Jan 24, 2022Liked by Chris J. Karr, David Thornton

"What’s more, former Trump aides indicated that if Trump had won a second term, he planned to withdraw the US from both NATO and South Korea. The removal of American soldiers from Europe would have made Mr. Putin’s conquest of Ukraine quite a bit easier. While it’s easy to imagine Donald Trump making threats over the situation in Ukraine, it’s tougher to imagine the isolationist intervening to stop “Mad Vlad.”"

The idea of pulling out from South Korea and leaving one of our closest political and economic allies out to dry like that, is a bone chilling thought. Add to the fact that a 2nd term President wouldn't be restrained by the incentive of reelection, and it is chilling to think what the Former Guy would've done completely unrestrained from that political incentive.

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Jan 24, 2022·edited Jan 24, 2022Liked by Chris J. Karr, David Thornton

"There is a clear pattern since Putin came to power in 1999 of the new Russia rebuilding the empire of its glory days. Putin began with a reconquest of the breakaway republic of Chechnya and then seized the provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from the Republic of Georgia in 2008. Then, of course, there was the invasion of Crimea and incursions into Ukraine in 2014."

What is interesting is that Russia has shown a more hostile attitude against Georgia, but has a more friendly relationship with nearby Armenia. Armenia has no diplomatic relations with Turkey and nearby Azerbaijan(a Turkic state) due to the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire over a century ago. And Russia takes advantage of this hostile Armenian-Turk relationship as a bulwark against Turkey, a NATO country. Georgia on the other hand has close relationships with these two Turkic countries, and that is probably why Russia feels like it bully Georgia around like they did in 2008 in annexing the northern portions of the country.

I believe that China and Russia have closely watched our retreat and purposeful capitulation of Afghanistan to the Taliban, and are wasting no time in trying to fill the vacuum of strength and global leadership. If NATO capitulates to Russia, and lets them invade and annex Ukraine, China would make note of that, and could very well be even more emboldened in their desire to invade and annex Taiwan.

Among the former Soviet Republics, the 3 Baltic states are the most fundamentally opposed to Putin since they are the most economically developed of the 14 countries outside of Russia. Many of the other countries that were formerly Soviet Republics are much more economically dependent on Russia, and are in less of a position to oppose what Putin is doing. In some of the poorest of the 14 countries, these countries are heavily dependent on remittances. In other words, many of their citizens cannot find work in their countries and have to go to Russia to find work, and send payment back to their families. As for China, they buy silence from other countries through their Belt and Road Initiative, which is why so many countries have not lifted a finger against the CCP's atrocities committed against Uyghurs, even many Muslim majority countries. This is why we really need to rethink our current policies and avoid the temptation of pursuing isolationism, and retreating from the world stage. I don't see why we cannot establish stronger economic and political relationships with these vulnerable countries, whether it is through free trade agreements and joining defense pacts like NATO or something similar. There needs to be something to counter China's BRI and economic dependence on Russia in the less economically developed post Soviet states.


I think what Putin desires is to have a buffer not unlike what the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire had. The Russian Empire over many decades in the 19th century obtained a buffer through conquest and annexing of the Baltic states, the eastern Slavic regions(Ukraine, Belarus), the Caucasus, and Central Asia. The Soviet Union had the Eastern Bloc countries in Europe, Mongolia, North Korea, etc. They invaded Afghanistan for that same purpose in 1979.



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Jan 25, 2022Liked by Chris J. Karr

When Trump fired Esper in January 2021, people surmised that it was because he wanted to install a defense secretary that would help him during Jan 6, but with what's in this EO, it's quite possible that Esper was fired because he wouldn't go along with seizing the voting machines, which is probably why this EO was never activated.

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Jan 24, 2022Liked by Chris J. Karr, David Thornton

Stop Putin? I agree. But at what cost? And do we really want Biden to run a potential war over Ukraine? If he couldn't manage the withdrawal crisis in Afghanistan successfully, and if you are honest with yourself, then you will admit that Biden's polling cratered in aftermath of Afghanistan debacle, then what makes you think Biden will do a good job of managing a potential war? Right now, I don't feel confident at all with Biden. I'm not sure Trump would do a good job either, and I'm far less anti-Trump than you are.

I think it's better if we sit this war out.

Right now, Putin is firing on all cylinders, if anything, he has shown to be smart and much more stable than Hitler was. Putin's Ukrainian gambit will pay off for one reason: Biden is no FDR, and there is no leader in Europe like Winston Churchill. If NATO was unwilling to do anything about Russian aggression in 2008 and 2014, then it stands to reason that NATO will do little other than showing and talking toughness. Sending weapons and supplies mean nothing in context of Russia massing its 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine. A real high stake move is getting France and Germany to send tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine. Both Germany and France are next biggest NATO members, and probably the only countries capable of mobilizing troops on this scale. The only other country capable of this is UK, I don't know if UK is up to game on this one. If France and Germany are unwilling to do enough to stop Putin, then I don't see why US have to step up.

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