In light of Russia's unprovoked assault on Ukraine that is now in its fourth week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently warned that "World War III" may have already begun. Despite predictions his government would quickly be ousted – and clearly that hasn't been the case – Zelenskyy explained no one can predict the start of a full-scale world war of such magnitude.
Thus far, Western leaders have likely avoided a large-scale escalation by refraining from military involvement in Ukraine. Instead, Russia has been pummeled with economic sanctions. But is this preferred method to avoid further provocation really working? American Family News spoke to Col. Dan Steiner (USAF-Ret.), who offers a dire warning.
According to Steiner, if the sole intent of the U.S. is "to inflict so much harm on the Russians economically that the very stability of their nation becomes in question," then he wonders about the country's plans to actually ensure Ukraine's protection from an increasingly "angry and desperate" Putin.
"When the definition of success pushes who we consider an unstable individual into a corner, then we must also understand how he might react," Steiner advises. "Are [the United States and its allies] willing to risk putting such an unpredictable individual into a corner and forcing him to admit that he's lost?"
Which begs the question, says the retired military officer: What alternatives are the U.S. and others giving Putin? If there's concern about World War III, Steiner says the countries involved must be very prudent about how Putin might react to his current situation.
On the one hand, says Steiner, 0Putin may have "a very well thought out, brilliant economic plan" with the Chinese regime for economic survival. On the other hand, however, as countries continue to supply arms to Ukraine, the global strategist indicates the Russian president is becoming more compelled "to attack and up the ante, showing the world something even more scary."
One example, he points out, would be the forward deployment of nuclear weapons to Belarus. Last month, Belarus renounced its non-nuclear status and neutral status, opening its borders to Russian nuclear armament.
On Saturday, a former NATO ambassador said the Russian president has "no way out" – and Steiner agrees.
"The bottom line is that Putin has to win [because] he really has no option of losing," says Steiner, "and that's the most dangerous reality the world has to face."