In this piece, I argue that those European states most directly threatened by Russia must enhance their military capabilities.
President Trump is a transactional leader. So, too, is Vladimir Putin. Let’s do the mother-of-all geopolitical deals and get on with more pressing matters of state already. Neither Ukraine nor Venezuela are worth risking a wider war with Russia. And, despite what “experts” in the United States claim, Russia is a declining power with delusions of grandeur. American policy toward Russia has left Putin with little hope. Thus, as he is increasingly boxed in by the West and a rising China to his east, the likelihood of Putin lashing out militarily against the West is higher now than it has ever been.
“Washington cannot lose its head on this matter. This isn’t Hitler marching into Poland in 1939. This is more akin to the Agadir Crisis in 1911. The Agadir Crisis was an outgrowth of German and French competition for greater influence in Morocco. The crisis was ultimately settled by slow negotiations which ratcheted down tensions. Of course, this event was one of those moments in history which set the proverbial stage for a far nastier event—the First World War—but the Agadir Crisis itself was small and ameliorated with shrewd diplomacy between the affected powers.”
“It’s time to face the fact that the United States has become the battleground for a ridiculous proxy war between two cousins, Ukraine and Russia. It’s no different than how the United States was the victim of an internal blood feud within Islam on September 11, 2001.”
The emergence of a Trump Doctrine for U.S. foreign policy is at hand in Eastern Ukraine. It seems predicated on deterring adversaries, reassuring allies, and protecting America through strength. Read more to find out what I mean…
The U.S. does not have the force posture capable of resisting a Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine. Putin knows this. As such, he will test President Trump early in his administration. Trump will likely make a deal with Putin in the near-term for concessions here. But, I suspect, once President Trump completes his military expansion and force modernization, he will begin fully resisting Russian aggression. Time and resolve, therefore, is the best answer to Russian revanchism.