The short and long term security of the United States and, indeed, the world, will largely depend on our ability to convince other nations they do not need to have a nuclear arsenal. Imagine a world where a larger percentage of countries have nuclear weapons and that world becomes obviously more dangerous. There may be disputes about whether and what sort of security guarantees we offered Ukraine. But it is not disputed that we and other western powers worked to convince Ukraine to give up their nuclear weapons. The world will now see if following our advice cost Ukraine their country. So our success at convincing other countries they do not need a nuclear arsenal will largely hinge on this question: How did that work out for Ukraine?
Right now the answer to that question is still open. I am not here to try to blame or praise our individual presidents but rather just map out how we acted as a whole. Initially it seemed taking our advice did not work well for Ukraine. In 2014 Russia used mercenaries to invade Ukraine when they were undergoing a revolution. And the US and western response was tepid. Even after this aggression the US was slow to provide Ukraine with conventional weapons. Leading up to an obvious invasion the US did not provide Ukraine with the weapons we should have. But thanks to the heroism of the Ukraine people and the grace of God Ukraine still stands.
Ukraine can win this war. I would direct people to retired General Ben Hodges who I believe speaks very clearly on this issue.
Ukrainians are willing to sacrifice their own lives to save their country the only question is whether we will give them the weapons they need to win. In other words how the key question to our future national security will be answered is up to us. If countries see that after we convince them to not have nuclear weapons, and they are invaded by a clear and obvious aggressor, we look away and claim it is not in our interest to be involved. Well good luck telling countries they don’t need a nuclear arsenal. Such advice would be obviously dishonest. On the other hand if we can point to Ukraine and say look Ukraine took our advice and we helped them fight off Russia – we are the ally you want – we will have a much better case. We are showing the world what happens if they take our advice and the world is watching closely. The message we send here not only to Russia and China but to the world is the central concern to our security and the world’s future security. It is myopic in the extreme to not see that.