Today, Russia in Ukraine is the focus, but the aspirations of China and Iran must not be ignored says Pete Hoekstra 05.04.22.
The US must -- in the best interests of the United States -- immediately deliver the weapons Ukraine needs to forestall future predators such as China, Iran and North Korea. What happens in Ukraine does not stay in Ukraine.
The longer the US shilly-shallies, the longer urgently needed weapons fail to reach Ukraine, the more it invites other predators.
Ukraine must have -- now -- not only the weapons it needs to combat Russia's carnage, weapons to "close the skies," such as S-300s and S-400s and MiGs that the Ukrainians could pull over the border; it must also have heavy weapons such as tanks and long-range anti-ship munitions that Zelenskyy is requesting to repel Russia's assault to sever Ukraine from the Black Sea, and landlocking the country to suffocate all means of commerce.
One wonders, as Kasparov suggests, if the Biden administration secretly wants Putin, "the devil you know," to win.
"Everything I hear from other NATO members is that the U.S. has become the obstacle, and an explanation is required. Allowing Mr. Putin to keep an inch of Ukrainian soil after bombing civilians should be unimaginable. Conceding large areas of eastern Ukraine to the invader in exchange for a cease-fire would only give Mr. Putin time to consolidate and rearm for next time—and there will always be a next time." — Garry Kasparov, Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2022.
Kazakhstan, too, had an inspirational leader, Serikzhan Bilash, willing to fight for freedom. Many in the media and the Biden administration have completely ignored him and the struggle of the people of Kazakhstan.
Another rising voice of freedom is that of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the leader of the opposition in Belarus, who is fighting to keep her country on the side of freedom. She, along with Zelenskyy and Bilash, represent the dreams and aspirations of thousands, likely millions, of people within their homelands. They are risking everything for the ideals that America and the West claim to hold dear.
Supporting those leaders who are out front should be easy. Why is America not supporting them further? Why are Russia's generals and military leaders not being threatened? Why are America's attempts at sanctioning Russian energy and all of Russia's oligarchs, their families and their businesses so incomplete and half-hearted?
There is no diplomatic way out of this war.
The U.S. not only needs to recognize the power of these defiant leaders, but do more -- much, much more -- to help them. That is what is in the strategic interests of the United States.
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Peter Hoekstra was US Ambassador to the Netherlands during the Trump administration. He served 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the second district of Michigan and served as Chairman and Ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. He is currently Chairman of the Center for Security Policy Board of Advisors, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.
Today, Russia in Ukraine is the focus, but the aspirations of China and Iran must not be ignored. Pictured: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and then Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on June 14, 2019. (Photo by Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP via Getty Images)