“Ukraine, no. Taiwan, yes,” Kirk Lippold, the former USS Cole commander, tells American Family News.
Russia will not move against Ukraine, Lippold predicts, because Vladimir Putin is overseeing an unstable economy that would only grow worse if countries punish Russia after its troops and tanks cross into Ukraine, a sovereign nation of 44 million.
Ukraine’s already-worried government, however, grew more concerned last week when a massive cyberattack hit government websites. Such an attack would typically precede bombs and bullets, so Ukrainian and U.S. officials expected those to be falling next after the sabotage attack.
Ukraine has watched Russia build up a military force estimated at 100,000 troops on its eastern border, an obvious sign of a pending invasion. Some of those Russian troops are now moving into neighboring Belarus for an announced Russia-Belarus military exercise. That coming exercise would allow Russia to invade Ukraine through Belarus, however, and create a new battlefront on Ukraine’s northern border.
Taiwan democratic thorn in CCP's side
Regarding an invasion of Taiwan, Lippold insists the more powerful China is not concerned about economic punishment and world opinion.
Taiwan, an island of 23 million, sits 100 miles from mainland China. The country is dwarfed by China’s military might and cornered by its ruthless diplomatic pressure around the world to look the other way.
Taiwan’s democratic government has been a longtime target of the Chinese Communist Party, which has not forgotten history. Taiwan became a refuge for democracy after World War II, when Mao Zedong took control of Beijing, and hence the CCP demands “reunification” with its CCP-hating neighbor.
"China is basically going to gamble,” Lippold predicts, “and look at the long view and say, If we take Taiwan, people are going to put sanctions on us. We'll cut them off.”
Those sanctions won't last for long and other nations will move on, Lippold also predicts.