Peace comes only when the balance of power is found or one side in a conflict defeats the other. It is obvious that neither Russia nor the West is going to defeat the other, so a solution in Ukraine and other conflicts must be found.
Currently we are in the middle of a real reset, not one of the Hillary Clinton variety, but a reset of expectations after the disastrous weakness, appeasement and outright deception of the Obama years, an example of the floundering Jimmy Carter presidency on steroids and anti-Americanism at its finest.
So the balance of power has to be found. The issues of Ukraine, of Syria, of cybercrime and of interference in the internal politics of others must be solved. In addition, Russia has to be worried about the consequences of any further malign behavior against the West.
We are not there yet.
We need to find the equilibrium; then maybe we can have peace.
How will we find this nirvana? By talking, of course. Unfortunately, we have to talk softly and carry a big stick.
Our president is prevented from doing so by the rabid, power-hungry cabal of the legacy media and the Deep State. President Trump will not have the respect of other nations while he is still vulnerable to domestic enemies. Therefore, he will not be in a position to negotiate peace until his presidency is accepted and legitimized by our political process.
We aren’t there yet either.
Here is my suggested path to peace with Russia; it won’t be easy.
First, POTUS has to defeat the attempted coup against him. Only then will he be in a position of power to deal with his counterpart in Moscow on the basis of mutual respect. The Kremlin won’t respect a vulnerable president.
Second, unfortunately, we have to continue our military buildup. The peace dividend is gone. We have to keep our economy roaring as the Trump agenda has delivered. We then can deal with our fiscal problems and fund the modernization of our armed forces. Fiscal weakness is just as bad as military weakness. America must once again achieve overwhelming military superiority. Only then will there be peace.
Third, we have to confront Russian behavior that is at odds with our national security and with those of our allies. NATO must continue down the path of increased defense spending. Only when Moscow comes to understand that it will not gain from further annexations or bullying will the balance of power be found. We are not there yet either.
However, just because we have a lot of work to do does not mean that we should not be talking to Russia. We should. There is no downside to dialogue. Small victories can be achieved to slowly increase trust on both sides, or if not trust, then learning how to work together again. Finding a way to facilitate the return of Syrian migrants would be a start. That is a worthy goal that would help all sides, and the only way we will get there is through discussion.
In addition, we have to be careful not to allow ourselves to be drawn into a conflict with Russia by third parties. The collapse of the Soviet Union is not over. It is still in its death throes. The “frozen conflicts” in Russia’s near abroad need to be resolved. Somewhere in this calculation needs to be an acknowledgment by the West that NATO’s encroachment to the very borders of Russia is obviously seen as a threat by Moscow, bringing up genetically branded memories of Hitler and Napoleon.
So, let’s talk to find that equilibrium.
Although the process I outlined will be extremely difficult, it is a necessity. For although Russia is a major problem and rightly a major focus of our defense establishment, it is not the existential threat to the United States.
China is steadily carrying out its long-term plan to dominate the West, if not the world. The quicker we realize where the primary threat lies, the quicker we can get to work to ensure peace for the next generations of Americans.
⦁ L. Todd Wood is a former special operations helicopter pilot and Wall Street debt trader, and has contributed to Fox Business, The Moscow Times, National Review, the New York Post and many other publications. He can be reached through his website, LToddWood.com.
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