He cannot militarily lose a war in which his country is never attacked. Of course, Western powers providing Ukraine with more and better weapons can eventually force the Russians to withdraw from ill-gotten geographical gains Putin will have lost only forty thousand men and several hundred second-rate vehicles. His misshapen power is the Russian dictator who remains behind the curtains on the world stage, biding his time to build a better, more modern army while waiting for the next opportunity to attack a neighborhood to test NATO’s mettle.

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