Rebeccah Heinrichs of the Hudson Institute speaks with Mark Melton about the Russian threat to Ukraine. She gives an update of the latest situation in Ukraine at the time of recording (the morning of February 7) and explains why Americans should be concerned about a Russian invasion of the country.

Heinrichs details how the United States has responded to the situation—including what the government has done right—and what America might do if Russia invades. She talks about Germany’s problematic response and why it is the weakest link in the NATO alliance.

They also discuss how a Russian takeover of Ukraine would affect the US-China rivalry, as well as how Beijing and Moscow are becoming stronger partners in a “de facto alliance.”

Reports have indicated that the Biden administration offered concessions to Vladimir Putin about placing certain missiles in Europe and allowing inspections of missile defense sites in NATO countries. Heinrichs explains the problems with these concessions, as well as problems with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty to which Moscow was not adhering, and why concessions from the US have not stopped the Russian military buildup on the Ukrainian border. Some have suggested that the US should promise that Ukraine would never be allowed to join NATO, and even though she does not support expanding the alliance for now, Heinrichs rejects promising to close the door on NATO expansion forever.

She concludes by covering how the Russian military may test nuclear-capable systems that could reach the United States while invading Ukraine.

Before the podcast ends, she says, Russia “is for undermining the US-led order in Europe and in cooperating with China to make sure that China gets what it wants in the Pacific and beyond… The stakes are so incredibly high, and we just need strong leadership, smart statecraft.”