Rethinking ‘National Security’ in Light of War in Ukraine

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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch a military “special operation” in Ukraine, which, through the fog of war, looks like an attempt to overthrow the current authorities there and “demilitarize” that country, has prompted the usual globalist/neo-con talking heads to throw around irresponsible comparisons of the Kremlin boss to Hitler.

The truth is that he isn’t even Brezhnev.

We are told that “our” national security is at risk and that “we” must do something about this war. With that in mind, I think it’s time to reevaluate what “national security” means.

As Patrick Buchanan has reminded us numerous times, during a Cold War in which the U.S. was locked in a struggle with an ideological foe that had a global reach, American administrations did not believe that countering the Soviet invasions of 1956 in Hungary and 1968 in Czechoslovakia were matters of vital American interest. Then, there was a sense of America’s geopolitical limits. With all due regard for the Hungarians and the people of Czechoslovakia, Washington recognized that those countries had fallen under Moscow’s sphere of influence, and nobody was going to risk igniting World War III to do anything about that.

In fact, it wasn’t until several years after the Czech invasion that President Richard Nixon went to Moscow to negotiate arms limitations with the Kremlin. Clearly, easing tensions and controlling nuclear weapons was in the American interest.

The Cold War has been over now for more than 30 years. Paleoconservatives have believed that a noninterventionist policy was possible and desirable in the post-Cold War era. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, in the early 1990s there was considerable talk of a “peace dividend” which would allow America to turn its attention to its myriad domestic problems. That, too, was in the American interest.

For paleocons then and now, “national security” means a policy that is actually beneficial to the defense of America and the security of her people.

Regarding Russia in the 1990s, venerable “wise men” like George Kennan and Paul H. Nitze strongly advised taking a new approach to security and opposed expanding NATO. Kennan, considered the author of Cold War “containment” policy, in 1997 wrote in The New York Times that expanding NATO Eastward would be a “fateful error” that would “inflame the nationalistic, anti‐​Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion” and “restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East‐​West relations.” 

Kennan and the other wise men were right—and they were ignored. Without excusing Russia’s aggressive, brutal attack on Ukraine in any way, we should acknowledge that today we are seeing the fruits of having ignored Kennan’s warning.

Prior to the outbreak of war, Putin’s main demand was a written guarantee that NATO would not expand any farther eastward, and that demand was rejected out of hand. Russia has always feared encirclement, and the globocrats seemed determined to make that fear a reality. Anyone who has watched Putin’s rants over the past few days has had a glimpse of the truth of what Kennan said, that “anti-Western and militaristic tendencies” in Russia that NATO expansion—not to mention Washington’s “regime change” operations and support for “color revolutions” in the former Soviet states—has, in fact, inflamed.

Americans like a simple “good guys vs. bad guys” fantasy about foreign policy, but the truth is that there are no good guys among the key players in the Ukraine crisis, except for the ordinary Ukrainian people who are caught up in the violent maelstrom of war.

What can one say about “American” foreign policy in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse, except that it is truly foreign to real American interests? Western globalist elites interpreted the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union not as an opportunity to return to normal international relations but rather to expand the boundaries of globalization.

Globalism dictates that “democracy” (which today amounts to “woke” insanity) must rule the earth, and that all who stand against it are Nazis, Klansmen, monsters, devils, and “deplorables.” It is the Davos Politburo and its Deep State minions who are mounting a fervent ideological crusade, not Russia. In the narrow, muddled minds of our “elites,” they are the “good guys,” and those who reject globalism, who stand for national sovereignty, and who denounce woke craziness (Putin and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán come to mind) are evil and must be dealt with. NATO can’t be a threat, as they see it, because it is “good” and on “the right side of history.” Anyone who would view NATO expansion a potential threat is evil.

They really believe this. They are true believers in globalization, made evident as well in their relentless war against historical America. That war, not Russia, is the real threat to us. Globalists do not acknowledge that we, the Middle Americans who have provided much of the cannon fodder for “wars of choice,” have any legitimate interests or concerns.

It’s time to face some hard truths. The America we knew and loved is long gone. Politics as traditionally understood are over.

Post-Communist Russia is not our enemy, but Washington and the global oligarchs are. It is not Vladimir Putin who is dissolving our borders, rendering American citizenship meaningless, and supporting Antifa/BLM radicals. It is not Putin who is seeking to suppress political dissent in the U.S. or censoring Washington’s critics. It is not Putin who is promoting critical race theory in our schools or browbeating us about an invisible and ill-defined structural racism. It is not Putin who is attempting to defame American history, destroy our historic monuments, and promote “gender fluidity” to our children.

What can “national security” mean to a regime that is attempting to erase the nation itself? The great games of Metternich, Talleyrand, and Kissinger are over. It’s long past time that we understand that a subversive, anti-American ruling elite has replaced America’s old governing system, and that this successor system treats America as an occupied zone of a global empire. For us, “national security” means working to preserve the remnants of our country, ourselves as a people, and cultural space for us to live as we see fit.

U.S. Army Airborne soldiers train for parachute jump at Fort Bragg, N.C. (photo taken in July 1997 / U.S. National Archives)