The free world is looking on aghast as Russia invades Ukraine to try to turn it into a puppet state. But Ukraine wants to be free and independent and is fighting back hard. Russia is a corrupt state dominated by Vladimir Putin and his oligarchic friends. For the sake of world peace, Russia now needs to be reined in to deter more aggression.
According to Walter Russell Mead, writing in the Wall Street Journal:
- The failure of Russia’s initial military campaign has put Putin “on the political and military defensive. The U.S. must do everything possible to exploit this unexpected opportunity for a decisive victory against a dangerous opponent.”
- As Zbigniew Brzezinski put it back as 1992, “it cannot be stressed enough that without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire but with Ukraine suborned and then subordinated, Russia automatically becomes an empire.”
- “Xi Jinping has also miscalculated by putting his full prestige behind the Russian alliance just as Mr. Putin stepped into the abyss. Thanks to that misstep, any setbacks Mr. Putin encounters in Ukraine are setbacks for Mr. Xi as well.
- “Nothing matters more right now to the peace of the world and the security of the U.S. than crippling Mr. Putin’s drive to rebuild an aggressive and despotic empire by waging a criminal war.”
- To accomplish this three more things must be done. First, we must go all out to support Ukraine’s ability to fight.
- “Second, the sanctions on Russia, especially the energy sanctions, need to become more effective.
- “Finally, the administration must, for now, make opposition to Mr. Putin the core of its global foreign policy. . . . Team Biden must look creatively and act boldly to hit Russian interests all over the world.
Conclusion. “As (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zalensky put it to the President, in a respectful but personal challenge: “You are the leader of the nation, of your great nation. I wish you to be the leader of the world.” Mr. Biden wanted to be FDR but the world needs him to be Harry Truman at the dawn of the Cold War.”