Call me Metternich
By Steven J. Grisafi, PhD.

When I was a child there was a board game called “Diplomacy.” It presented the players with the world situation just prior to World War I. Now, a little more than one century later, I think we are living in a time well suited for playing this game again. Although be it adapted to current circumstances. Imagine yourself as the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. How do you respond to the grave warning given to you by President Joseph Biden? Are you deterred by the threat of severe economic sanctions?

If, indeed as President Putin has suggested, you consider the Ukraine joining NATO to be an existential threat to the Russian Federation, you are not deterred in the least. You call President Xi Jinping on the telephone and say to him: “Jinping, are you ready? I’ve got your back. Do you have mine? We cannot allow Formosa to be separated from China and we cannot allow NATO in the Ukraine. We must act and act now for there is no better time. You are prepared to take back Formosa and Russia is prepared to take back the Ukraine. Together we stand and together we shall succeed!”

I believe President Biden has been ill-advised by his national security team. His threat of severe economic sanctions to be imposed upon the Russian Federation, in the event of any aggression it may undertake against the Ukraine, accomplishes only one thing. It tells President Putin that any aggressive action to be undertaken must be for complete conquest. The Russians must aim for complete conquest of the Ukraine so as to confiscate all that the Ukraine possesses to mitigate any suffering of the Russian people to be caused by any economic sanctions placed upon them.

The People’s Republic of China intends to restore the island of Formosa unto the principles and practices of that of the mainland. The people of the Russian Federation are dismayed by the breach of trust they believe the American people have inflicted upon them. When West Germany sought unification with East Germany, President George H. W. Bush promised the Russians, that in allowing the unification of Germany to take place, no former member nation of the Warsaw Pact was to be admitted into the membership of NATO. It is difficult to expect the Russians to trust the Americans any further. So they look to others for support and greater fidelity. President Putin pledges Russia’s complete support for China’s restoration of Formosa expecting in return complete support from the People’s Republic for Russia’s restoration of the Ukraine. For neither the Russian Federation nor the People’s Republic of China is there a better time than now to complete their tasks.

I pass no judgments on anyone. I confront the situation solely from the point of view of mitigating harm to all parties involved. The People’s Republic would not act without Russian support and the Russian Federation would not act if their concerns are placated. President Biden ought to have been advised that America needs to persuade the Europeans to admit the Ukraine into the European Union immediately. The Ukraine would then be secure as a member of the European Union. Upon admission of the Ukraine into the European Union the Russian Federation would then be given all assurance, from both the Americans and the Europeans, that they would block all efforts of the Ukraine to join NATO. President Biden, and the world, need to understand that the American people are not going to fight and die for Taiwan, the Ukraine, nor any other country, but our own.