Things to Come

President Biden snuck an op-ed into the Washington Post on Saturday. Here’s a snippet:

Today, the world faces an inflection point, where the choices we make — including in the crises in Europe and the Middle East — will determine the direction of our future for generations to come.

What will our world look like on the other side of these conflicts?

Will we deny Hamas the ability to carry out pure, unadulterated evil? Will Israelis and Palestinians one day live side by side in peace, with two states for two peoples?

Will we hold Vladimir Putin accountable for his aggression, so the people of Ukraine can live free and Europe remains an anchor for global peace and security?

And the overarching question: Will we relentlessly pursue our positive vision for the future, or will we allow those who do not share our values to drag the world to a more dangerous and divided place?

I only have one question: how? The entire situation reminds me of the ultimate rhyme about supply chains:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Ukraine’s artillery alone is firing more shells in a week than the entire European Union produces in a year. In a month they’re firing more shells than the U. S. produces in a year. That’s just Ukraine.

Could the U. S. ramp production up to meet the challenge? Given the time and materials yes. But not immediately. And not while reducing our production of greenhouse gases.

Let me add another complication. Given a choice among supporting Ukraine, supporting Israel, and supporting Taiwan, which is the best course of action. The answer is obvious to me: Taiwan. As noted above we cannot do all three at the same time.

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