Vlad, the Impaler: Look East, not West!
Vladimir Putin’s desire to put the Soviet Union Humpty-Dumpty back together again is understandable. When Putin entered the KGB in 1975, the USSR had just won its Vietnam proxy war with the United States. The USSR was riding high. But, by 1991, the USSR fell apart. So, when Putin came to power in Russia 22 years ago, Putin decided to be: Vlad, the Restorer.
In 2008, when Putin occupied two of Georgia’s provinces, President G.W. Bush sent a stiff note of protest. In 2014, at the time of the Obama/Hillary "reset" with Russia, Putin took Crimea back from Ukraine. (We should probably be grateful Putin did not ask President Obama to give back Alaska.)
Recall, Nikita Khrushchev gave Crimea to Ukraine in 1954. Why? Because Stalin allowed Crimea to fall into total disrepair. In The Daughters of Yalta, Catherine Katz details the disgusting condition of Crimea during the fateful February 1945 Yalta Conference.
Today, Putin needs to understand the USSR of his dreams cannot be restored. The "glory years" of the USSR are gone and are not going to come back. Why? Because each year one million more Russians die than are born. By 2035, there will be 12 million fewer ethnic Russians. Due largely to alcoholism, male life expectancy has fallen from 68.4 years to 66.7 years. U.S. males average almost 80 years, many living to 100.
Russia’s vast landmass spanning 11 time zones now works against Russia. How do you manage a nation spanning 11 time zones with fewer and fewer Russians? Plus, there is an ever-growing anti-Russian Muslim population in Russian Chechnya.
On Russia’s plus side, Russia ranks number 1 in oil reserves and number 2 in coal. Russia sits on 40 percent of the world’s natural gas and controls 13 percent of the world’s fertilizer. Meanwhile, Red China and India clamor to buy Russia’s entire oil, gas, and fertilizer production.
Former Trump economic adviser, Peter Navarro, says the Chicoms can provide Putin all the money he needs. In addition to oil and gas, Putin can sell Lada-class submarines to Red China’s growing Blue Water Navy, and sell fighter jets for Red China’s new aircraft carriers, and even sell Russia’s vaunted S-400 air-defense system.
Ironically, armed with Russia’s latest technology, the Chicoms could become Russia’s biggest military threat easily overpowering a depopulating Russia that now faces in Ukraine a never-ending insurgency, crushing occupation costs, and an embargo-damaged Russian economy.
But the Chicoms also have a demographic problem. Due to Mao Zedong’s one-child-per-family policy and the Chinese preference for males, baby girls by the hundreds of thousands were tossed into Chinese rivers. Today, there are not enough young Chinese women to match China’s growing army of restless, hormone-charged males.
President Putin: Your biggest threat is the 1.4 billion people of Red China who look at Russian Siberia and see plenty of oil, gas, coal, and females for the taking. Instead of invading peace-loving neighbors, you would be well-advised to ally with the West. Vlad, the Impaler, change direction before they throw you into the basement of the Lubyanka Prison. You should be preparing to defend against the Chicoms, not invading Ukraine.
Suggested reading: The Daughters of Yalta by Catherine Katz, 2020; For D.C. insider news, see: Kelly Johnston’s "Against the Grain" at: KellyJohnston.substack.com; For Ukraine invasion details see: The Institute for the Study of War at: understandingwar. org. For American Siberia see: Seward’s Folly: A New Look at the Alaska Purchase by Lee A. Farrow, University of Alaska Press, 2016.
©2022. William Hamilton.