Ukraine Invasion Possible in January

Two tanks under a cloudy sky
two tanks under a cloudy sky

Despite last week’s meeting between Russia and the U.S. in which we threatened “severe consequences” if Russia were to invade Ukraine, Russia continues to move troops to the border and is activating its reserves. According to intelligence reports, they plan to have 175,000 troops on the border by mid-January.

President Biden says he is drafting a plan to respond to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis. Gee, how reassuring. This issue has been building for months. Wouldn’t you think they would have a plan by now?

Keep in mind that from Putin’s perspective, Biden represents the same administration that told him to “cut it out” when Russia was messing with our elections via social media. The Obama administration also drew a line in the sand, which the Syrian ignored and faced little or no consequences. So I am doubtful that Putin is too worried about our severe consequences, which are far more likely to be financial than military.

Consequences of Inaction

The U.S. and NATO are in a tight spot here. If Russia invades Ukraine and the U.S. does nothing more than slap some financial sanctions on the Russians, then we are simply encouraging more of this behavior. That should worry neighboring countries such as Poland. Russia and Putin are clearly interested in regaining the geography they controlled before the Soviet Union fell, leading most of Eastern Europe to break free from the Russian influence and seek closer ties to the West.

If Europe fights back, it does so from a position of weakness. The Ukraine is not yet a member of NATO, so NATO is not obligated to defend them. This means some European countries may help them, but others will not. By the time they decide and move their troops, Ukraine may already have fallen.

You can bet China is also watching. If we do not respond when Russia invades the Ukraine, it may embolden the Chinese to invade Taiwan.

Fight Fire with Fire

I think a far better response would be for the Ukraine to invite in foreign military forces to take part in drills and war games in the Ukraine. Perhaps some troops could then leave their equipment there so that they could deploy to fight with the Ukraine more easily. Poland, a full member of NATO, could offer to host more NATO troops in their country. This would not only reassure the Poles, but it would make troops available to fight in the Ukraine should NATO decide to engage.

If the U.S. wanted to make a point, it could move a couple divisions nearby, post some aircraft in the operational zone and keep up the pressure in the Black Sea.

The U.S. should also ship more arms to the Ukraine and the country should start arming its people and train a few, making plans for guerrilla warfare after an invasion. That Afghans held off the Soviet War Machine; I bet motivated Ukrainians could bog them down and make them pay for some time. That would not go over well for Putin at home, where the only good wars are quick ones with few Russian body bags.

What this Means for Preppers

War in the Ukraine means little to us in the short term. If no U.S. troops are involved, most Americans will ignore it. Even though it may roil markets and cause a great deal of consternation in Europe it will have minimal impact here at home. The problem for us is that it will weaken us on the global stage and Chinas could use this as a green light to invade Taiwan. That will be a larger war with far greater consequences, both economic and physical.

Just keep stacking your preps and make sure you city dwellers have somewhere to go outside the city.