The United States Defense Department and State Department has devised a plan to send arms to the Ukraine as a way to counter Russia’s Vladimir Putin’s imperial designs on that country. Putin has already seized the Crimea from the Ukraine and is fomenting armed rebellion among Russian ethnic separatists. The plan to give the Ukrainian military anti-tank missiles and other weapons requires the approval of President Trump.

A new Cold War developing

Trump came into office laden with the hope that he could establish an alliance with Russia against terrorist armies such as ISIS and Al Qaeda.

However, the president’s Democratic enemies have been hyping a conspiracy theory that posits Trump as Putin’s Manchurian candidate. Russia’s imperial adventures in the Ukraine and Syria has prompted Congress to overwhelmingly pass a sanctions bill that is partly directed at Russia. Russia has countered by expelling hundreds of American diplomats.

Shipping arms to the Ukraine is the logical next step in a cycle that is causing relations between the United States and Russia to deteriorate. The Ukraine has been a sovereign country since the fall of the Soviet Union. Sound policy dictates that the integrity of that country’s sovereignty be defended against Russian encroachment. American policy makers have the result of the pre-World War II appeasement of Hitler’s similar campaign to grab territory to increase Germany’s size and power.

What happens next?

In the meantime, Russia is holding military drills in Belarus, Western Russia, and the Baltic Sea, directly near the borders of Poland and the Baltic States, members of NATO. The United States has countered this move by sending troops to those countries, the clear message being that any invasion would cause a direct military clash.

Russia is constrained by the fact that its primary export product, oil and gas, has seen its value diminished thanks to the fracking boom in the United States and the flooding of the world markets with fossil fuels. The United States, however, faces its own problems as the crisis in Eastern Europe is just one of the problems it is facing as a result of the Obama years.

The Middle East, Korea, the South China Sea, and even Venezuela have become flash points that may lead, at any time, to armed conflict.

The United States is embarking on the beginning stage of a military buildup, repairing the neglect of the military that occurred during the Obama years. Hence, American military power will only increase going forward. The primary imperative in Eastern Europe is to keep a rein on Putin’s imperial ambitions without resorting to war.