Ukraine should matter to everyone
A special military operation to “protect” Russia?
Ahem…no “peacekeeping” missions that I know or have worked with, are armed with 122mm mortars, RPGs, tanks, and Kalashnikovs.
Yet, as has happened throughout history, the aggressor (Russia) has unleashed its arsenal and chaos on a weaker neighbor (Ukraine), a nation of 44 million allies.
Contrary to Putin’s rhetoric, Ukraine did not threaten Russia. Nor did NATO. We’re witnessing in real-time, the invasion of a neighboring sovereign state — completely fabricated by Russia.
A democratic Ukraine is a threat to Putin’s kleptocratic rule.
Putin had launched what is likely to be Europe’s most intense war since WWII. It will likely destroy existing assumptions about Europe’s security and will undeniably impact the global economy.
Americans may wish (understandably, given massive failures in the Middle East and Afghanistan) not to get involved in a far-off war. However, if left unchecked, Russian aggression will have longer-lasting costs than sanctions or other measures.
Isolating Russia economically and diplomatically may simply not be enough.
We’ve always partnered to protect peace and stability in Europe. We share cultural, trade/commerce, political and familial ties with Europe’s 740 million people. Look to history (1914, 1939, and the Cold War).
Then we have the cybersecurity threat. Russians are ruthless masters of covert operations who play the long and devious intelligence game.
While I am not in the intelligence field, I’ve witnessed this firsthand working in Ukraine’s Donbas region in 2015–2016. And, after a decade in and out of hotspots in the Middle East, I can confidently attest that Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk were far scarier than anything I’ve seen. Far scarier than anything I witnessed when working/living 20 clicks from ISIL/ISIS in Iraq.
We must — the US and her allies calmly and intelligently, work with like-minded nations, to stand with Ukraine.