Not to be missed. From the New Atlanticist and the Atlantic Council. Offered by Ian Brzezinski, son of Zbigniew (as he mentions in the article), senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO policy.
His brother Mark is on his way to becoming U.S. ambassador to Poland just in time for the impending catastrophe in northeastern Europe. The two sons are positioning themselves to reprise their father’s role in confronting and defeating Russia (and Belarus) over Poland.
Hence the labored analogy that serves as the theme of the piece.
The writer alludes to the simultaneity of Washington’s 1980 dual crusade/jihad on the Soviet Union’s northwestern and southeastern frontiers – Poland and Afghanistan, to variously degrees religiously motivated – which has been missed for over forty years.
Many of the measures the author recommends the U.S. and NATO employ against Moscow have already been enacted and others are in the process of being implemented; indeed, they resemble the template he’s using as a current model to a remarkable degree.
With some one hundred thousand troops, heavy armor, attack aircraft, missiles, and other offensive capabilities parked along Ukraine’s northern and eastern borders, Russia has positioned itself for another invasion of its neighbor.
[Biden and his handlers] should look to history for clues about how to deter the Kremlin from attacking a non-NATO member within its sphere of influence: In late 1980 then President Jimmy Carter and his national security team stopped an imminent invasion of Poland by the Soviet Union.
The Carter administration used both overt and covert channels to warn Solidarity’s leadership and the Polish government. [T]he Warsaw-born Brzezinski reached out directly to the movement’s leaders and even to Pope John Paul II, a native Pole….
Meanwhile, the White House informed and mobilized the support of allies in NATO and beyond. Carter engaged his counterparts in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and Australia, among others.
Foreign ministers, meanwhile, reviewed a set of firm economic and diplomatic sanctions that were provided to the press. They included:
terminating all large-scale economic projects, including a new natural gas pipeline linking Siberia and Western Europe
recalling Allied ambassadors from Moscow
To reinforce those economic threats, Brzezinski coordinated with Lane Kirkland, the powerful and staunchly anti-communist head of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), who led the international labor movement’s preparation of a worldwide boycott of the shipment of goods to and from the Soviet Union.
The credibility of these signals was bolstered by NATO’s significant force posture along its eastern frontier: More than twenty Allied divisions were stationed along the Iron Curtain, with many more prepared to pour in as reinforcements. The more than three hundred thousand US troops deployed to Europe constituted a decisive part of that forward defense.
Meanwhile, the United States had been working to weaken the Soviets in Afghanistan….
A template for today?
Today, Biden and his own national security team should compare their current context, approach, and next steps to deter Russian aggression to Carter’s management of the 1980 crisis.
…As the prospects of another Russian invasion mount, NATO must today match the level of resolve it exercised under the far more challenging contingency it faced in 1980.