Ukraine: Dangerous, Worrisome Times

No longer bluffing, as we had all hoped, Russian dictator Putin has now moved ahead with his regrettable, comprehensive military invasion of the independent nation of Ukraine, heading toward its capital city (Kiev), with the apparent intent of either forcing a surrender or, by outright conquest, claiming Ukraine as a re-attached part of the Russian “Union.” The world hopes that his damaging, murderous aggression will stop there, and Americans certainly hope that no U.S. troops will become involved in this or related (NATO) combat.

No surprise, the Ukraine crisis is a very dangerous situation, both for Europe, America, and the remaining world.  In fact, in a recent interview, retired Army Lieutenant-General Keith Kellogg stated: “Welcome to Cold War II.  I think we are there. And I don’t see anything good coming out of this.”

Commentator Erick-Woods Erickson has written a piece about the “Reality of the Situation.”  Wrote he: “Putin has been very open that he wants to expand the Russian sphere of influence and curtail NATO. In his 2007 Munich speech, he literally said out loud that he wanted to roll back the Westernization of Eastern Europe and restore Russia’s dominance.”

Feeding that power lust, several European nations have followed the foolish ambitions of the ‘climate control’ zanies here at home by reducing their dependence on both fossil fuel and nuclear to, instead, embrace renewable sources with all of their negatives.  The result: reliance on Russian natural gas, when the renewable ‘magic’ doesn’t heat or cool sufficiently! That reliance will begin to impact those neighboring nations negatively now, with their efforts (Germany) to sanction Russia’s own pipeline construction.  Sanctions on Russia when, says Erickson, “Russia can (generally) bypass them via China.”  Concluded Erickson: “We used to have a military designed to fight two big wars, but now we can’t contain them both concurrently. So, things are going to get a lot more dangerous in large part because the Biden Team does not have the will or sense to rapidly build back up the military.” Thus, the “reality” of our current situation, despite the present fact that it’s ‘only’ Ukraine.  More on our military later.

Author Peter Zeihan (The Absent Superpower) has weighed in, with his book chapter 6, on the Russia-Ukraine crisis, titled “Russia’s Twilight War.”  Zeihan says that it’s a mistake to view this current invasion of Ukraine as “madness” on the part of Putin. Rather, “Russian leaders have viewed control of Ukraine, the Crimean Peninsula, and access to the Black Sea, as vital to the security of Russia and Russian interest for centuries.” He goes on to underscore eroding conditions within Russian society (“terminal demography”) ongoing, says he, since the fall of the Soviet Union back in 1991. Zeihan highlights “a collapsing healthcare sector, skyrocketing alcohol and substance abuse, falling birthrates, declining life expectancies, and the ravages of disease – including tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS – has left Moscow to secure vast territories with a shrunken and shrinking military.” Thus, “Russian demography can help us understand the timing (of the Ukraine invasion).” Interesting, but one does have to wonder about the validity of the “shrunken military” claim, certainly the Ukrainians, today, don’t seem to be dealing with any apparent Russian military weakness.  But Zeihan is a geopolitical expert, so we’ll go with his analysis.

Emphasizing the seriousness of the Ukraine situation, the New York Post published an article by American Enterprise Institute senior fellow Dalibor Rohac, in which he indicates that the Ukraine invasion is a threat to America, as well.  Writes Rohac: “As Vladimir Putin’s gangster regime moves to recognize the two people’s republics’ of Luhansk and Donetsk, it raises the stakes in the conflict that many fear might lead to a cataclysmic land war in Eastern Europe. I am holding my breath.”  And as the conflict does impact the U.S., Rohac says: “There are strong reasons for Americans to take the Kremlin’s ongoing was against Ukraine seriously, because instability in Europe, which has historically tended to emerge along a line running from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, threatens America’s vital interests, including its ability to confront China.”  And American impact again: “Unless the United States is planning to abandon their European allies altogether, granting Putin his coveted sphere of influence is a recipe for endless conflicts in which this or future administrations will have no choice but to intervene, dragging our limited military resources into the European theater and away from the Indo-Pacific.”

On the subject of our military resources, you’re aware that the current military budget is actually an overall reduction, since it doesn’t account for the sizeable negative impact of inflation!  And regarding our men and women in uniform, facing forced reductions due to the COVID vaccine mandates, Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) has introduced the Service Restoration Act intended, as the title indicates, to reinstate service members terminated due to failure to accept the vaccine mandate. “Hundreds of valuable American service members are being forced out of our military, taking with them years of subject-matter expertise, careers of selfless sacrifice, and lifelong dreams of military service.  This is strategically foolish, profoundly unamerican, and completely unacceptable.” Those already dismissed would be able to “get back to honorably service with their country, with their time of service and their records rightfully restored.” Certainly, a timely effort, given the very subject we’re talking about above.  But it may be an uphill climb toward passage, given the politics on the other side of this and apparently any other issue involving America’s military.

And speaking about the quantity and quality of America’s armed forces, retired Lieutenant-General Gregory Newbold is concerned, as are several other more conservative (make that, common sense) minded Americans regarding the forced influence of “woke” politics seemingly being imposed nationally on our military.  Said General Newbold, concerned the thought that senior military leaders and politicians may be developing a bit of “dementia” when it comes to the military’s role and its incredibly serious/vital responsibility in warfare: “The purpose of the American military is to deter would-be enemies from going to war with America and, barring that, to defeat those enemies in combat. That being the case, the American war machine cannot – should not – attempt to reflect the more polite aspects of wider society. Consensus building, deference and (frankly) softness have their place in polite society, but nothing about intense ground combat is polite – it is often sub-humanly coarse. Lethality (is) the gold standard in terms of combat effectiveness.  Ferocity, not sensitivity, prevails.”  Smart, experienced, reality-based observations, so badly needed, at a time when ‘diversity, equity & inclusion’ now seem to be the popularized social-work-based factors now driving much of American civilian, academic, and business life.  Perhaps fine there, but not the dominant force needed to direct our military.  Regardless of polite society demographics, the role of our rough-in-combat military is to “train, fight, win.”  “Ferocity, not sensitivity”!!!

Speaking of polite, not ferocious, action with regard to America’s Russia sanctions response (to date) to the Ukraine invasion, it’s been reported that, following President Biden’s recent update and reporter Q-&-A, when asked about whether the sanctions were tough enough, Mr. Biden was said to have responded: “Let’s have a conversation in another month or so to see if they’re working.”  No call-to-action there!! And not what America wants or needs to hear in the face of predictions about Cold War II, or even the potential for World War III.  We can all just hope and pray this deadly serious invasion of Ukraine can be contained within that nation alone, as tragic as that is.  Otherwise, there’s every possibility that our lives here in America may never again be the same. Stout federal (and Allies) policies, and earnest prayer, would seem to be the time-tested keys to our own, and the world’s, safety.


(Kellogg quotes via, Yael Halon, 2-27-22; Erickson “Reality” quotes via, Erick-Woods Erickson, 2-23-22; Russia’s Twilight War via, Peter Zeihan, 2-24-22; Putin’s moves threaten America via, Dalibor Rohac, 2-21-22; Service Restoration Act via, Dillon Burroughs, 2-9-22;  ‘Ferocity, not sensitivity’ via, Brett Davis, 2-14-22;  To see if they’re working quote via, John Podhoretz, 2-24-22).