The situation in the Eastern half of Ukraine is the kind of fact pattern for which the tactical Neutron Bomb was invented. If Ukraine’s democratically elected government had access to a few dozen Neutron Bombs, perhaps Ukrainian separatist factions and Russian dictators would be a bit more circumspect in their behavior.
I am against all war, all nuclear weapons, all unprovoked military aggression, and any invasion of another country’s sovereign borders. However, I am in favor of long-term strategic planning, clever negotiating, advanced tactical weaponry, and highly skilled team building, with the aim of pinpoint targeting in order to deter potential aggressors from acting.
That said, Russia’s movement against Ukraine probably became an inevitability once the Nord Stream pipelines were completed and Ukraine surrendered its nuclear weapons.
Taiwan is next.
Let’s hope that the US Dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency doesn’t end up being the biggest casualty of Russia’s and China’s assertion of their military dominance in their respective geographic areas. Cutting off Russia and/or China from the US-dominated global banking system could be cutting off our nose to spite our face.
Europe needs Russian gas, minerals, and Chinese goods. The US needs Chinese goods and materials, as well. Ukraine and Taiwan are the sacrifices that Europe and the US may be forced to accept in order to retain access to the materials and goods we need.
Our best chance to prevent the current situation was between 1991, when the USSR fell, and 1999, when China was admitted to the WTO. That was when we had the power, the leverage, and the ability to impose terms.
Not so much anymore.