16 March 2022 – On the water…
Biden’s strategy fails to look ahead. Let us therefore consider consequences.
There are three potential outcomes to the war:
- Putin wins, and NATO accepts the result, dropping sanctions and returning to business as usual. This is Putin’s preferred outcome. If adopted, it would lead quickly to the discrediting of NATO and possibly further Russian incursions into Eastern Europe and Central Asia, potentially including the Baltic states. While Western leaders have shown themselves remarkably spineless during the current crisis, I doubt they would capitulate to this extent, as the feedback they receive from their focus groups would preclude it. This leads to the second possible outcome.
- Putin wins, but NATO does not accept the outcome, perpetuating Russian economic ruin. This would preserve NATO, but lead to total Russian economic dependence on China. This is China’s preferred scenario, and the most probable outcome of Biden’s current policy. It would result in Chinese domination of the Eurasian supercontinent, and with it, the world. As this would also be a strategic catastrophe, we must find a way to reach the third alternative.
- Ukraine wins. This is the only scenario that has the potential to lead to a positive outcome for the West. If Ukraine wins, Putin could fall, leading to a new government in Russia tilting to the West. That would be a huge victory that would greatly improve our odds in dealing with the long-term challenge from China. But even if Ukraine merely drives the invaders out and Putin remains in power, the beast will have been tamed. We will then have the discretion to maintain sanctions or not, as we deem fit, and will have set a very powerful example to deter China, Iran, North Korea, or anyone else from indulging in such aggression in the future.
In other words, it is in America’s vital interest that Ukraine prevails.
The Post-Apocalyptical Fiction section has been moved to Current Affairs.