The first anniversary of Russian’s invasion of Ukraine has come and gone, and the uncertainty about how that conflict will be resolved remains, despite the West’s cheerleading and photo-ops with Zelensky, and billions in cash and materiel sent to Ukraine. Meanwhile, China is “strongly considering” supporting Russia with arms and ammo, Iran keeps sending Russia drones, and American support for aid to Ukraine is starting to dwindle.
The way out of this stalemate, moreover, requires choices none of which are politically palatable or possible. So here we are again, with our idealistic foreign policy reach exceeding our political will and materiel grasp.
The origins of this predicament in part lie in the still uncertain justifications for spending billions of dollars and depleting our own stockpiles of materiel. The Asia Times’s David Goldman recently posed the still unanswered questions about our reasons and intentions:
“In furtherance of what strategic interests has the United States acted in Ukraine? Is Ukraine’s NATO membership an American raison d’état? Did American strategists really believe that sanctions would shut down Russia’s economy? Did they imagine that the trading patterns of the Asian continent would shift to flow around the sanctions? Did they consider the materiel requirements of a long war that is exhausting American stockpiles? Did they consider what tripwires might elicit the use of nuclear weapons? Or did they sleepwalk into the conflict, as the European powers did in 1914?”
Answers from supporters of our intervention have remained vague. The stock response is that we must protect the “rule-based international order,” and if we appease Putin on Ukraine, Europe’s NATO bulwark against Russia, and the global economy’s security will be compromised, with a serious risk to our security and interests already being challenged by Russia, China, and Iran, the new triumvirate of autocrats eager to supplant the U.S. and its NATO allies as the global hegemon.
But this rationale raises even more questions. First, if Russia poses such an obviously dire threat, why didn’t NATO nations act sooner, before Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine? We’ve known for years about Putin’s dissatisfaction with the collapse of the Soviet Union, which in 2005 he called “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century,” and his ambitions to restore Russian hegemony in the Eastern European borderlands.
Indeed, in July of 2021, after Russia started deploying its invasion force to Ukraine’s border, Putin promulgated an essay justifying the forthcoming aggression. According to Maria Damanska’s analysis for the Center for Eastern Studies,
“The content of the article, which focuses on analysing the history of Russian-Ukrainian relations, is dominated by the claim that Ukrainians are an ancient, inseparable part of the ‘triune Russian nation’. This community is based on a common history spanning one thousand years, the language, the ‘Russian’ ethnic identity, the shared cultural sphere and the Orthodox religion. Their bond with the Russian state is special and organic; it guarantees Ukraine’s development, and any attempts to sever or weaken this bond (which could only be inspired by external actors) will inevitably result in the collapse of Ukrainian statehood.”
In other words, Putin has made his intentions as clear as Hitler in 1925 made his in Mein Kampf. But just as the British foreign policy establishment dismissed Hitler’s revanchist ambitions, apparently NATO nations didn’t take Putin seriously, despite the ongoing deployment of forces months before the invasion. Yes, international bluster slowed Putin down, but in October the deployments were restarted.
As John Bolton recently wrote in the Daily Telegraph, instead,
“The West stood idly by when Russian forces intervened in Donbas and seized Crimea; imposed only perfunctory sanctions thereafter; negotiated the embarrassing, Moscow-leaning Minsk Agreements; and for years did precious little to provide anything close to satisfactory levels of military assistance and training to Ukrainian forces.”
The fact is, the NATO nations, by their failure to take preemptive action, have signaled not just their failure of nerve, but also that defending the “rules-based international order” is merely an advertisement for Davoisie globalism.
Similarly, if the Biden administration was so worried about Russia’s malign intentions––which Putin had already made clear with his territorial grabs in 2008 in South Ossetia, and in 2014 with similar seizures in Crimea and eastern Ukraine––why wasn’t it concerned about strengthening our deterrent prestige? Instead, in 2021, the Biden administration fecklessly withdrew from Afghanistan, leaving behind stranded Americans and Afghan allies, 13 dead American troops, billions in materiel, and Bagram air base.
That abandonment of an ally, along with Biden’s announcing to the world at the start of the invasion that no American troops would support Ukraine, projected a perception that Putin would not have to face a serious NATO response with forces much larger and better equipped than Ukraine’s, which still have made Putin’s invasion a tough slog costly in lives and materiel.
