I've always wanted to spend a summer in Ukraine just figuring out what, exactly, is going on in that country.

Expand full comment

The fact that Russia's ally against Ukraine is a separatist movement in eastern Ukraine is probably the key element of instability in the strategic equation. That movement may be dependent on Russian support but on the other hand it has available to it the potent argument that a weak ally can deploy against its strong partner: If you don't support us, we may collapse. Thus in a certain sense, Putin may be said to have taken a wolf by the ears and dare not loosen his grip. And I have no doubt that the separatists see full-blown war between Russia and Ukraine as the best and fastest way to make good their bid for autonomy leading to fusion with Russia.

Expand full comment

“But this really does have the potential to be an old-fashioned, Cold War-style face-off.” (The Cosmopolitan Globalists)

That’s highly doubtful. Putin has already won and he knows it.

It’s too bad NATO is such a mess but that’s what happens when Europe won’t spend anything on its own defense. Will the EU challenge Putin? Not if it means sacrificing its ability to import Russian hydrocarbons.

Will the Americans respond? Sure they will. Putin might have to listen to an incoherent rant during a phone call from President Biden. He might have to tune in to a hissy fit from Tony Blinken on Meet the Press. Putin might have to read a transcript of call intercepted by the KGB of Jake Sullivan crying on the shoulder of George Soros.

Cold War face-offs just aren’t what they used to be.

Trump wouldn’t have done anything either, but he would have asked the same question millions of Americans might be wondering about.

Why should we care about what happens in the Ukraine anyway?

Expand full comment