There is a significant likelihood and risk indeed that not militarily defending democratic Ukraine will incentivize Putin’s Russia into military aggression against NATO nations. Admitting Ukraine into NATO would have averted the Russian invasion and now it is too late, a democracy of 41 million citizens is about to fall to imperialist aggression. Putin’s impression is no doubt that Biden is not ready to stand up for threatened democracies and in Putin’s worldview is every democracy a threat to Russia. It may be that Biden’s zeal to avoid WWIII is precisely what will lead us into WWIII. The fact that President Putin is ready to live with heavy Western sanctions certainly indicates that Russia is preparing itself to transition to a war economy. World leaders once thought that sacrificing Czechoslovakia would prevent WWII and now they are assuming that sacrificing Ukraine will prevent WWIII.
Notwithstanding the heroic resistance by the Ukrainian military forces, the fact is that Ukraine does not stand the slightest chance against the Russian war machine although it might be possible to win a guerilla war against the Russian occupation. The same of course is true of NATO nations who are defenseless against Russian military aggression without substantial American military participation. Russia however, does not appear the slightest intimidated by the imposition of Western sanctions against Russia. On the contrary, punishing Russia after the fact is meaningless and counterproductive and does not influence Russian actions.
We are most likely witnessing the outbreak of WWIII and the feeble attempts to prevent it indicate that those in charge in the White House have learned absolutely nothing from tragic 20th century European history. There is no understanding of the motivations of Russia which feels intensely threatened by China and its ambitions to conquer, colonize and exploit the vast, resource-rich thinly populated areas of much of Asia including Siberia and the Russian Far East. Anyone who is even the slightest familiar with Chinese history knows that Han colonization of areas of other ethnic groups has been going on for thousands of years and it is still happening in Xinjiang, Tibet and Inner Mongolia. Russia is well aware of those territorial ambitions and that Russia is no match for China whose military machine is ever-growing and expanding. Of course, China is doing everything to assuage Russia about its ostensibly friendly intentions, including supporting Russia in its aggression against Ukraine but to Russia there are no friends in international politics.
Why is the aggression against Ukraine happening now? Putin sees an opportunity in what the international community regards as the “weak” Biden administration. There are only 90 000 US troops in Europe and transporting more US troops to Europe will certainly take time and so Putin gambles that he will be able to conquer Europe in a Blitzkrieg before the Americans have time to mobilize. Putin strongly doubts the will of President Biden to defend European NATO allies. Conquering the entire Europe will turn Russia into not only a political superpower, but a military and economic one as well and Russia is well aware that it needs to conquer Europe in order to become strong enough to withstand a Chinese onslaught against Asian Russia.
The emerging American disengagement from Islamdom strongly indicates that the White House is completely oblivious to the competing Russian and Chinese designs for taking over Central Asia, Iran once the regime falls and the Middle East up until the eastern shores of the Mediterranean sea. WWIII in Europe is only the beginning, the real battle will be WWIV between Russia and China in Asia. The Israeli government is deeply upset with current US foreign policy and believes that the Biden administration “has turned diplomacy into a religion”. There is however nothing wrong with effective diplomacy which is about promoting national interests and preventing war; and the diplomacy of the Biden administration has completely failed in those respects as it fails to protect American interests and instead by being perceived as “weak” effectively encourages and invites aggression by America’s adversaries.
Successive US administrations have failed to anticipate the inevitable showdown between Russia and China as the logical conclusion should have been to align with Russia against China and now it is too late.