Ukraine & the further threat from Russian
I wrote an article about Ukraine a month ago, but I am still concerned about the situation there and the strong probability that Russia will continue with their aggression against Ukraine. For sometime, Russian President Putin has sought to return much of the Russian territories lost when the Soviet Union fell in 1991. He sent agitators into Crimea, intimidated them and promised them a better future. They have now voted and chosen to become part of Russia again.
Putin has said this week that he has not intention of further aggression against and occupation and annexation in the rest of Ukraine. But we who have studied him, know him to be a man of few and often meaningless words and of strong and determined and meaningful actions.
Gaining easy access to deep, warm water ports in Ukraine, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans is a big deal to Putin. Vladivostok, Russia’s eastern port on the Pacific is about 4,000 miles as the crow flies or 5,600 road miles from Moscow, and so access through Ukraine to the Black Sea is economically and strategically a big deal to Russia. Regaining lost territory and rebuilding the “Russian Empire” is more than just a “pipe dream” to Vladimir Putin.
Russia now has about 40,000+ troops on the Eastern Ukraine border with Russia and thousands more nearby, and have again sent agitators in to intimidate and “persuade” the locals to join mother Russia. Many of those in the primarily Russian speaking oblasts including Kharkov, Lugansk, Donetsk, and possibly even those in Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson, will resist being annexed into Russia, but may be intimidated and overwhelmed by the massive show of force and fear that Russia will demonstrate. President Putin is a strong and determined leader, is used to overwhelming dissidents and getting his way. Ukraine is a strong nation of proud people who will fight to retain their sovereignty, but is probably no match for the strength of mighty Russia.
If Russia succeeded in occupying, controlling and annexing the Southeastern six oblasts (districts), about 40% of the country, the next step might be to try to take the oblasts of Odessa and Nykolayiv which would give Russia complete access to the Black Sea and the southern oceans, (Please see Map below). This would leave the remaining less industrialized sixteen oblasts of Ukraine land-locked and with much less chance of survival as a sovereign nation.
So, why should we care? We have an obligation, and duty means something to me as I’m sure it does to all of you have fought for our freedom and sovereignty. In 1994, The USA, UK and Russian signed the “Budapest Memorandum” agreeing to protect Ukraine from invasion, provided Ukraine gave up their nuclear arsenal. At that time Ukraine had the third largest strategic nuclear weapons arsenal in the world. It was larger than those of Britain, France and China combined. Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons (the only one who did) in accordance with the Trilateral Agreement and ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), whereby the USA, the UK and Russia agreed (simply put) to protect and defend Ukraine against intrusion by any other nation or outside force. France and China later signed similar unilateral agreements. An overthrow of Ukraine’s sovereignty would be a “geo-political” change in the world and a dereliction or our “Duty.”
Currently, we are providing MRE’s and some other humanitarian support, but I think we could also provide greater financial support and supply Western Ukraine with the military equipment and supplies currently in Iraq and Afghanistan which we otherwise have to destroy or ship back here at a great expense.
The USA is at the lowest point of world respect in the history of our Nation. If we fail in our duty to defend our ally and permit Russia to over-run and take control of the rest of Ukraine, the probability is that Russia will continue their aggressive drive to occupy Moldova, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. If that were to happen and NATO allied nations were attacked, we would be committed to a world war III which I think that we can avoid by taking the lead now and showing Russia that the the United States and our allies are not to be messed with. Europe will follow if we lead.
I’m for getting out and staying out of these other “Civil Wars” if there is such a thing as a “civil war,” but allowing Russia to regain the dominance it once had is unthinkable to me. Shirking our duty to help Ukraine will further erode our integrity and reputation with the rest of the world and put Russia in a much stronger strategic position. Following WWII, the USA became the leading power in the World because of three things: 1- The USA was the financial dominant force in the World; 2- We were the most industrialized and the technology leader in the world; and 3- We controlled the oceans, the airways and the transportation lanes of the World. We are now giving up much of these advantages and I hope that we have the wisdom and the courage to protect and defend what we have left and that includes helping our allies. Your comments, questions, following and sharing the articles on Jeffress.Com is appreciated.