Largely due to the tough stands of presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, the Cold War with the Soviet Union ended in 1989 after 44 years. Communism was generally contained until Russia invaded the former Soviet nation of Georgia and later Crimea under the Obama administration. After no aggressive incursions while Trump was president, Putin is now at the threshold of the Ukrainian border with over 125,000 troops ready to invade after sensing weakness from the Biden administration. Let’s look at what is about to happen and why.
During my 24 years in the Air Force, my assignments were divided between flying and developing strategies to restrain the Soviet Union. Both responsibilities were in support of the Cold War between the world’s two superpowers. The Soviet Union’s objective was to ultimately rule the world under Communism. This involved expanding their subversion to as many countries as possible. They also were intent on controlling the realm of space and achieving superiority in nuclear weapons. The objective of the U.S. was to stop them, which we did 33 years ago through military and economic dominance. Russia, the residual nation of the defeated Soviet Union is hardly a superpower now. Its Gross National Product (GDP) in 2021 was $1.5 trillion compared to $21.8 trillion for the U.S. That positions Russia at 11th among the world’s leading economies. But Russia’s priority on military power ranks them third in the world in that category behind the U.S. and China. And its obvious objective, under the leadership of President Putin, is to resurrect the Soviet Union and spread Communism throughout the world. Their plan is to first reclaim the European Soviet Bloc countries beginning with Georgia, Crimea, and now Ukraine. Russia has craved its re-designation as a superpower nation for decades and has always looked to take any advantage of a weakened America.
If Russia succeeds in Ukraine, it will definitely move on to the next country. The Bible indicates it will one day invade Israel. When that happens, get ready to see the destruction and remaking of all creation with Jesus Christ as King of Heaven on earth. That is my theological comment for this post. You’re welcome.
For a year now, President Biden has given Putin every evidence of weakness on the international scene. Putin invaded Crimea after President Obama failed to show resolve in Syria. Likewise, he began preparations for invading Ukraine shortly after President Biden’s fiasco in Afghanistan and an abundance of other failures. He knew better than to try anything during President Trump’s term. If Trump were in the White House now, it is extremely unlikely we would see 125,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s border. All we are hearing from the Biden administration is that, if Russia invades, the U.S. will apply strong sanctions, and that we may even deploy U.S. forces into North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries. The Russian buildup of military forces at Ukraine’s border has been going on for months. We should have already had a U.S. force deployed to NATO countries many weeks ago. We should also make clear to Russia that, if they invade, they will face U.S. forces with a vengeance on Ukraine soil. All NATO countries should send the same signal. Putin only respects and responds to a will to employ military might. Economic sanctions don’t worry him much. The Biden administration needs to grow a backbone if we are going to avoid another generation of Russia’s expansionism. The time to stop it is now. It will be more difficult with each country that goes down.
America’s most important allies are the nations of the European Union and Great Britain. Four NATO countries border the Ukraine on its west. Ukraine could be a stepping stone to invading NATO allies, in which case, as a member of NATO, we would be obligated to their defense. Furthermore, China is showing signs of invading our friend, Taiwan. Without a doubt, China’s president, Xi Jinping, and his cronies are watching the Biden administration very closely to decide whether they can get by with invading Taiwan without a military reaction from the U.S. If we punt on Ukraine, China will move next.
The whole world, friend and foe alike, expects America to be the protector of democracy. Failure in that role is failure in every international relationship. America must get this one right.