Defeating Putin is America’s most important foreign policy … for now
On the far right and the far left, there is a mutual sentiment regarding the war in Ukraine – at least regarding the United States’ involvement. They oppose spending billions of dollars – and supplying offensive weapons – to aid the Kyiv government in fighting Russian aggression.
The reasons vary. Those on the left are genetically antiwar. They are constant complainers when it comes to funding the defense budget. Some say Ukraine is a corrupt nation not worth saving. FOX News’ Tucker Carlson has seen no reason to oppose Putin’s ambition to take over Ukraine. “What has Putin ever done to me,” he rhetorically questioned. Many see better uses for the money.
(Eighty years ago, the political ancestors of today’s opposition to aiding Ukraine were saying the same things about America’s entering the war against Hitler. But I digress.)
I not only disagree with their arguments, but I also do not even understand the logic of them. Saving the Ukraine Republic is important enough, but defeating Putin is critical to America’s and the world’s democracies’ national security … period. Putin is an existential threat to the free world.
He is the new Hitler. And like Hitler, Putin must be removed from office – one way or another. It seems the central question is whether we want Russian troops on the border of Poland or NATO forces on the Ukrainian/Russian border. And yes, that means winning the war and inviting Ukraine to join the Alliance.
My concern with the war is that we are not doing enough to assure victory as expeditiously as possible. Providing a lot of military support for a short war is more economical than moderate support for a prolonged war. We should have learned that lesson in Afghanistan.
An allied victory means the nations across the globe – Asia, the Middle East, and Europe – will be safe from future aggression by Moscow. It means the strategic location and resources of Ukraine will accrue to the benefit of the world’s democracies. Just as losing past wars has emboldened our adversaries, winning will have a chilling effect on Beijing, Tehran, and Pyongyang. The United States and other democracies would be free from Russian meddling.
There may be no more propitious time to do whatever it takes to defeat and depose Putin than right now. The Ukrainian military has recently achieved an impressive victory over Russian forces – reclaiming more than 2000 square miles of Russian-held territory. They routed the Russians – with soldiers chaotically retreating, leaving behind millions of dollars of equipment and weaponry. According to military experts, this is the time to keep the advance going – before the Russians can regroup.
Putin’s support on the home front is starting to cave. Dozens of municipal deputies have signed a petition calling on Putin to resign – charging him with dereliction of duty. According to the petition, “President Putin’s actions are detrimental to the future of Russia and its citizens.” Amazingly, the petition was published in the Communist media – and more than 80 others added their signatures.
There is growing unrest in the streets – and it has been reported that even key members of Putin’s inner circle are privately expressing doubts about his leadership.
This is the time, America, Europe and other nations around the world should maximize their military support for Ukraine. America should double down on weapons and training … provide critical intelligence (including targeting information) … provide on-the-ground military advisors … declare the area around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant a demilitarized zone and replace the Russian military with an international force of nuclear experts and soldiers.
The objective is to expel all Russian military from the borders of Ukraine – including the Crimea and Donbass Region … the establishment of an American military presence after the war … and the commencement of a war crime tribunal against Putin.
And as far as Putin’s removal from office, that would happen automatically once his invasion is utterly defeated. The folks in Moscow will end Putin’s tenure – one way or another.
We must understand that either Putin wins or Ukraine wins. There is no such thing as a compromise peace deal.
So, there ‘tis.