Originally published February 16, 2022
By the time this column is published and read, Russian military forces may have already entered sovereign Ukrainian territory. This action has been precipitated by months of troop buildups and movements on the border between the two nations, and allegations that the Russian government has been attempting to plant false flag attacks to justify their course of action. However, should a foreign international war really concern Americans, or is this a conflict the United States should stay out of?
It seems like war is imminent. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Russians will invade this week. Countries like Britain, Canada, Israel, Australia, and others are recalling their ambassadors. The U.S. is relocating its consulate out of Kyiv. Everyone is expecting Putin to make a move.
Nearly 40% of Americans have no memory of a time where their country was not at war. Between Afghanistan and Iraq, American armed forces have been in active combat zones for over 20 years. On both sides of the aisle, there is weariness and trepidation in sending American troops into yet another conflict. Indeed, this may be one issue that truly has bipartisan support.
Two former Navy SEALs spoke about the possibility of American involvement last Sunday. Carl Higbie, host of “Wake Up America” on Newsmax, was interviewing Rob O’Neill, a former SEAL Team Six member who shot and killed Osama Bin Laden. Both of these men are undoubtedly on the Right, and neither of them could be considered dovish by nature. However, they both questioned the need for American involvement.
“Doesn’t it always seem like someone is looking for a war?” O’Neill asked. “These politicians always want a war for some reason.” O’Neill readily and repeatedly questioned why American involvement in Ukraine is even on the table, something he reiterated to his near half a million social media followers.
On the other side of the political divide is none other than Bernie Sanders, who gave a lengthy speech on the floor of the Senate. Sanders, who voted against both the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and the Iraq War in 2002, has a long history of keeping America out of foreign conflicts. Sanders claims that the U.S. “must do everything possible to find a diplomatic resolution to prevent what would be an enormously destructive war in Ukraine,” while strenuously advocating against military involvement.
The cost of war is incredibly high, as recent events have shown all too clearly. Over 7,000 American military members were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and trillions of dollars were spent. The benefits of these wars are arguable. On the one hand, before President Biden handed Afghanistan back over to the Taliban, a generation of Afghan citizens had a level of freedom that was unavailable to their parents. In Iraq, citizens were freed from the tyranny of the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. On the other hand, the power vacuum that was created when the United States military left these areas created more terrorism, more despotism, and greater suffering for the members of the region. It is certainly questionable if these wars served American interests, and there would be vehement defenders and attackers on both sides of this political debate.
The same is true for potential military intervention in Ukraine. It would be costly – both in dollars and human lives – and there would be legitimate questions about if American interests are served. There is even a question about what the term “American interests” even means. If American interests are keeping bad actors on the global stage in check, then America must be in every corner of the world at all times, as tyranny and fascism will never go out of style in many parts of the globe. However, if American interests are simply to secure American citizenry and sovereignty, then one can question why American troops are deployed in places like South Korea and Germany.
The fact is that no one event can exist in a vacuum, just like no one nation can operate alone. Every nation – be it large ones like the United States or China, or small ones within Europe or Asia – relies on the global marketplace to facilitate day-to-day life for its citizenry. Even if America can delude itself into thinking that a Russian hegemony in Eastern Europe would have no downstream effects on the cost of goods in the United States, there is no doubt that other maneuvers around the world – like a Chinese takeover of Taiwan – would severely affect American national security. More than 60% of all semiconductors, a critical component in everything from smartphones to computers to cars, are built in Taiwan. If China takes control of that, they essentially control America. If Ukraine falls to Putin, President Xi in China may see an opening to take Taiwan. The domino effect is not impossible to see; it’s actually plain as day.
There are other reasons for America to be actively involved in Ukraine. Russia’s strength has always been its sphere of influence, as opposed to its own domestic production and exports (whereas the United States boasts both). The more Russia acquires, either by negotiation or force, the greater threat they pose to a peaceful planet. There are countless living memories of the dangers of a powerful Russia, both to their citizens and the greater globe. America, which spent half a century embroiled in the Cold War, should be wary of another one.
This never had to happen, of course. Russia – and China, for that matter – were quiet during the Trump administration. When they saw the weakness of Biden during his pullout from Afghanistan, they realized they could act with impunity. Now Biden is attempting to pick up the foreign policy pieces that he demolished.
The fact remains that a strong America is a peaceful world. Everyone who feared that Trump would start World War III was silenced when he brought about the most peaceful administration in decades. That is because he projected strength, whereas Biden projects weakness. And a weak America leads to an America that will be at war. Maybe not today, but American blood will be spilled one day because of these decisions. It’s only a matter of time.
Moshe Hill is a political columnist and Senior Fellow at Amariah, an America First Zionist organization. Moshe has a weekly column in the Queens Jewish Link, and has been published in Daily Wire, CNS News, and other outlets. You can follow Moshe on his blog www.aHillwithaView.com, facebook.com/aHillwithaView, and twitter.com/HillWithView.