What can we do about the Ukraine Invasion? An Update
As I discussed last week, the best thing we can do is get the Russian nation to remove Vladimir Putin from office. There are basically two approaches to accomplish that.
The first is to make the life of the average Russian much more miserable than it already is. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be working because of the tight control of information and the robust propaganda machine controlled by Putin. In time the economic embargo will work, but I don’t think the Ukrainians’ have that much time. Russia is systematically destroying their infrastructure and eventually it will make more sense to surrender in order to stop the destruction and have any hope of long-term survival. Many urban areas in the Ukraine have been cut off from power, water, and food for weeks and the general populace can only survive so long under those conditions. I don’t see how the government can not surrender when millions of its citizens are in dire straits and suffering.
The second approach to ousting Putin is to destroy his military advantage. We decided not to declare a no-fly-zone under threats of total war. My feeling is that Putin is bluffing but western governments have decided not to take the chance. I believe there is a lot happening behind the scenes and I hope Seal Team 6 is busy, but I have no inside information. I do find it interesting that three major Russian commanding Generals have died during the last two weeks.
Given the situation described above there are two approaches I would recommend. First, I would advance surface to air missile systems into the Ukraine starting at the Polish border and moving East. These Patriot missile batteries would be manned by Ukrainian “volunteers” with some assistance by NATO. This creates a virtual no-fly zone with no chance of NATO versus Russian air combat. These missile batteries would be surrounded by Ukrainian troops armed with plenty of Stinger and Javelin missiles. These missile batteries would move East to Kyiv and provide protection for convoys bringing food and supplies and excavating the sick and wounded.
The second recommendation is the convoys under NATO protection to bring food and medicine to the cities under siege and excavate the non-combatants. This is just basic humanitarian actions and is really the least we should be doing under the circumstances. If I were a politician in power now, I would hate to explain how we let tens of thousands of innocent people die and did absolutely nothing proactive to prevent it. I don’t believe the Russians can get away with attacking humanitarian convoys not participating in military actions, and I don’t believe you would lack in finding volunteers to man those convoys either. I would explain to Putin that if his troops attack a humanitarian convoy, NATO will respond in force, and I do believe NATO would follow that doctrine. Unfortunately, once a city is surrounded the humanitarian convoy can’t get in without a negotiated corridor and that would be a problem for both NATO and the Russians. I expect the Russians’ don’t care about bad Public Relations so it is important we implement this plan as soon as possible.
The point of these two actions is to find an approach that is palatable to NATO and the Biden White House but prolongs Ukrainian existence and give them a fighting chance. All in all, I am very impressed with the way the Ukraine has handled the invasion, and I wish them good hunting, but I am worried they are running out of time. Sooner or later, they are going to have to accept Russia’s conditions for a general cease fire and those conditions will undoubtedly include Russia acquiring major sections of Eastern and Southern Ukraine. That is Putin’s overall goal, and it is a mark of his humanity that thousands of innocent civilians and soldiers had to die to satisfy his desire.
Thanks for Reading and Stay Safe,