Soros called for Eastern Europeans to essentially be used as cannon fodder armed with NATO weapons, a prescient prediction given how the war in Ukraine has developed.
As the war in Ukraine rages on, there is little doubt that the human cost has been enormous for Ukraine, including what is likely more than 100,000 soldiers who have died in combat operations. However, there was one man who predicted much of what has come to pass in the battle in the east of Europe: George Soros.
The billionaire oligarch financier, often portrayed as a humanist, promoted a hard-nosed geopolitical strategy in his 1993 piece entitled “Toward a New World Order: The Future of NATO.” In the piece, he outlines how Eastern Europeans could be used as the “manpower” in coming conflicts in an effort to reduce the number of deaths in Western countries, which Soros argues the West would not politically tolerate, unlike the east of Europe.
“The United States would not be called upon to act as the policeman of the world. When it acts, it would act in conjunction with others. Incidentally, the combination of manpower from Eastern Europe with the technical capabilities of NATO would greatly enhance the military potential of the Partnership because it would reduce the risk of body bags for NATO countries, which is the main constraint on their willingness to act. This is a viable alternative to the looming world disorder,” wrote Soros in the article.
Soros acknowledges that the NATO countries have no appetite for “body bags,” but his statement implicitly indicates that Eastern Europeans can fill this role.
What Soros described appears to be unfolding exactly as he predicted regarding the war in Ukraine. Armed with high-end NATO weapons, Ukrainian soldiers are ones tasked with actively countering Russia, which Soros had already feared would become a nationalist nation opposed to the global order he was promoting in 1993. Given that Soros already saw the potential of what this symbiotic match could produce on the battlefield decades in advance will likely bolster his reputation as a calculating — and perhaps ruthless — strategic thinker.
As Soros predicted, Ukrainian society appears to be tolerating the high death toll in its current conflict with Russia. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. lost 58,220 over the course of approximately 10 years, and yet, the war saw strong opposition from the American public. Despite a far higher death toll in a far shorter period of time, Ukrainian society has seen little in terms of protests.
The lack of protest in Ukraine may also be helped by the fact that Ukraine has suspended most of civil society, banned opposition parties and media, and even outlawed the Russian Orthodox Church. Another key factor in society’s perspective on the conflict is that the war is taking place on Ukrainian soil, which is a highly motivating factor for Ukrainian soldiers.