What a Russian victory means to America … and world democracy
Most of the reporting on the Russian invasion focus on land acquisition. In many ways, that is the least of the danger facing the free world if Russian acquires Ukraine. There are three other considerations of greater importance than the mere acquisition of more land.
- Strategic Advantage. Though it is related to the issue of land, it is the location of that land that multiplies the danger. If Russia were to annex all of Ukraine and Moldova – which is the objective of Russia’s current aggression – it would put the Russian armed forces across NATO’s eastern border.
Remember that one school of thought was that Putin did not want NATO on his border. Ukraine, Moldova, and Finland were seen as unaligned buffer states. But if that was true, Putin would not be attempting to put himself on the border of NATO by eliminating the buffer states. He is very happy to have Russia border NATO as long as he controls the other side of an expanding Russian border.
It has been a very serious mistake for American and allied diplomats to proffer and act on their own flawed analysis of “buffer-states.” In erroneously accepting Russian propaganda on that issue, the west has rejected pushing NATO membership for Ukraine – leaving Putin the option to invade.
The idea that being a buffer-state offered a measure of independence and safety for those nations. Au contraire. Finland remained out of NATO on that theory. Now that the world has seen Putin’s intentions, Finland is eager to join the Alliance. They understand that should Russia take Ukraine and Moldova, Finland is the only non-aligned nation on Russia’s western border.
Any expansion of landmass gives a nation more strategic value in positioning its military and gaining intelligence – conversely shrinking those benefits for adversaries. That is what has already happened to the United States in the Middle East in terms of Syria, Iraq — and especially with Afghanistan thanks to the appeasement policies of the western diplomatic elite.
- Asset Acquisition. If Russia takes control of Ukraine, they acquire the rich mineral and agricultural assets of Ukraine. That is more than they get by beating the United States in Syria. Ukraine is a major world supplier of critical minerals. The nation holds five percent of the earth’s critical minerals. Including such ores as titanium and iron – in addition to a wide range of non-metallic raw materials. It is a major source of natural gas. If those resources fall into the hands of Russia, it would be a profound disaster for the west.
Ukraine is also called the “breadbasket of Europe” for good reason. And they are a major supplier of foods around the world, including nations in Africa. This is already evident in the grain that has been stolen from Ukraine during the war. Millions upon millions of metric tons of grains have been seized.
Farm production has been slowed down by the war, and distribution points strategically targeted by Russian missiles. With control of Ukraine’s arable soil, Russia can expand its oil-based economy as a significant supplier of food to the world. It would do to some nations, what oil has done to even NATO nations such as Germany and Hungary. Control the energy and the food and you control the nation – and a lot of the world.
- Shifting Alliances. No one aligns with a loser. There are three types of nations that America and the west need to worry about. The enemies and those already aligned with the enemies of democracy – and there are a lot of them. Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, Venezuela, and a few more.
Then there are those who shift allegiance depending on where the economic and military power lies. Nations like Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Austria, and most of southeast Asia.
And finally, even allies who will find it a matter of pragmaticism to depend more on Russia and China. Even NATO nations like Germany, Hungary, and Turkey.
America as lost a LOT of prestige and respect in recent years. Enemies do not fear the United States, and allies are less trusting. The United States’ role as a world leader is diminished and seriously threatened – another loss, this time in Ukraine, could be an existential blow to that leadership.
There is a lot more at stake in terms of the war in Ukraine. The global attack on worldwide democracy – and the nations that embrace it — has begun in real time in terms of cyber warfare, economic warfare, and diplomatic warfare on America and NATO. We are at a tipping point. The west must not only stop Putin. He must be defeated – Russia must be defeated. That means withdrawal and reparations – and probably regime changes in Moscow.
That is a heavy load – some say impossible. But if we do not defeat Russia, the future for America and global democracies become very grim.
So, there ‘tis.
Part 3 will deal with how a regime change might happen – and the good and bad options.