Leadership / War / Russia / International Relations
Why Ukraine Matters to America
Democracy is losing. Governments of the people, by the people, and for the people, have been in retreat globally. The Russian invasion is simply the latest, most savage and visible blow.
Putin’s aggression in eastern Europe is eerily reminiscent of Hitler’s action in the lead up to World War II. Hitler repeatedly spoke of the need to protect ethnic Germans and German speakers which eventually evolved into the pressing need to bring them into “greater Germany.”
Putin has employed the same language and thinking as he speaks of protecting Russian speakers. The reality is that Russian is widely spoken in all of the former Soviet republics. This is because the Soviets forced people to abandon their native tongues in favor of learning Russian. Using this as a pretext for war is disingenuous at best. More realistically, it’s typical Soviet-era clumsy propaganda. No surprise as that’s when Putin came of age and he yearns to return to the good old days when the Soviet Union was a superpower instead of just another major oil producer.
The Ukrainians have already surpassed all expectations in their defense efforts. With other countries now contributing money and munitions, it seems like a real possibility they may make the invasion costly enough for Russia to withdraw. Sanctions are not and will not be enough but they will contribute.
Failure to turn back the tide of this attack quickly and decisively will signal to others that invading others will be tolerated. China has never wavered in its belief that Taiwan is part of them. The only question is when it will rejoin the mother ship. The current situation could embolden the Chinese and accelerate its timeline.
Should Russia successfully occupy Ukraine, make no mistake it will not be the last. Look for Putin to pick off other former satellite countries such as Moldova, all of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Depending on the world reaction, especially NATO, the Baltics will be in the crosshairs. Russia often uses much of the same language when discussing Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania as well as Georgia and Ukraine.