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Wildly off-topic…Reasons to support Ukraine, Part One

Some think we should not be helping Ukraine protect itself and its people from Russia and the Russian invasion.

They note it is expensive, the battle is far from our shores, it isn’t any of our business, we have other priorities.

Here’s why it is most definitely in our best interest to help Ukraine.

  1. The world is a dangerous place, and enemies large and small – Iran, North Korea, the Taliban, jihadists, and frenemy China – are always looking for signs of American weakness.

    If we had not provided aid and arms to Ukraine, Russia would have taken Kyiv (the capital of Ukraine) and own Ukraine today…and Iran, North Korea, the Taliban, jihadists and their ilk would be plotting attacks on us. 

    Instead, those enemies are watching a large and once-powerful country – Russia – get its ass kicked by a much smaller country, in no small part because we are supporting Ukraine. That ass kicking is most certainly giving would-be attackers nightmares… thanking whatever entity they worship they didn’t do something as blindingly stupid as taking on an ally of the US. 

  2. War prevention – specifically Taiwan. As very/extremely conservative commentator Marc Thiessen notes:

    how much…would U.S. weakness in Ukraine embolden Chinese dictator Xi Jinping? The risk of war over Taiwan would skyrocket. And, unlike the war in Ukraine, it could very well involve U.S. troops. [emphasis added]

    Think of Xi’s calculation: If the United States won’t stand fast for Ukraine, an internationally recognized sovereign state, how likely is a stalwart defense of Taiwan, which is not? And if the United States is not willing to spend money to defend Ukraine, is it really going to risk American lives to defend Taiwan?

    China’s military is massive, has thousands of missiles, will soon have the largest navy in the world, and is increasingly belligerent.

    Chinese ship attacking Vietnamese coast guard ship

    After pushing around small countries like Vietnam and the Philippines and doing its damndest to illegally expand its territory, many of its leaders are were wildly over-confident. Watching as Russia’s battle-tested, quite experienced, once well-equipped and still very large army gets hammered by a much smaller country allied with the US is undoubtedly forcing Xi and his generals to think a lot harder about screwing with America and our allies.

  3. The elimination of one of our two most dangerous enemies cost exactly no American lives.
    Putin is an extremely dangerous dictator and Russia is our enemy.
    Presiding over a country with very serious financial, demographic, ethnic and economic issues, Putin did what most dictators in that situation do – pick a fight with a supposedly weak neighbor.

    For Putin, the result has been catastrophic, eliminating Russia as a threat to  the US and our European allies. More than half of Russia’s armored vehicles and hundreds of aircraft have been destroyed, stocks of missiles and rockets have dramatically shrunk, hundreds of thousands of soldiers have been killed or grievously wounded, its Navy has lost much of its war-fighting capability.

    Russia’s military infrastructure is in deep trouble…every day there are new reports of factories making munitions, armored vehicles, explosives and missiles mysteriously exploding.

    a “fireworks” factory is now rubble…

As brutal and awful as it is, we are much safer because hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have died, millions have lost their homes, and hundreds of towns, villages, and cities have been destroyed.

What does this mean for you?

Thanks to the Ukrainians, the world is less dangerous today – which is a good thing indeed.

2 thoughts on “Wildly off-topic…Reasons to support Ukraine, Part One”

  1. It would be wonderful if we lived in a panacea where isolationism came without consequences…but that simply isn’t the world we live in. It would also be nice if we didn’t need to invest (and it is an investment) in preserving a modicum of stability in places like Ukraine but it sure beats going back to the Cold War. As you adeptly noted, this world is filled with a litany of bad actors and we can stand up to them or face some really dire consequences. The “peace in our time” that Neville Chamberlain referenced, does not happen via capitulation.

    1. Thanks for the thoughtful observations Jeff…agree – we would all love to live in a peaceful and safe world. We don’t.

      Instead we are facing choices that range from the awful to the just bad. To be crass, paying for Ukrainians to defeat Russia is in the latter category. Would it be far better to use those billions to pay teachers more, ensure more kids get good health care, fix our roads and railways? Of course.

      But, as Chamberlain learned you can either do the hard thing now or pay the butchers’ bill later.

      be well Joe

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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