As of late Russian leader Vladimir Putin has making clear his intentions of invading Ukraine. Already he is occupying the Crimean peninsula. Several years after his failed attempt to conquer Georgia (not our Georgia), Putin is deciding to begin his attempt at recreating the old Soviet Union with the Ukraine.
As usual with these kinds of things, Putin is claiming to have a long-standing, indisputable claim to Ukraine. Thing is, the Russians relinquished its claims to other countries with the collapse of the Soviet Union. If the UK started making claims to countries it countrolled during the days of the British Empire, would you expect that to fly? Not to mention the issue of longtime oil/gas disputes between Russia and Ukraine. I’m sure this has nothing to do with oil.
And I’m of the mind that we Americans crossed the line with Iraq, but that hardly makes this right. Besides, at least we were never going to make Iraq a state or anything.
Despite the belief of many ignorant Americans, Putin is not a communist. In fact he is for “pro-growth” tax cuts. And yet his historical role is not measurably different from that of Joseph Stalin or Nikita Khrushchev. Putin still seeks to create an empire through force and threat of force. The more things change…
So what’s next? The U.S. government has threatened economic sanctions against Russia. This does not seem to be deterring Putin. After all, why would it? Sanctions only work if they would leave your opponent to conclude that what he is doing is more trouble than it’s worth. Since the Russians can get oil from Ukraine, it’s hard to imagine that sanctions would make an invasion more trouble than it’s worth.
That leaves but one possible way to stop this: war. Of course, that’s a pretty grim choice. It could very well lead to a domino effect that starts World War III.
So the most likely conclusion is that Putin at best halts his advance beyond Crimea. Quite possibly, Putin will take over Ukraine. If so, the title of this article may become true. Because such a victory will give Putin the ability to threaten country after country throughout eastern Europe and Asia. That means that Putin’s path of destruction is only beginning. And that means that another extended period of brinkmanship between the West and Russia is about to begin.
I’m really sorry to put it like this, but I’ve gotta call ’em like I see ’em. The truth is that to say we have a bad situation is like saying that the original Cold War lasted a short while.