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September 14, 2022

Does Ukraine Matter?

The outcome of Ukraine’s war with Putin will have significant American and global security implications.

Despite isolationist rants by some populist media personalities who fancy themselves “foreign policy strategists” (Tucker Carlson), Ukraine’s victory in the war with Vladimir Putin and his Russian invaders does matter to our critical national security interests. Containing Putin’s expansionist objectives, by Ukrainian surrogacy, is very important, given our NATO obligations. But more immediately, Putin’s manipulation of European energy markets influences global prices of not just energy but all production that is energy dependent — and that will likely cause a significant increase in the Bidenflation now hitting all Americans. And Biden’s grossly misnamed Inflation Reduction Act is going to pile it on.

Yes, there are legitimate accountability questions about the U.S. dollars and military resources being poured into Ukraine, a country that has been replete with top-to-bottom corruption for decades. Indicative of that corruption, recall how in 2015, then-Vice President Joe Biden used U.S. military assistance as leverage to protect his corrupt son Hunter Biden from Ukrainian prosecution due to graft from their Burisma energy buddies.

In December of last year, we accurately outlined Putin’s ambitious rationale and plan to invade Ukraine, his objective being to re-absorb the Donbas region along the Russian border, if not march west and annex the entire nation. As anticipated, in February, Putin launched a massive invasion — the biggest military operation since Adolf Hitler swallowed Poland in 1939, or as the inept Joe Biden referred to it, a “minor incursion.”

Ahead of that invasion, Biden deployed Secretary of State Antony Blinken to scare Putin into submission. Apparently, that did not work. Then came Biden’s bumbling post-invasion NATO address to demonstrate to all our European allies the extent of his foreign policy ineptitude and that of his feckless administration. He did get one thing right when suggesting our policy with Putin is “regime change,” though he promptly walked it back.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his warfighters responded to Putin with strength and resolve that most Western analysts did not anticipate — so fierce, in fact, that three months into the war we were raising questions about how long Putin could stay in the fight. Zelensky’s capabilities were greatly enhanced by Biden’s “leading from behind” provision of $40 billion in military and humanitarian support, which in many ways mirrored Ronald Reagan’s strategy to force Russia into submission by draining its military, government, and market capital, and thus Putin’s political capital.

Over the last 10 days, Zelensky’s leadership and his warfighters’ perseverance have manifested in major Ukrainian offensives along Russia’s border — and corresponding setbacks to Putin’s forces. It was a bad week for Vlady. In fact, Ukraine forces retook more than 2,300 square miles of its territory in the Kharkiv region — the most significant military operation since ejecting Putin’s forces from Kiev in April. The timing of this initiative was essential ahead of the harsh winter months, which limit the movement of heavy artillery, and is a frontal challenge to Russian dominance.

Russian forces rapidly retreated, though Russia’s Ministry of Defense framed the retreat as a “strategic regrouping” of its military assets. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insists that the invasion of Ukraine “will continue until all the goals that were originally set are achieved” and said Putin is in “constant, round-the-clock communication” with his military leaders. It was a significant setback for Putin just after the six-month mark of his invasion.

As an American security contractor in Ukraine told me this week: “Success begets success, especially if reports they captured a key Russian military leader, Lieutenant General Andrei Sychevoi, are correct. But regardless, they’ve retaken more ground in a couple of days than the Russians took in all of August.”

That being said, Russia still occupies about 20% of Eastern Ukraine, including all the territory it seized in 2014 when Barack Obama and Biden empowered Putin’s “Russian Spring” invasion; Putin knew he could seize control of Crimea without Obama/Biden resistance. And the humanitarian cost to Ukraine has been very high. Notably, our sources indicate that the allegiance in Eastern Ukraine, which has been pro-Russian since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, has shifted significantly given the Russian war crime carnage in the region.

Even the Atlantic Council is demanding an international tribunal as a result of Russian attacks on civilians. But Biden is rejecting calls from Zelensky to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.

Ominously, the Ukraine offensive coincided with Russia’s firing a loud shot over the bow of Germany and the rest of Western Europe by shutting off gas flow from its Gazprom pipeline indefinitely. That has prompted Germany to prepare for severe fuel shortages this winter, which, by Putin’s strategic calculation, will weaken the resolve of NATO’s support for Ukraine.

Recall the 2018 UN summit, where then-president Donald Trump was pilloried by the Leftmedia after he warned of the perils of European energy dependence on a dictator: “Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course.” Putin now supplies roughly 40% of total European gas demand.

Further, as I have noted previously, Putin, a sociopath, is most dangerous when cornered.

Make no mistake, the outcome of Ukraine’s war with Putin will have significant American and global national security implications for years.

Finally, let me restate this point for the record: Anyone who believes that Russian dictator and former KGB thug Putin would invade Ukraine if Trump was still president is pathologically delusional. Power does not tolerate a vacuum, nor an inept and vacuous appeaser. Consequently, weakness invites aggression. The most dangerous threat to U.S. national security has been and remains Joe Biden.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

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