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Who Lost Ukraine?
Who lost China? was the foreign policy “question” relentlessly targeted against the Democrats, specifically President Truman. The context was the Communist takeover of the Chinese mainland in 1949, in which the American-supported Nationalist Chinese fled to Taiwan.
Who lost Ukraine is the question that President Biden and the Democrats will soon face unless they shift policy. The President has done great things to galvanize military and humanitarian support for Ukraine. But from the get-go, he has chosen to talk softly and carry a small stick —uttering either no words or timid words in response to Vladimir the Despicable’s unprovoked, genocidal invasion of Ukraine and Putin’s ongoing threats to crush Ukraine with all necessary means.
Putin has a clear game plan. If Biden and his generals don’t see it, they aren’t sentient beings. Putin isn’t interested in conquering Ukraine. He’s interested in making it an uninhabitable buffer zone between NATO and Russia. This may well include staging accidents in Ukraine’s 15 nuclear plants or using them as firing points from which to draw Ukrainian fire. This form of nuclear war can, in short order, make all of Western Ukraine uninhabitable — for centuries. As it is, the area around Chernobyl won’t be habitable for 20,000 years!
Short of staging nuclear accidents, Putin will continue to fire cruise missiles, conventional and hypersonic, from long range. The HIMARS artillery rocket systems — the most advanced artillery provided by the US to Ukraine — has a 53-mile range. The Russian cruise missiles have a 3000-mile range. Unless Ukraine is given advanced anti-missile systems and equipped with modern military aircraft, Putin’s war of attrition will continue as long as needed.
I’ve previously penned one, two, three, and four columns on responding to Putin and predicting what has happened if Biden didn’t radically up his game. To date, 12 million Ukrainians have fled their homes — this out of a population of slightly more than 40 million. Putin invaded six months back. At this pace, it will take Putin less than two years to uproot all remaining Ukrainians. This is not a hypothetical. This is Putin’s MO. Recall what he did to Grozny.
Biden needs to announce four things: First, the immediate admission of Ukraine to NATO, which will make NATO a party to the conflict. Second, the announcement of an immediate ceasefire between NATO, with negotiations that follow permitting a) Russia to lease Crimea and other captured territories of eastern Ukraine for 100 years and b) the lifting of Russian sanctions. Third, a clear warning that use of any nuclear weapons against the United States or any of its allies, including Ukraine, either explicitly or “accidentally,” will be viewed as a nuclear attack on the United States. Fourth, a declaration that Putin and each of his top generals and advisors will be at the top of our target list in the event Putin does not cease fire and pursues war with the United States and its allies.
If Biden doesn’t toughen up, he will lose Congress in November and we’ll see Putin’s lapdog, Trump — our country’s foremost traitor (not for his carrying Putin’s water, but for staging the January 6th attempted coup) — back in power in 2024. At that point, there will be no one to stop Russia moving into the Baltics, Finland, Romania, and Poland. And the answer to Who lost Ukraine? will be crystal clear — Joe Biden.
Economic Security Planning, Inc. (ESP) provides households and financial planners with powerful and extremely user-friendly personal financial planning software that delivers economics’ approach to financial planning.
Kotlikoff is author of his widely praised, recently released Money Magic — An Economist’s Secrets to More Money, Less Risk, and a Better Life. His co-authored — Get What’s Yours — the Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security was a NY Times Best Seller.
Personal: Check out my sons’ Airbnb available August 14th-21st due to a cancelation.