Worldview Item of the Day
It’s time to call Russia’s bluff. Secretary of State Rice signed a historic defense agreement with our allies the Polish today, and Russia is threatening military action.
Yes, I am being hawkish on this, but let’s be clear: Russia is not the Soviet Union and Russia has nothing to gain from war with the United States. Russia’s bluff is a political attempt to cow what it perceives as an uncertain and pacifist-leaning American population into allowing Russia to expand its influence once again over Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The United States has formed strong and relevant alliances with the free peoples of nations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Of the 35 countries who supported the United States in Iraq since 2002, 18 (53%) are located in one of those two regions. Poland and Georgia are both contributors from those regions.
Further, Russia’s recent threats and power plays have less to do with sovereignty and the will of the people of breakaway regions than they do with the power of oil. Russia has oil, and is flush with money because of it, and it wants to control more. An American presence in places like Poland or Georgia threatens Russian control.
The problem the United States has in modern times is a history of making promises of friendship and support of liberty on which we eventually renege. We did it to the Hungarians and the Czechs. We did it to the South Vietnamese. We did it to the Iraqi Shi’a and Kurds. Are we going to do it to the Georgians and the Polish too?
So, let’s do this. If Russia’s response will go beyond diplomacy, let’s see it. As a citizen and a veteran, I am tired of my nation hiding behind the rosy rhetoric of diplomacy while bullies push our friends around. I’ll be the first one on a plane to Poland or Georgia if that’s what it takes.
Frankly, I think that Russia doesn’t have the stones to stare down American steel. Let’s find out.