Looking For Trouble

“When you get into trouble five thousand miles from home you’ve got to have been looking for it.” Will Rogers

Will Rogers is one of America’s most iconic figures; what he did most famously was simply to observe and comment, without rancor, but with perception and an uncanny wit. He spoke out against America ever getting involved again in conflicts like the Great War, cautioning us to avoid entanglements in foreign interventions.

It is clear that Russia will invade Ukraine; it’s not a question of if but when. It is also clear that both Democrats and Republicans in Congress favor some kind of action against Russia should they invade. As previously discussed, Ukraine is not a member of NATO, nor are there any treaties extant that involve the US in anything having to do with Ukraine. Even if Ukraine were a member of NATO, the US excluded from its signing of the NATO Treaty any military action without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war; unfortunately that has not stopped some presidents from violating that, and we can only hope this is not another occasion.

There exists no territorial or security threat to the US should Russia invade Ukraine. Please note that in my 12/10/21 post “Meddler”, I wrote “….Ukraine, which has been a part of Russia for nearly 200 years, from 1793 to 1991.” Thankfully a reader advised me that this was incorrect as first we have the 1654 Treaty of Pereyaslav, the 1667 Treaty of Andrusovo and then the Eternal Peace Treaty of 1686, all of which involved the end of conflicts over Ukraine between Poland and Russia. While there are many complications and subsequent conflicts with those treaties, the essence is that Ukraine has been a part of Russia for more than 300 years, longer than the US has even existed.

This is not said as a justification for Russian aggression as clearly Putin’s intentions are to have Ukraine back as part of Russia by any means necessary; it is said against American intervention of any kind as this is not our fight, and any action on our part is a violation of our principles against intervention in the affairs of other nations. If we were to intervene in what is solely a European affair, it would be yet another example of hypocrisy, and Biden would be added to the list of presidents that acted unconstitutionally in regards to intervention.

However, that is exactly what he and his administration appear to be doing.  We had about 70K troops in all of Europe prior to the recent Russian buildup along the Ukrainian border.  Late last year we put about 8.5K troops on alert for deployment to eastern NATO areas, and just yesterday another 2K. Do we really think that this is a deterrent to Russia’s plans to take over Ukraine? The Joint Chiefs of Staff have estimated that Russia has about 130K troops along Ukraine’s border; putting so few of our soldiers in that area is like putting canaries in a coal mine. You do not play chicken with a gambler that has absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. Militarily, if you want a deterrent you ante up, but understand that if Putin calls your hand you will have the US in another European war.

So assume that the deterrent doesn’t work and Russia takes back Ukraine. Unless you want war with Russia, which hopefully is not Biden’s play, you are left with the threatened sanctions. How lame to threaten the Tsar with something that means nothing to him. All Putin has to do is put his hand on the gas valves that Europe lives on and NATO blinks, and you stand alone; add this to the administration’s embarrassing missteps.

While we have countless conferences between the EU, US and Russia, all we get is diplomatic jargon, threats, accusations, and heightened tensions among all parties. Will Rogers once observed that “Every war has been preceded by a peace conference. That’s what always starts the next war.” The best thing for the US to do is simply say to our European allies that this is their sphere of security and concern; they need to decide what is in their best interests and act accordingly. It’s long past a reasonable time for the US to have a military presence in Europe so they need to provide for their own security. If Ukraine represents their line in the sand, they need to divorce their reliance on Russian energy to avoid territorial blackmail. Alternatively, they need to live with what Russia wants back and move on.  

What can Americans do in order to avoid involvement in another Great War, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.? Newsweek reported today that only 15.3% of Americans would support US military intervention in Ukraine, and only 31.1% would even support military aid. Benjamin Franklin famously described that “War is when the government tells you who the bad guy is.  Revolution is when you decide that for yourself.” Perhaps there’s hope as the latest poll shows a revolution among Americans away from such disastrous policies. 

Author: jvi7350

Politically I am an independent. While I tend to avoid labels, I consider myself a Libertarian. I find our politics to have deteriorated to a current state of ranting tribialism, and a growing disregard for individual rights; based on the axiom that silence is consent, I choose instead to speak out and therefore launched this blog.

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