I have been writing about the Ukraine crisis for several weeks. I believe that it is very important for the U.S. and its allies to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian invaders. The rules-based international order, in effect since the end of the Cold War in the early 90s, depends on it.
But the Ukrainian crisis could last a long time and there are other important issues confronting the U.S. Every once in a while I summarize my overall political outlook because it largely determines how I will come down on any particular issue. The last time I did this was in December 2019 when I talked about U.S. strength, China, global warming, debt, and polarization. What I said then is still operative but there have been three big events in the meantime:
- The coronavirus pandemic arrived in early 2020,
- Joe Biden was elected president in November 2020, and
- Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
How do these three events in the past two years change the world situation?
The pandemic has largely run its course in the U.S. and is becoming endemic. Just as most Americans get shots each fall to protect against the annual flu, future boosters for Covid-19 are likely to become an annual event, perhaps incorporated into our annual flu shots. The rapid development of coronavirus vaccines by the American pharmaceutical industry is what saved us from a potentially much worse pandemic.
Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump for President in November 2020, largely because the pandemic had not yet been subdued by vaccines at that point. After a disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden has recovered somewhat by handling the Ukrainian situation well. Where he, and the Democratic-controlled Congress, have stumbled is on the economy. Unnecessary overspending on pandemic recovery and infrastructure ($3 trillion total) has set off inflation, at an annual rate of 7.9% in February, which will be very difficult for the Federal Reserve to harness without causing a recession. I predict a strong red wave in the November 2022 elections, if for no other reason than the rapidly increasing price of gasoline.
We don’t yet know how the Ukrainian situation will play out. The best response, for the U.S. and its democratic allies, is to give the brave Ukrainian resistance fighters all of the military supplies they need to defend their freedom and independence against the Russian invaders. Maintaining world peace and international stability requires that the U.S. and its allies intervene to protect democracy around the world when it is threatened.
Conclusion. The U.S. is still by far the strongest country in the world both economically and militarily. Our free and democratic system has proven it superiority time and time again. But we can never relax our guard. The free world depends on our continuing leadership to keep moving towards a better world.