I’m no pundit, historian, or seer and I have a very limited experience with the military. But what I do have is a pretty good memory and enough horse sense to learn from omissions as well as mistakes.
We may be getting a chance to repair a glaring omission we made in November of 1989. The Soviet regime suddenly cratered. The civil war was won by an alliance of states and movements and financial mismanagement. This alliance also cratered quickly.
Internal supply chains in Russia were badly fractured as well as utilities, hospitals and so on. It seemed the six-year civil war leaders were as surprised as the rest of the world when the soviets abruptly left the building.
There was no coherent plan in place or even group with a plan to “win the peace”.
For all his speechifying, Reagan didn’t have a clue as to what to do now that his red herring was gone.
This is the omission I started with: Europe, the west in general, and Reagan, in particular, did absolutely nothing to help the Russian worker class.
We know the rest. The vacuum in Russia was quickly filled with thugs and military strongmen. Thirty-some years later we get the dominant thug, Putin flopping about like a landed mackerel as his regime begins to topple. And topple it will, maybe next week maybe in a few months or years.
What the west and the POTUS can do is plan for that day. A lot of money will be required as well as flexible tactics to achieve a strategy that will integrate Russia with the rest of the world (except for China of course; they still hate each other). But, it can be done.
Let’s get it right this time.
*There is a popular urban myth among American conservatives that Reagan’s military spending caused Soviet Russia’s demise. It is little more than a myth. See the link below for details.