The Russian expeditionary operations in Georgia (2008), eastern Ukraine and Crimea (2014), and central Ukraine (2022) all met certain Russian criteria. One, Russia was flush with petrodollars from high oil prices; in contrast, the West was vulnerable to oil shortages and price spikes. Two, Russia felt that a current U.S. administration was so encumbered by domestic or overseas burdens that it would not likely respond. The United States talked loudly while carrying only a twig, as it agitated Russia by hinting at Ukrainian NATO membership or boasted openly about interfering within the internal politics of Ukraine at the expense of Russian interests.
That paradigm held true for America during the latter Bush administration in 2008, the second-term Obama administration in 2014, and the early Biden administration in 2022. In contrast, periods of petroleum surfeit and low oil prices helped the fuel-hungry West and hurt oil-exporting countries. An administration [Trump’s] that seemed unencumbered by foreign wars, had recently raised defense spending, and was deemed unpredictable and even dangerous in its responses seemed to deter Putin. So it was with America n 2017–20 when Putin talked provocatively but stayed quiet within his borders.
Military history reminds us of the need for humility, or at least the perspective that no generation is the end of history, but simply a phase, extended or brief, in an endless and unchanging sequence of new weapons and ideologies birthing counter-weapons and antithetical belief systems. And the effort to remind the public of those truths continues.
In the decades ahead, we will likely see frightening new weapons, revolutionary and unstable foreign aggressors, and ideologies that profess to change the rules of history. But these will all be transport systems—pumps, if you will—that merely accelerate the delivery, but do not alter the essence, of the timeless water of military history, based as it is on unchanging human nature.
The thing I enjoy most about the American Left’s beatification of the Ukrainian leader Volodimir Zelensky, is that their highest praise for him is to say that he is like Winston Churchill.
Churchill, the great conservative leader, has become a hero to the Left!
The political saint. They want to touch him.
It was neither Zelensky nor any of his fellow Ukrainians who violated the status quo on February 24. It was Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
His forces have butchered women and children, transferred populations, and used Iranian-made drones to deny electricity, heat, and water to millions of civilians.
Ukrainians did nothing to deserve this fate. Their countrymen have fled. Their economy is ruinous. Yet they continue to fight for national survival and democratic liberties. Only the most confused, damaged, or corrupted moral compass would fail to identify the just side in this battle, and be unable to distinguish the aggressors from the aggrieved.
In 1648 the Peace of Westphalia ended the destructive Thirty Years’ War in Europe and established national sovereignty as the reigning principle in international affairs. Vladimir Putin has violated this principle more than any leader alive today. Since 2008, when he invaded the former Soviet republic of Georgia, Putin has redrawn borders, carved up nations, and involved himself in the internal affairs of other lands. If Putin conquers Ukraine, if he squashes its democratic aspirations, if he imprisons or kills its political class and reabsorbs parts of its territory into a new Russian empire, he won’t stop.
He will just pick another target. Moldova, maybe, or the Baltic states.
Putin will pursue his next objective having neutralized the United States and proved to Xi Jinping that evil men can seize land by force at high but manageable cost, and eventually profit from it. The enemies of freedom will act with impunity. And the day when America will have no choice but to respond with military force, putting U.S. soldiers at risk, will be brought forward.
This is THE big issue that divides conservatives. We had better pay close attention to the ‘other side’ (other conservative side), and refrain from insulting each other. You can be a good patriot and have either position.
Here is an essay that evreyone should read.
“Democratic America…or Autocratic Russia and her Chinese patron.” But America is also now autocratic, and a Chinese patron. Our government has sold us out to them.
If our leaders are so concerned about saving Democracy from the CCP, then why are they allowing them to steal our technology and control our manufacturing, including the manufacture of vaccines?
They’re also cozying up to the Communist thug Lula in Brazil, who is also a patron of the CCP. Why aren’t they concerned about Democracy in Brazil?
Much of the money given to Zelensky is being laundered and ends up back in the pockets of our politicians.
That’s the only reason they are so concerned about supporting his fight for “democracy”.