Nor did Biden help with his veiled threat in March 2021 that Putin “cannot remain in power,” a provocative (and toothless) ukase that validated Putin’s claimed that regime-change is NATO’s primary objective, and so his invasion was defensive. And why does Biden keep saying that the U.S. will support Ukraine for “as long as it takes,” a blustering promise hostage to political change and unforeseen events?
Next, if defending the “rules-based international order” was such a priority, and Putin was such an obvious threat to its integrity, why didn’t NATO countries––which include five of the world’s richest nations––spend more money on creating militaries capable of doing so? Only a handful have met the modest 2% of GDP on military spending requirement, a goal that should be a floor, not a ceiling. The U.S. is barely making the cut, currently spending 3%, which is projected to decline going forward.
And despite the big promises made about defense spending once Russia invaded, NATO countries, including the second richest, Germany, have doled out weapons to Ukraine piece-meal, and still refuse to send tactical missile systems and fighter-jets to Ukraine.
As usual, the U.S. is contributing more to Ukraine than all the other NATO countries combined. This makes all the claims of NATO’s “turning point,” as Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz called it, away from quasi pacifism to military vigor, mere public-relations rhetoric. As John Bolton asked, “Does anyone think for a second that if the U.S. had washed its hands of Ukraine a year ago, the other NATO members would have leapt to defend it? Germans would now be clinking champagne glasses in the Kremlin in celebration of some new pipeline deal.”
Then there’s the rationale that if Putin’s aggression is not stopped, and if Ukraine is defeated, Russia would be positioned to expand its adventurism to European NATO countries that comprise the defenders and financers of the “rule-based international order.” So why, then, did NATO appease Putin’s territory grabs in 2008 and 2014, and why such limited and dilatory support for the current proxy-war being fought by Europeans on the cheap?
Finally, the persistence of moralizing internationalism, emphasis on multinational institutions, transnational treaties, and diplomacy substituting for lethal force explains all those failures to anticipate future threats and prepare for them. Instead, we rely on stern public statements and “parchment barriers”––like the New Start, serially violated nuclear arms limitation treaty that Putin just “suspended”–– instead of preparing a military that could back up all our big talk about the “new world order” whose managers seems to think that human nature has outgrown its national interests and irrational passions.
More immediately, we need a more forthcoming and cogent argument from the Biden administration and other Ukraine supporters. As the Wall Street Journal’s Gerard Baker wrote recently,
“The president needs to explain urgently to his fellow citizens how exactly the arms and money spigot for Ukraine isn’t draining the country’s military capabilities and its reservoir of strategic capacity for the long twilight struggle with China.”
As I said, support among voters for continuing our aid to Ukraine is starting to lessen, with AP reporting 48% approving, down from 60% a year ago, and only 37% in favor of direct cash-payments. It’s not hard to see why. Our economy is still hurting, national debt is rising, and Social Security and Medicare are facing insolvency. Meanwhile, China’s adventurism, such as sending with impunity a spy balloon across the country over our ICMB silos, and its massive spending on its military is an obvious a security threat.
Meanwhile, our military spending is projected to drop below the already stingy 3%. All these challenges are making many citizens question the wisdom of sending billions of dollars and expensive materiel to a faraway country about which many Americans know little.
Most important, we must accept that the foreign policy idealism we endorsed after the collapse of the Soviet Union is in need of some realism about human nature and motivation. “For,” as Thomas Hobbes put it,
“the laws of nature, as justice, equity, modesty, mercy, and, in sum, doing to others as we would be done to, of themselves, without the terror of some power to cause them to be observed, are contrary to our natural passions, that carry us to partiality, pride, revenge, and the like. And covenants, without the sword, are but words, and of no strength to secure a man at all.”
It’s time to accept that our vacation from history was over 20 years ago, and we need to get back to work strengthening our country’s security.
Floyd Looney says
We have something like 3,000 M1 tanks in storage and myriad of other over-purchased weapons systems. Send those. Don’t send cash.
Mo de Profit says
Interesting that the leftist elites believe that anyone who has orthodox religious beliefs are dangerous right wing extremists.
Apart from the religion of peace.
The billions in military equipment abandoned in Afghanistan was done deliberately.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the war on Judaea Christian values is globalist in nature.
The lie that Trump was colluding with Russia, the truth was Biden, through Hunter, was colluding with Ukraine.
Terence Gain says
That Ukraine no longer exists. Zelenskyy is a pro-western reformer.
