with Poland, a NATO member.

The possibility of a unit from the Russian or Belarusian military stumbling across a border is also high. Mistakes happen in all military organizations, something shown starkly in recent days when India accidentally launched a missile into Pakistan – two nuclear-armed nations in a state of high tension.

The possibility of retaliation by Pakistan was significant, but unlike in Ukraine there is no open conflict to confuse the situation. Had such an event occurred between Poland and Russian forces in Ukraine, for example, it’s unlikely that the Polish government would have been convinced the missile launch had been a mistake.

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