The communist system doesn’t quite work. It erodes the sense of communal responsibility (ironically) and led to widespread corruption. This corruption weakened nearly every aspect of government and the military. Enlisted men and generals scooped up “stuff” and sold it on the black market, and the once vaunted military is now a mere shadow of its former self. And even with this pervasive corruption, with this small war, you’ve set back your economy by a decade or two. Choose better leaders, or choose to remove bad leaders before they become too entrenched (as Putin is). And never choose a leader from the “old guard” that wants to bring back “the empire” (USSR), that will almost always fail in the modern world.
Many modern wars seem to be won mostly based on credit rating (that may have even applied to pre-modern wars as well). The cold war was won based on credit rating, just the mention of “Star Wars” with massive costs that the Russia/USSR couldn’t dream of matching, seems to have cooled their ardor of keeping the empire together, and it dissolved shortly thereafter, and Russia even began an a path of more freedom, and more capitalism. Unfortunately due to bad choices of leaders, this path ended to shortly.
Be careful who who allow into the club. When you allow nations that have fundamentally different values (Turkey), or who join almost solely for the extortionary value (Hungary), you will end up with major issues. Imagine if there was a real NATO conflict and some nation with their own agenda slows everything down due to procedural issue?
Don’t think you can put almost all your defense needs on the US credit card. That’s ending. The US is rapidly reaching th elimit of its credit, and what can’t continue, won’t continue. You’re going to soon be paying a lot more for defense … or you will suffer all sorts of nasty wars, energy wars, and others.
Tread carefully. The US/NATO isn’t ending the Ukraine war quickly because they like the benefit of bleeding Russia out, both literally (losing many young people), and figuratively (economically). If you try hot war in Taiwan or elsewhere, you may be treated similarly. And China has a severe demographic problem to begin with, losing young people to a protracted war will only worsen the demographic issue. China also has an economic problem with an economy that is slowing after decades of excellent growth. You haven’t fired a single shot yet, and already nations around the world are making plans to reduce many segments of your most profitable industries.