Much has been discussed about Vladimir Putin’s motives in sending most of his standing Army into battle against Ukraine. It seems unfathomable to so many Western observers, that a struggling Russian economy would be able to withstand a sustained attack against Ukraine. The massive sanctions that have been clamped on Russia certainly did not help. So if Vladimir Putin is supposedly a leader who thinks through everything before acting, how can we understand this seemingly reckless gamble? Only an ex-KGB agent can help explain the logic of Putin.
Victor Davis Hanson claimed that Putin is actually more predictable than many seem to think. The weakness that the Biden administration showed in the hasty run-away retreat from Afghanistan certainly made it clear to the would-be aggressors that the world’s policeman is not going to take too much action against them if the misbehave. Putin-run Russia is probably not the #1 threat. China is. But in truth, it is the Russia-China cooperation that threatens the West and the world in general.
Just as in World War II, the most dangerous agreement was the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement. That agreement between Russia and Germany basically sealed the fate of hundreds of millions of people from Russia to the East and all the way to Great Britain in the West. There was no question that Russia being complicit with Germany in splitting up Poland was the final straw that led to the German invasion. Once Germany invaded, it was World War II. The tide only turned when Russia switched sides and joined England and the United States after Germany invaded Russia.
Today, the United States has much daylight between it and China. And especially after the Russian attack on Ukraine, the US and Russia are nowhere near any form of cooperation. But one can argue that what is needed more than ever is triangulation. Meaning, America must engage China and compete against it. Similarly, it must engage Russia and compete against it. Meaning, the main goal should be to establish daylight between China and Russia. This is no simple task. China needs Russian energy and Russia has a seemingly unlimited supply. The key to successful triangulation is probably via an aggressive energy policy that the United States must adopt. It is clear that this will not be done via a Democrat-run administration. We need a total reset on our Russia and China policy.