Keep Up Support for Ukraine - Until Putin Sues for Peace
This week saw the appearance of the world's leaders in New York, flying-in to address the United Nations. Ukraine was again on top of the agenda.
The now 19-month invasion of Ukraine by Russia has been a bloody miscalculation by Russia's President Vladimir Putin. What Putin expected to be a three week Blitzkrieg, has instead turned into a quagmire, as Putin's mostly inexperienced and badly equipped troops were slaughtered, with Russian retreats in the north, south and east.
But the Ukrainian counter-offensive has also turned out to be a miscalculation, as the Ukrainian military - depleted of manpower and dependent upon intermittent military supplies from America and Europe - has failed to crash-through in their "summer offensive."
To the skeptics and critics of US support for Ukraine let one thing be clear: Russia under Putin is an enemy of America and the West; The linchpin of the Russia-China-Iran axis. Putin and his regime flunkies have threatened "nuclear war" on America too numerous to note. He organizes murders and "hits" inside NATO members. And his "dream" of annexing the "Slavic core of the old Soviet Union" into a new East Slav superpower is a direct strategic threat to America and our allies in Europe.
Ukraine is fighting our war, and using only 3% of the annual US military budget - pennies in geostrategic terms - to defeat an unstable nuclear-armed rival.
Those who call for the US to "walk away" or "stop supplying Ukraine" play a dangerous game. A Russia that conquers Ukraine would soon be threatening NATO allies Poland, Hungary, Germany, Finland and Estonia. Except that next time it will be American men and women fighting and dying - and the cost will be far greater than a mere 3%, when the US military is forced to crank-up its operations.
This newspaper was deeply critical of the Biden administration for its weakness in early 2022, when it failed to strongly warn away Russia - giving Putin false hopes of a quick and unopposed invasion. But the positions now enumerated by Biden at the UN - to support Ukraine until the Russian invasion troops are ousted from Ukraine - are on point.
There is nothing wrong with a "negotiated peace" - like several GOP presidential candidates are calling for. But that will never happen until Putin sees a looming defeat in Ukraine - and America can negotiate from a position of strength. First, Ukraine has to start winning.