Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is the greatest act of national aggression since Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait nearly 32 years ago. Putin has become a Russian version of Saddam Hussein, a dictator for decades, surrounded by sycophants, engorged by stolen wealth, kept afloat by oil and gas, and a shrewd megalomaniac turned psychopath who believes his own mythology because everyone around him assures him it is true.

Like Saddam with Kuwait, Putin presumably believes he will absorb part or all of Ukraine and pay little in terms of costs. While making verbal protestations, the United States and the West will not, as they did on behalf of Kuwait, go to war against Putin and Russia, which would precipitate a global war that could potentially go nuclear. Ukraine, unlike the Persian Gulf oil sheikdoms, is not a direct vital interest to the United States.

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