The Experts Had It All Wrong About Ukraine And Putin’s Intentions

Wars take on a logic of their own once it is started.  Most of the experts got this all wrong.  Most experts thought Putin would not invade.  Some experts thought he had limited objectives.  Some experts thought Russia would roll right through Ukraine.  The experts underestimated the will of the Ukrainian people and its political leadership.  The two little too late response with deterrents by the US and NATO was another factor for this war.  The worst reason for the start of this war was ineffective and weak US political, diplomatic, and military leadership.  The Biden Administration’s appeasement foreign policy is a disaster.  The post-Afghanistan withdrawal disaster diminished US credibility, trust, and strength which was one factor for Putin’s Ukraine invasion and a possibility for a Chinese Communist Party invasion of Taiwan.

I believe that the unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Putin, a war criminal, will end with the Ukrainian government resetting post-invasion sovereign integrity.  After more than 50 days of this war, the chances that Putin emerges strategically weak are real.  I believe that there is a possibility of internal regime change in Russia.  The Russian media has revolted, and the people are protesting the invasion.  We use all means available to deliver the truth to the Russian people.  By indirectly causing Putin to lose in Ukraine this will prevent Russia’s plans to re-establish the territorial possessions of the Soviet Union.  It will also disrupt the Chinese Communist Party’s economic influence with both Russia and Europe.

I believe in the Ukrainian government’s ability to resist the Russian invasion.  I believe this will be a protracted conflict in which Ukraine will continue to suffer extreme infrastructure damage, loss of civilian life, unprecedented displacement of civilians and refugees, and will require a comprehensive rebuilding by the world community.  We must invest in their will and their ability to fight.  We must prepare ourselves mentally and spiritually for continued devastation and continue our support of the Ukrainian government.  This is an effort that all international governmental and non-governmental organizations must be involved in.

Three Things Must Happen To Ensure Ukraine Wins and Russia Loses

To accomplish this the United States and its NATO allies must ensure that the defense of NATO is complete and leaves no doubt in Putin‘s mind that an invasion or military aggression will be met with the destruction of the Kremlin.  International pressure for Russia to withdraw must be constant and be underpinned by energy sanctions.

Secondly, we must ensure that President Zelenskyy gets the intelligence, material support, and military resources required to continue the resistance.  There must be no delay in this support.  The resistance has always been the key to the failure of Putin‘s unjustified invasion.

Thirdly, we must support all humanitarian and refugee efforts.  We must ensure we protect against any ethnic cleansing or retribution.

Finally, to be successful this will require effective leadership.  The Biden Administration’s decision not to provide direct U.S. military involvement in the conflict must be maintained.  The Biden Administration must provide the leadership that inspires, builds confidence, and demonstrate strength.  The US cannot get bogged down in Ukraine.  There are many other security concerns at home that cannot be overlooked.  This cannot be accomplished by the United States alone.  This must be an effort by the world to stand up and deliver the message that unjustified, unilateral invasions of countries are not going to stand in 2022.  China, North Korea, and Iran must be the recipients of this message as well.

The United States, NATO, and the UN cannot afford to lose this one.  Russia must lose.  This war should end with Russia paying a substantial diplomatic, military, and economic price.  Russian membership in the UN and other international organizations must be terminated and a conditions-based reentry established.  As the Ukrainian government crafts this peace, we must keep in mind a price must be paid by Russia.