America should thwart Russia’s attempt to force the Ukrainian people back into Moscow’s sphere of influence. That is because, now as in previous centuries, dominion of Ukraine would be the core of a Russian empire capable of exerting hegemonic force over Europe – something inherently very dangerous to America. Russia’s ruling class is playing a weak hand and is susceptible to prohibitions on the travel and financial transactions of its members. The US government could impose such sanctions and lead Europe – or force it – to join in them.

Maintaining the Pax Americana in the Pacific, for which so many American gave their lives, is the key to ensuring that China’s rise will produce neither another Sino-Japanese war, nor turn the Western Pacific into a zone that Americans must seek Chinese permission to enter. Doing that, quite simply, will take building a Navy at least half again as large as we have now, and fortifying US bases in the region. That in turn would require a commitment to missile defense considerably more serious than the token measures that the Obama and Bush Administrations have taken.

Ending “permanent war footing,” ever so essential for any nation’s sustainability, requires being honest about who threatens us, and putting them out of action while not bothering others. The Bush and Obama Administrations, each for its own reasons, preferred to pretend that our problem consisted of bands of rogues extraneous to any authorities. Both Administrations tried and failed to identify and police such rogues in alien lands while so wrapping America in “security measures” as to make it almost unrecognizable. That way lies permanent war with foreigners and strife amongst ourselves.