Putin is a prototypical expansionist tyrant of the kind that the world has known since time began. He will keep expanding until he can’t. He is gathering his few allies to prepare for the next step.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko says he expects to discuss the possible deployment of Iskander and S-400 defense systems to Belarus with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the coming days.
“[Thursday or Friday] we will talk with the President of Russia about how to strengthen ourselves here in the western direction,” Lukashenko told state news agency Belta Thursday.
“Today we consulted with the military, and we see that it would be desirable to put Iskanders [missile systems] there and place a battalion or two with S-400s somewhere so that we can actually monitor the situation all the way to Berlin,” Lukashenko said.
That is not an argument for direct U.S. military action. Russia is still much weaker than it was during the Soviet days. There is a decent chance that they blow their wad in Ukraine if the Ukrainians put up a fight. I’m not confident of that. The next layer is for Western European nations to defend themselves. I don’t think Putin is crazy enough to attack a NATO country yet, but if he has an easy time in Ukraine, he might.
The biggest worry for Americans is the acceleration of Russian cyberwarfare against America’s economy. They are stepping up that effort. This is not WWII. There are more battlefronts.