What is happening with the Russia/Belarus invasion of Ukraine is a world defining moment and the government of the United States response is woeful. Many have complained that the U.S. leadership position in the world has eroded to the point of being almost disappearance, they blame this on the previous administration but in the two instances where this administration has had the opportunity to demonstrate leadership on a global scale it has not only failed but failed miserably. With Afghan citizens pleading for their lives and freedom the administration left them to the hands of a ruthless, authoritarian group of fourteenth century troglodytes. And now a democratic country fighting for its freedom pleads for assistance and the U.S. boots the ball to China and the Europeans.
People ask, what U.S. national interests are at risk in what many term an internecine family feud? They see no reason to become involved. Once again people have not learned from history. If the bullies aren’t confronted early on they continue their ways. First Ukraine, then the Baltics, then Poland. All of these countries were once part of the Greater Russian Empire and the same reason Putin uses today will be used again and again. Freedom is at stake. We fought in Afghanistan to give people freedom when they didn’t know what it meant. There is no word in Pashto for democracy but we tried for twenty years to give that concept to the people and when some of them begin to believe and understand we jerked the rug out from under them with the excuse that Afghanistan had little to do with U.S. national security. In fact, it had everything to do with U.S. national security in that it became the new definition of how good the word of the U.S. government was in international affairs.
Now a real democracy, a country that knows the meaning of individual freedom and the concept of fair and free elections, is beset on three sides by dictatorships and calls for assistance. What is the U.S. response? Financial sanctions when military aid should be pouring through the Polish border. Not U.S. troops but equipment, fuel, foodstuffs. Additionally, the U.S. should be encouraging the Poles and other air forces that have Migs, which the Ukrainian pilots can fly, to allow the Ukrainians access to those planes and the munitions they carry. Yes, this might be upping the ante and Russia may see this as a military action against them but Russia cannot fight all of Europe and it knows that.
If all the U.S. can do is play the sanctions game then it needs to immediately play the energy sanctions card. The President must free up U.S. drilling and make arrangements to deliver oil and natural gas to the European nations that will stand against Putin and Lukashenko. To do less is not to do all you could. If the U.S. responds with rapidity the energy hurt of Europe will be short-lived. It can be done, but it requires will and leadership.
This is a moment of history and for the U.S. not to lead brings shame to each and every American who claims to value individual freedom from tyranny.
Step up to the plate U.S. and truly earn a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.