As Americans, there is good reason to support Ukraine. The Russian invasion should be condemned. Putin is sociopathic and perhaps wants his legacy to be a return of the USSR. He must be held accountable. But why engage Ukraine now? Guessing abounds, but we deal with what is.

How then might this play out? With NATO on its flank, what does Russia plan to do? As we’re seeing, the second prong of this attack is against Western Europe and Russia’s weapon is energy. By withholding natural gas to Europe, we may see the EU countries founder economically, perhaps creating a governmental shift as their citizens face insecurity and sacrifice in their daily lives. People’s morale may begin to decline. 

So is the third prong of Putin’s attack meant to break the will and spirit of the Ukrainian people? The Europeans? The U.S. however, will not immediately feel the consequences of this war but see only its lengthening. But without seeing diplomatic negotiations, U.S. support could wane, especially in light of our problems at home. Given that diplomacy and war are not separate entities, is this how Putin envisions a diplomatic concession? If the Ukrainian provinces fall, will the remainder of Ukraine be next? Will an updated version of the Truman Doctrine’s “Domino Theory” emerge? Has it already? How will we respond?

Thus far, Ukrainians have successfully reenacted the Battle of the Alamo. Will the end result be the same? What will the neo-cons and the “Leader of the Free World,” apparently consumed by theories of ideological imperatives and governed by stunted thinking, do next? Right now we are sending billions of dollars in aid and arms and hoping for the best.

When does it stop? How does it stop? We’ve been here before. Perhaps the late Ambassador Paul Nitze may provide something to think about. Paraphrasing Nitze, perhaps we have been too generous in our economic aid while paying inadequate attention to our own economic health. Or simply, money doesn’t grow on trees. Neither does understanding the world in which we live and with which we must deal.

Art Cole, Brevard

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