Goodnight Irene says
Bruce, the threat to Russia had been the wildly aggressive expansion eastward NATO has made in recent years, with Ukraine being about the last nation bordering Russia wanting to join. For what purpose? I know. The EU and globalists which include the Obama administration currently running our country, want to provoke Russia, start a war, and then take over their country to get control of their oil and gas assets. Not too hard to figure out. The EU also despises Russia’s hardline stance on drugs, h o mo sex u al ity and its support of the Christian faith.
It’s really quite simple. I know who the good guys and bad guys are.
Mo de Profit says
I saw a speech by Putin condemning the western pedophiles who are perverting our children, couldn’t disagree with a word he said.
TRUMP condemned the GLOBALISTS regarding the Ukraine war recently in a 3 min video entitled:
“STOPPING the WARMONGERS and GLOBALISTS”
There he also condemns NULAND. He said: ” The
The war has given us the following lessons,according to pro-multipolar world analysts:
1. The use of quality DRONES is a game changer.
They move at a VERY LOW ALTITUDE and thus can NOT be DETECTED by RADAR. They are INVISIBLE.
Plus the use of anti-drone defense.
2. ARTILLERY is KING.
The US manufactures 110,000 shells per month. Russia began at 140,000/month,now
it is 450,000 shells/month.
3.Since artillery is king, Russia created PENICILLIN, an artillery detection system that can NOT, I repeat can NOT
be detected by RADAR.
When the Ukrainian FIRE, their exact position gets detected in 5 SECONDS, and boom, they don’t have enough time to
MOVE the cannon away,and thus get destroyed. Russia began using it in MID -DECEMBER 2022.
MARK SLEBODA, American university professor
in Russia, made a video about it ,youtube channel “The Real Politik with Mark Sleboda”:
“A Penicillin Cure for Ukraine: Russia’s 1B75 Counter-Battery Radar System” ( 13 min)
Terence Gain says
You’re being played.? Russians are in Ukraine raping and pillaging.
A) According to AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL the Ukrainian army is using its own citizens
as HUMAN SHIELDS.
That is a WAR CRIME, it is for doing that that Hamas and Hizbullah,among other things, are considered to be TERRORIST groups.
B) And all indicates the US blew up NORDSTREAM 1 and 2, that makes it also a TERRORIST state.
C) A few days ago JEFFREY SACHS ( world-famous Conservative economist) and RAY MCGOVERN ( former CIA analyst)
both testified to the UN SECURITY COUNCIL saying it was the US that did it.
A few weeks ago the GLOBALIST Washington Post (owned by BEZOS) published an article saying
23 INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES had concluded it was NOT Russia that did it.
Ukraine would have never been allowed to join NATO. Germany had already stated so. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was predetermined years ago when Putin essentially declared himself dictator for life. Read what Putin has said over the years and follow his actions, not your anti-western delusions.
Dave white says
Sounds similar to the late 1930s when we had a too small military and no will at home or in Europe to stop the Nazis when they took part of Czechoslovakia and could have been stopped. When war came to us it was much more costly than it would have been in 1938.
Dave white says
Sounds similar to the late 1930s when we had a military that was too small and no will here or in Europe to stop the Nazis when they took part of Czechoslovakia and could have been stopped. When we did go to war in 1941 it was much more costly in blood and dollars. I wonder if Putin is not stopped now in Ukraine will we have to stop him in a couple of more years in the Baltic states or part of Poland.
Ugly Sid says
America has been delivered to the Demographic Taxidermist, to be stuffed and mounted. We are a trophy, taken down with the elephant gun of immigration.
Thermonuclear war is the distraction.
The UNIPOLAR world, of US hegemony, is over. The only problem is if the Globalist US government,in DESPAIR,
will launch a NUCLEAR bomb.
A) THE DURAN, pro-multipolar world youtbers,both Greek, said yesterday that the GLOBALIST journal BLOOMBERG and other media have admitted this:
that Putin and madame NABIULINA ( Russia’s Central Bank director) have OUTSMARTED them. Somehow of the 300 BILLION dollars
OUTSIDE of Russia in Western banks,
they were able to take OUT 85% of it. They have only been able to find 35 to 37 billion of the 300 billion dollars.
They obviously knew the GLOBALISTS were going to do it,and acted ahead of time.
B) The Globalists had already decided to give ALL of Russia’s reserves in Western banks to UKRAINE for reconstruction. An action 100% ILLEGAL.
