Is Biden Policy Avoiding World War III? Not Really
As the war in Ukraine moves into its second year, there are those who credit President Biden with avoiding an escalation that would have led to a World War III by provoking Putin from launching nuclear weapons.
That is why the White House says Biden had not been all in terms of supplying the Ukraine military with the most advanced weapons at the moment of the invasion – or even as Putin’s military was surrounding Ukraine on three sides. We should have kept American and NATO military participation as an option – a threat. There should have been no restrictions on how Ukraine carried out the war – including counterattacking inside Russia. And we should have supplied everything need to win the war – including maximum sanctions. But that was not Biden’s policy.
I can see no circumstances that would have Russia deploying nuclear weapons. That would be nothing less than national suicide for Mother Russia. Even a limited use of tactical nuclear weapons would result in a massive response from the West that would bring the war to Moscow.
But even without the use of nuclear weapons, team Biden – and those soft on Putin and his dirty little war – argue that a more robust response from the United States, NATO, and other allies could have triggered World War III. They say Biden has been trying to prevent an escalation beyond Ukraine.
World War III sounds scary. However, those who cower in fear about an expanded war seem to be living in the 1940s. They conjure up a vision of a long-protracted ground war – or a nuclear Armageddon — with two evenly matched sides pounding each other into oblivion.
In fact, in the early phases of World War II, it appeared that Hitler’s Germany had a decided advantage. They had the most advanced and powerful military in the world. That was proven by the ease with which the Germans took over both eastern and western Europe.
And … Germany had powerful allies. The core of the Axis Alliance was composed of Germany, Italy and Japan which bonded in the Tripartite Pact. Five other nations later joined the Pact – Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Romania and Slovakia. Other nations – such as Spain under dictator Francisco Franco — were supportive of Hitler. The conquered nations also contributed to the military strength of the Axis. In other words, the Axis had a lot of allies and a lot of military might.
Fast forward to today – and those propagating a fear of World War III.
The only possible way Putin could theoretically escalate the conflict in Ukraine to a broader war would be to use nuclear weapons and/or attack a NATO nation. He has already proven to the world that he presides over a less than impressive military. He cannot win a one-on-one with Ukraine – and we are to believe that he will escalate the conflict beyond Ukraine’s borders.
Who would be on his side? Who would go into war in an alliance with the Madman of Moscow against the combined power of the West?
China has a very powerful military, but there is no way they would participate in an all-out war against the West. Chinese President Xi Jinping has been very supportive of Putin’s war – but only verbally. Xi will not even send Putin the military equipment he begs for. North Korea has been filtering military equipment to Russia, but only in a limited way – and Kim Jong Un is not about to send his soldiers into a war with the West or invade South Korea. Even Belarus – which Putin has under his thumb and has recently agreed to host Russian nuclear bombs – is not all in with Putin’s war. President Alexander Lukashenko has a very large anti-Putin population. He has allowed Putin to use Belarus as a staging area but has refused to deploy soldiers to support Russia’s invasion.
That leaves Iran. They are currently sending military drones to Russia, but I cannot imagine they would open up a World War III theater of conflict in the Middle East. Who would they attack or invade? Israel, Saudi Arabia, and most other Arab nations would welcome the opportunity to crush the regime in Tehran – not to mention the possibility of a civil war. The Iranian people have already expressed their disdain for the leaders in Tehran.
And what about South America? Putin’s closest friends are limited to Venezuela and Cuba – and does anyone think they would mount a military attack on the United States?
In other words, no matter what Putin does, he cannot trigger a world war because his portion of the world will not participate. That leaves Russia up against the most powerful military forces on earth – the United States, NATO, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Canada, Sweden, and others. The military that cannot even take over Ukraine is not going to start a fight with the majority of world nations.
Putin has survived only because the West – mostly the United States– has refused to call his bluff. Has refused to supply Ukraine with everything it needs to route the Russian army. Under the current situation, Putin is safe as long as he does not launch nuclear weapons or expand his invasion into a NATO nation. Do that, and the Kremlin is rubble — and he is history.
All that scary talk about a third World War is just that – scary talk. It is the core of Putin’s strategy of intimidation. The fact that Russian forces still occupy portions of Ukraine is testimony to the success of Putin’s strategy.
Had the United States and the Western democracies responded to Hitler in the same way we are responding to Putin, we may still be in the first 100 years of the Tausendjähriges Reich.
And just for the record … I am not a warmonger. I hate war as much as anyone. My family has paid the ultimate price of a dragged-out war. Since the invasion started, I have called for hitting Putin with everything – sanctions, military equipment, and threats of more – not because I like war, but because I want it to end in victory as quickly as possible. As this thing drags on, more people die, are injured, and displaced. I see no compassion in allowing Putin’s dirty little war to drag on. And as for World War III … fuhgeddaboudit.
So, there ‘tis.