Viewpoint: With NATO and France Unified, President Reagan’s Strategy of the 1980s Could End the War in Ukraine | Opinion
Vladimir Putin probably thought his invasion of Ukraine would be quick and easy, like his conquest of parts of Georgia in 2008 and Crimea in 2014, with the Western world making some mild protests but essentially leaving it standing. But he made a major miscalculation: Like Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Putin succeeded in uniting most of the world against him. Putin’s claim that Ukraine was ruled by neo-Nazis was seen as ridiculous because President Zelenskyy is Jewish and is much closer to Winston Churchill than a fascist dictator. When the usually pacifist citizens of Paris and Madrid compare him to Hitler, we know he went too far. Beyond Putin’s popular criticism, Western governments and corporations have responded with harsh economic sanctions (even McDonald’s is cutting business with Russia) and increased military spending. Germany has backtracked and will increase defense spending, fulfilling its pledge to spend 2% of its GDP on defense (something former President Trump has told them to do for years). For the first time in 70 years, there is talk of rearming Germania Major. Sweden and Switzerland, which remained neutral during World War II, joined the sanctions and Sweden expressed its willingness to send arms to Ukraine. And polls show that Americans are initially behind aid to Ukraine: more than 80% told CNN they favor sending humanitarian aid and arms. Although Americans strongly oppose sending American troops, a majority were prepared to take some economic pain in the form of rising gas prices (which had already happened in 2021) . In a CNN poll, more than 80% of Americans of all parties favored sanctions against Russia, but by a margin of 58-42% opposed sending in US troops (also stable across parties).