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Tue Jan 25, 2022, 06:15 PM

Deterrence Message to Moscow - WSJ Editorial

The U.S. put 8,500 troops on alert Monday with the possibility of deploying them to shore up NATO defenses in Eastern Europe, and allies are sending ships and fighter jets. The West is finally getting more serious about deterring Russian aggression, and let’s hope it’s not too late for Ukraine. President Biden is considering the troop deployment, along with ships and aircraft, to NATO allies like Poland and the Baltic states that are closest to the Russian threat. Ukraine isn’t a member of NATO, and the U.S. troops wouldn’t deploy there. But their arrival in Eastern Europe would send a message that the U.S. would get involved militarily if Mr. Putin makes a play for the Baltic states or otherwise moves against NATO nations. The Russian navy is planning live-fire exercises off the coast of Ireland, which isn’t a NATO member.

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Mr. Putin has reason to think that might work. Germany’s navy chief resigned last week after he sent a message of appeasement to Russia. French President Emmanuel Macron chose the worst moment to say Europe should negotiate with Russia separately from the U.S. on Ukraine. The centerpiece of Mr. Biden’s foreign policy platform was reviving America’s alliances, but countries don’t have allies for the sake of having allies. The President has invested in cultivating Berlin but has little to show for it. He can make clear that warming ties are subject to Germany’s cooperation on Ukraine. That means pushing the German government to support more serious sanctions and to allow third countries to export weapons to Ukraine. The U.S. doesn’t need to fight in Ukraine, but it can do more to help that democratic nation defend itself. That means sending antitank and antiaircraft missiles, as well as assistance with air defense, maritime security and intelligence.

If Mr. Putin does invade, analysts Seth Jones and Philip Wasielewski recommend a Lend-Lease type program that would provide Ukraine with weapons at no cost. As long as Ukrainians want to defend themselves, they deserve the means to do so. The U.S. should also support an insurgency against a puppet regime if Mr. Putin attempts to install one. The policy goal would be to raise the costs of invasion so it becomes too painful for the Kremlin to sustain—or, better, even to begin. This would include imposing the toughest economic sanctions Mr. Biden has promised, including denying access to the Swift financial system for dollar transactions.

Denying Moscow control over Ukraine is in the U.S. national interest. A Russia fortified by Ukrainian resources would be a more formidable adversary and a bigger threat to NATO. One of the great results from the end of the Cold War was the breakup of the Soviet empire. Mr. Putin wants to reassemble it into a sphere of influence that would enhance his standing at home and increase his influence abroad. The consequences will extend far beyond Ukraine as other American adversaries try to assert regional dominance. Mr. Putin could look to the Baltics next, while Iran and China also have malign aspirations. Authoritarians are seldom content merely with controlling their own people. The U.S. and West need to be prudent about when to push back against regional aggressors, but helping Ukraine stay out of Moscow’s maw is crucial for preventing a larger threat to European peace.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/deterrence-message-to-moscow-us-nato-biden-russia-vladimir-putin-ukraine-11643066402 (subscription)

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The Lend-Lease policy, formally titled An Act to Promote the Defense of the United States (Pub.L. 77–11, H.R. 1776, 55 Stat. 31, enacted March 11, 1941),[1] was a program under which the United States supplied the United Kingdom (and British Commonwealth), Free France, the Republic of China, and later the Soviet Union and other Allied nations with food, oil, and materiel between 1941 and 1945. Loaned on the basis that such help was essential for the defense of America, this aid included warships and warplanes, along with other weaponry. It was signed into law on March 11, 1941, and ended on September 20, 1945. In general, the aid was free, although some hardware (such as ships) were returned after the war. In return, the U.S. was given leases on army and naval bases in Allied territory during the war. Canada operated a similar smaller program called Mutual Aid.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lend-Lease

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question everything Jan 2022 OP
question everything Jan 2022 #1

Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue Jan 25, 2022, 11:41 PM

1. And we find out the Russians are not welcomed in Ireland

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