Putin’s latest comments equate the U.S. determination, in 1962, to bar Soviet missiles from Cuba with our resistance to banning NATO missiles from Ukraine.
The two views are as different as 1962 is from 2022.
In 1962, there were no SLBMs (submarine launched Ballistic Missiles) so the stationing of missiles near the US was, indeed, a mortal threat. Now, with Russian and American missiles lurking in the oceans offshore, land-based missiles near our shores are redundant.
In reality, SLBMs are now so accurate that they are almost as effective as land-based missiles, and they are so close to Russian cities that the warning time when they are launched is only negligibly longer.
Putin doesn’t really care about where the NATO missiles are based. He is just using them as a pawn in his lifelong mission to restore the Soviet Union and force Ukraine to become a satellite again.
Don’t fall for it.
But there is something very important in Putin’s latest statement saying that economic sanctions by the US could lead to a “total rupture in US-Russian relations.” By warning against economic — not only military — confrontation, he also inadvertently underscores how powerful a weapon we have in our arsenal. Let’s be prepared to use it if Putin invades.
We also need to realize that this “crisis” is not caused by any American, European, or NATO action. There are no railroad cars of NATO missiles in Kiev waiting to be unloaded and installed. The entire crisis is notional, an invention by Putin to justify his threat to invade.
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