King Pyrrhus

On Winning
By Steven J. Grisafi, PhD.

What does it mean “to win?” During the March 20th episode of “Face the Nation” Republican Senator and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested that we the American People need to change our attitude. At fault, according to the senator, is our mistaken belief that the Ukraine cannot win their war with the Russian Federation. The problem, as I see it, is our definition of winning.

The Russian Federation was the first nation to develop hypersonic missiles. Why did they consider it important to develop that capability? Does one consider their motivation to have been solely because of the evasive capability of such weapons? Or perhaps they had something else in mind. As I indicated in an earlier blog post, I consider NATO to share half the blame for the conflict in the Ukraine. It may be difficult for some Americans to admit this, but not for me. I value the truth and understand its meaning. I tend to believe that the representatives of the People’s Republic of China have assessed the situation accurately and most honestly of all commentators. In their assessment they admonish the United States and NATO for their “Cold War Mentality.” China believes that it is because of this Cold War Mentality that both NATO and the United States could not recognize the reasonableness of the security concerns that the Russian Federation had. I tend to agree with the People’s Republic of China on this matter. For me that revelation came to me while listening to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan being interviewed by Margaret Brennan during the previous weekly episode of “Face the Nation.” I could not understand Mr. Sullivan’s fierce rhetoric that the United States is determined to defend all of its NATO allies. What made me wonder is why Mr. Sullivan thought it necessary for NATO to have positioned missiles directed against the Russian Federation within both Poland and Romania. Why did he not consider all NATO members protected by the nuclear deterrent we have placed in North Dakota? That is when I started thinking about hypersonic missiles.

The reality is that all members of NATO are protected by the nuclear deterrent America has positioned within our own soil. This is, of course, subject to the premise that nuclear capability deters any nation from pursuing their goals. Much is made of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum in which the Ukraine agreed to abandon the nuclear capability they inherited upon collapse of the Soviet Union. Had they kept those weapons would they use them now in their present conflict with the Russian Federation? No, I suppose they would respond to a conventional warfare attack with conventional weapons as they have. The reasoning of the People’s Republic of China is that NATO was being needlessly provocative in positioning missiles directed at Moscow within both Poland and Romania. Why was it not sufficient that the nuclear weapons placed within North Dakota are directed at Moscow? The reality is that they are sufficient and that NATO was merely being provocative by placing missiles within both Poland and Romania. This is what the People’s Republic of China means when they say that both NATO and the United States suffer from a Cold War Mentality.

So where does the development of hypersonic weapons fit into this analysis? Very simple: To thwart the advantage NATO has gained by positioning their nuclear deterrent with Poland and Romania the Russian Federation is driven to develop a faster delivery system. In essence, the development of hypersonic capability is just another extension of the nuclear arms race. NATO altered the balance of deterrence. We should all understand that any exchange of nuclear attack between the United States and the Russian Federation would occur with missiles flying over the Arctic Ocean not the Atlantic Ocean. Member nations of NATO within Eastern Europe, such as Poland and Romania, are no closer to Moscow than is Canada.

I fully understand that it is neither fashionable nor considered patriotic to try to understand the motivations of our adversaries. The lonely voice trying to bring reason to the bellicose thinking of an angered people is never popular. But it is at such times that this voice should be heeded. America remains fixated upon the appeasement rendered to Adolf Hitler. Any suggestion of compromise, or even just rational thinking, is always compared to the 1938 mistake of Neville Chamberlain. No matter how odious you may find their administration, the Russian Federation is not Nazi Germany and Vladimir Putin is not Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler did not have the capability to destroy all human life on Earth. Vladimir Putin has that capability. It is not likely that he would use it. Unless, of course, his adversaries seek to destroy Russia.

Jens Stoltenberg and Anthony Blinken are correct in a certain way. They are correct if they truly mean what they say that the practice of cultivating spheres of influence ought to be relegated to the dustbin of history. The war in the Ukraine reinforces my belief that America ought not be a member of NATO, nor any military alliance. What nation is going to attack us? We will only be attacked by terrorists who have no country. Likewise, neither the People’s Republic of China, nor even the Russian Federation, should be a member of any military alliance. Misters Stoltenberg and Blinken ought to have recognized that not only should the concept of spheres of influence be relegated to the dustbin of history, but so too should be the use of military alliance. All that should exist is what the European Union has created: a commercial union with provision to assist any member that is attacked.