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Does President Joe Biden’s team not see that they are doing exactly what Neville Chamberlain did 83 years ago? They are reported to be ready to hand over territory of Ukraine, a secondary ally, to Russia President Vladimir Putin, a weak international thug. But doing so will show the hollowness of the Western alliance.
Obviously, we will not go to war with Russia over Ukraine. But Russia also cannot afford to go to war with the West over Ukraine because it would lose and because it would do enormous damage to its economy. It is willing to fight Ukraine but not to stumble into a war with NATO. Neither side knows for sure what action will trigger war, but each side bluffs about how tough it will be, so each has to be careful not to take a step that would be the war trigger. Neither knows where the other’s line is, so it is possible to stumble into a war when neither side wants it. So there is a lot that the U.S. and its allies can do to deter Russia short of war because they don’t want war with us either.
But Biden has given up the bluff already. He has made it clear that we will not fight if Russia takes some Ukrainian territory. Russia can guess that the action that would trigger war is actually less than what we have already revealed. So it can demand even more.
Putin is a master chess player. He has a weak hand, although not as weak as it was a decade ago. He’s already gotten away with taking Crimea and forcing Donetsk and Luhansk into an ambiguous status. Taking another big chunk or all of Ukraine will make him a major threat and embolden him further. This is the time to stop him, before he becomes too powerful. Smart chess playing by the U.S. administration could stop him without war.
Dementia Joe, or whoever is actually calling the shots, has already given up the game. Instead of at Munich, the appeasement happened on Zoom.Published in