C) The Globalists have also taken the 100% ILLEGAL action to give all of the 95 BILLION dollars they froze and which belonged to the Russian OLIGARCHS
to Ukraine. The 80% of the world that is NOT Globalist is taking note.
Here is more proof the unipolar world is gone:
1. IRAK has recently decided to trade with CHINA not in dollars but in YUAN,China’s currency.
2. IRAN and INDIA are already using the YUAN and RUBLE in trade.
3. Russia also uses the YUAN.
4. Before 80% of world trade was in dollars, today it has gone done to 70%.
5. TURKEY is using the RUBLE in trade with Russia.
Ay, how to say it. To spend even MORE on the US military?
A) The US has 450,000 soldiers, Russia has 1 million.
And 170,000 of those US soldiers are in some 800 military bases in other countries.
B) Yet, Russia spends 61 BILLION or so dollars per YEAR on military spending.
The US: it is 800 BILLION dollars, 10 TIMES more.
C) And the US will have to pay
(getting the money for it via HIGHER TAXES and/ or HIGHER BANK INTEREST rates, plus
via BORROWING even more money )
1 TRILLION dollars just for its interest on its 31.5 trillion dollar debt ( which INCREASES every year by 1 trillion dollars more).
D) It would be better to REDUCE its military spending, if RUSSIA can do with 10 times less, for an army that is TWICE as big,
then it can be done, Use 720-730 billion dollars
on SOCIAL services, repair the infrastructure and REPAY the debt. Knowledge is Power.
dennis k streich dds says
It’s NOT confused.
It’s intentionally treasonous.
Walter Sieruk says
Maybe that it could be that Joe Biden and his crew will deliberately use that terrible situation in Ukraine as an a chance to start a major war in order to declare martial law in the United States that would quickly fit into their Red/Green agenda to establish a Communist/ Sharia type tyranny in America ?
Of course ,this sounds alarmist and even far-fetched idea , nevertheless, no evil insidious scheme is beyond the sinister limits of the Biden regime.
Personally… I’ve never supported the Hitler loving Neo Nazi’s of Ukraine!
Russia is working with America and the WEF establishing the Great Reset… it’s part of the plan… to usher in the One World Islamic Economic System…
Remember… Russia joined the WEF in Oct 2021 to bring about the Fourth Industrial Revolution… which includes the corona Virus Microbot Injections… to tie Humans into the IoT… programming humans with DATA through their DNA…
It’s all AI (Artificial Intelligence)… Transhumanism…
Terence Gain says
Zelenskyy is a Jew. The Azov battalion is fighting the communist Russians in Ukraine. Putin is trying to restore the Soviet Union. The Jew-hating Wagner Group is 2 divisions strong.. Ukraine is winning and it is sad to see America’s far right so completely clueless. Supporting Ukraine is the one thing Biden is doing right.
Jack Keane and Keith Kellogg are right. Sad to see FPM has lost its way.
Since the early 2000s honor is given to
literal SS NAZI Ukrainians in today’s Ukraine
via statues,monuments,plaques. .
A) A Jewish news website TRIBUNE JUIVE,pro-Israel, FRENCH (can be translated using Google Translate),
published an article detailing ALL the monuments,plaques,statues in Ukraine
in HONOR,again, in honor,
of Ukrainians who had killed Jews and/or Poles during WW II.
First published in JANUARY 2021, one year BEFORE the war began.
( republished by them this JANUARY 2023)
B) BANDERA was included but also plaques in honor of SS soldiers (Ukrainians)and others who killed Jews,some are :
SS soldier Dmytro Paliiv (1896-1944),
Oleksa Babiy (1909-1944) ( participated in the killing of 33,000 Jews in BABI YAR,near KIEV),
Ivan Kedyulich (1912-1945)( also killed Jews in Babi Yar),
Oleksandr Lutskyi (1910-1946) ( SS ),etc,etc,etc.
STATUES IN HONOR OF Roman Shukhevych (1907-1950)
Who was he? He was the Banderista leader responsible for the MASSACRE of 70,000-100,000
innocent Polish men,women and children in the region called VOLYN ( formerly part of Poland,in orthwest Ukraine). Ethnic cleansing.
Here is the article,in FRENCH:
Stallworth Larson says
As Eliot Cohen is quoted in American Spectator Ukraine is a “strategic bargain for the West. Like it or not Putin and his allies have to be dealt with, and this is the easier and more economical way for us to do so.
