The Most Important Reason For Standing Up to Putin

There are a number of reasons for stopping Putin’s aggression in the Ukraine. 1) Obviously it’s an illegal attack on a free nation and that can never be allowed to stand. 2) Millions of refugees are being forced to flee the country and find a new place to live until the conflict is over. 3) Innocent lives of men, women and children are being lost. 4) The livelihoods and life savings of innocent Ukrainians and Russians, who want nothing to do with this conflict, are being sacrificed.

But there is one main overriding factor for stopping Putin immediately; it emboldens other dictators to act similarly and therein lies the possible escalation of conflicts worldwide. For example, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard just claimed responsibility for launching a dozen ballistic missiles at a new, but empty US consulate in Iraq. Iran claimed it was in response to Israeli “strategic centers” in Erbil. Another example is North Korea stepping up missile testing near Japan. And finally, China has been talking tougher as of late regarding Taiwan. China has also warned the US against trying to form a NATO equivalent in the Indo-Pacific region. So it’s not difficult to imagine major conflicts breaking out around the world. So this war must be ended immediately. It can not be allowed to fester and spread because it will. What is my proof? History!!

I do want to make the point that I understand Putin’s reason for being angry and threatened. Having Ukraine join NATO, would essentially place the US and her allies at his front door. Using an historical example, in 1962, the Soviet Union, led by Nikita Khrushchev, signed an agreement with Fidel Castro to place missiles in Cuba, 90 miles (145 km) off the coast of Florida. US spy planes actually photographed the building of the nuclear missile sites.

In response, JFK imposed a naval blockade that could have easily resulted in WW III. Kennedy’s response to this crisis was appropriate and ended with Khrushchev abandoning his plan. In order to fully understand history however, it’s important to point out that Khrushchev’s reasoning for placing the missiles in Cuba was the failed Bay of Pigs embarrassment. Khrushchev wanted to ward off a possible future US invasion of Cuba. But nonetheless, we were not going to allow the Soviet Union to place missiles so close to the east coast. Fortunately it ended well.

Putin was obviously feeling the same thing that Kennedy felt, all those decades ago. NATO on his doorstep is a threat to his country. No one could deny that fact. However, his response was completely inappropriate. The response of a bully and dictator. It required more and better negotiating, explaining that just like Kennedy wasn’t going to allow a threat so close to the US border, neither was he going to allow it on his border. The case could have easily been made to the US, NATO and the UN and perhaps, this conflict could have been avoided. Putin is now clearly the culprit in this war.

In closing, this conflict will lead to other conflicts as dictators are seeing an opportunity. Putin must be stopped dead in his tracks and used as an example of what will happen, should any other leaders be emboldened by his misguided and illegal war on Ukraine.

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