Roman General Publius Flavius Vegetius wrote in his book, “Epitoma Rei Militaris,” Si Vis Pacem, Parabellum, “If you want peace, prepare for war.” The General wrote another remembrance, “Igitur qui desiderat Pacem, praeparet bellum.” In English: “they, therefore, who wish for peace, prepare for war.”
Russia’s Putin is a belligerent antagonist, playing, unhindered, a dealt poker game of stud. He has two cards up showing an Ace and a King as he pushes his bet forward. The man has calculated his strategic exposure founded on the premise that NATO is reluctant, indecisive, and uncertain. His risk, therefore, is tactically nominal. The USA fearful of losing Allied support and lacking the necessary will to act holsters the advantage of confrontation in favor of hesitation. Such is the perfect example of the cat climbing the tree while the dog is limited to loudly barking.
The Ace in metaphoric terms is nuclear weapons; the King, NATO’s lack of clear-eyed decisive leadership.
The American government covets idealism and hopefulness to the extreme of naiveté. We will not recognize that the dark side of human behavior is a remorseless constant. Consequently, America though willing to shed the blood of its armed forces and spend its treasure; is unwilling to accept the blunt reality that the global strategy of the heretofore playground-like pushing and shoving accomplishes nothing.
Putin’s cadre of the few is a methodically dangerous purposefully amoral and tenaciously driven kleptocracy. There is no hidden agenda; the Russians of the Putin era are gangsters in gangsters clothing. The thugs feed off of weakness. The antidote to Russian’s Putin is blunt force trauma.
America refuses to accept the role of the world’s policemen while behaving, in every way measurable, as the world’s policemen.
Since the discovery of fire humankind has, for a cause or no cause, with “malice of aforethought” been killing fellow humans, the invention of the wheel increased the amount of violence. Peace is not a noble ideal. Peace is a myth.