There could have been a negotiated settlement way back in April when NATO country Turkey offered to host peace talks but Biden refused. Now Biden, all the Democrats and even many Republicans (especially Neocons and RINO’s McConnell and Graham) openly say that this is no longer about helping to defend Ukraine but about “regime change” in Russia. Ukraine was never in our national security interest and why did we keep pushing Ukraine to join NATO when that was always a clear threat to Putin. This is basically a civil war between Russia and a country that was part of Russia for the better part the last 300 years until the USSR collapsed in 1991. And never mind that they have no idea what despot might replace Putin if they get their wish and who will get control of the world’s second largest nuclear arsenal? And never mind that openly calling to remove Putin and blowing up the Nord Stream pipeline are acts of war against Russia and clearly have nothing to do with Ukraine. And never mind that Putin can and is selling his gas and oil to China and India (the two biggest countries in the world) and is actually getting richer while Biden’s policies are bankrupting us and Western Europe. And now Biden has caused China to have an even stronger alliance with Russia which is the worst possible scenario for the world’s (and our) future. Good job Brandon. Past time to write to your Senators and Representatives and demand an end to this useless and unnecessary war.
Terence Gain says
Dreamer. Russia is not interested in peace. Putin wants ro to absorb Ukraine and then it’s on to Poland and the Baltic states.
That’s exactly right and the world must step up and stop him NOW or face WW3. in the next few years. Putin is a bully and no amount of negotiation will stop him.
You are wrong, PEACE agreements had been reached TWICE in 2022 between
Ukraine and Russia.
1. The then PRIME MINISTER of ISRAEL , name is NAFTALI BENNETT, has
PUBLICLY said in an interview that he secretly met with Putin,and in the end a
mere 9 DAYS ( in MARCH ) after the war began BOTH sides had agreed to peace, and
BOTH sides,not just Ukraine, had made important,BIG concessions.
But the US told Zelensky to destroy it.
2. The SAME in APRIL, about a MONTH later, in ISTANBUL, under Erdogan,
a peace treaty,with details to be settled later,had been reached, AGAIN,the US and NATO told Zelensky to destroy it.
Every decision and every strategy made and proposed by Joe Biden on Ukraine has been wrong, keeping his 50-year streak of being on the wrong side intact!
David Abercrombie says
Sorry Bruce, but past failures to act against obvious threats are no basis to continue such failures. Putin’s messianic behavior is now more clear than ever and no longer may be ignored.
geoff mizel says
The Ukraine vs. Russia or has it become the World vs. Russia? (ificoulbeasmile.com) PART I
It has been 1 year since the start of the WAR in Eastern Europe. America in that 1 year period has spent over $100,000,000,00 (BILLION) of Taxpayer money tyhat BIG government does not have. We have a TOTAL DEBT of over $200,000,000,000,000 (TRILLION) and $30,000,000,000,000 (TRILLION) is the National Debt. The Economy still is NOT in any shape or form performing as IT was over 2 years ago. INFLATION is still with us. #46 has NOT help create through his Police a SINGLE job. He is ONLY filling in those jobs losses that resulted from the lockdown.
geoff mizel says
WHY? is there a Major Problem in the WAR? 1) #46 is incapable of clear thought 2) h#46 handlers are GLOBALISTS 3) this among many other Problems, Crisis, Situations are a mens justified by a deadly Goal of the “fundamental transformation of America” 4) the Political “elites” are for the MOST part “thinkers” inside a pre-determined box
FakeNEWS enables “We are all born IGNORANT but we must work hard to remain STUPID” (Ben Franklin) 6) fat FAR too many Americans will gladly seek Safe & Security over their GOD given RIGHT for Life liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness 7) Common Sense Reasoning & Logic have ALL been REPLACED by FEELINGS COMPASSION CARING & SENSITIVITY 8) MANY have decide that BIG government should & MUST override all the rime FREE WILL “if it is to, it is up to me. Is complete lost to MOST folks 9) America’ VISION & IDEALS are becoming irrelevant 10) Albert Einstein’s definition of INSANITY: engage in the EXACT same behavior (s) over & over again each and EVERY time EXPECTING a very different result BUT Each and every time getting the exact SAME Result. that is INSANE.
WELCOME to the new America whether you like it or not.