OK, Tucker Carlson and Fox News, I get it: How can the U. S. have as a priority the defense of the sovereignty of Ukraine and its borders when we can’t find a way to protect our own borders? Good point. I see the cognitive dissonance here and I condemn the Biden administration for its dereliction of duty on our southern border, but that doesn’t reduce the responsibility of the leader of the free world from its role as the leading guardian of world order, and it is no excuse for opposition to policy confirming that responsibility. So pardon me if my neo-conservatism is showing, but America has its national interest at stake here in preventing if possible the takeover of a fledgling democracy by a thuggish, criminal, dictatorial regime. President Biden’s decision to put 8,500 U. S. troops on alert in Eastern Europe was a good move, hopefully not too little or too late to send a message. Much more needs to be done, however, beyond diplomacy and expanded sanctions, starting with a major airlift of armaments and equipment to Ukraine to shore up its defense, with or without Germany’s and the EU’s approval. Even though Ukraine is not a member, troops should be deployed to NATO frontline states as well, not to fight in or for Ukraine, but as a deterrent, for Ukrainians deserve the means to defend themselves.
Vladimir Putin is making a bold gamble to try and rectify what he believes was the major catastrophe of the 20th century–the defeat and breakup of the Soviet Union–and he thinks that America and the West have neither the political will, resolve, nor competence to prevent it. There are reasons to understand how he might be willing to take such a risk–think the Afghanistan pullout fiasco, the “red line” in Syria, etc.–and our response means a lot for the credibility of NATO and America, because if we fold here the next confrontation will be worse, and China and Iran, among others, are watching closely. Is Biden up to it?