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Jump over Defense

In case you haven’t been keeping up with the latest news, Ukraine has been winning the war against Russia. Yes, this nation which used to find exposure on US news in controversies about Hunter Biden is the latest action hero, pushing back the military of a far larger nation to retreat out of their territory and apparently, driving their opposing commander-in-chief mad with what decision to make. Ukraine has been slamming the enemy with the help of high technology weapons from friendly America. It’s amazing how these weapons can specifically target the present whereabouts of a colonel or general and accomplish its job.

Forgive my excitement. That piece of news seems to be the one of the few if not the only good news in recent days, weeks or even months. Set that unstoppable Ukrainian report along with the Karding devastation, the rising prices of commodities, the DepEd confidential fund for “security and surveillance”, the dollar to peso exchange rate and other disappointing reports, news of Ukraine winning and Putin whining certainly sparks hope that something good is still happening in this world.

It is simply unbelievable. After months of nothing significant happening, the Ukrainian military is suddenly advancing in wide strides and sending Russkies scurrying back to their side of the border. Yes, President Vladimir Putin is mobilizing new draftees. But these thousands of new recruits (if they ever manage to assemble that size and number) would definitely be inexperienced and unwilling fighters who would stand little chance against Ukrainian forces who thanks to Russian aggression have become battle hardened and have now become unrelenting as it treads its way through the adversary.

But despite these victories (glorious as they are) they do not rebuild the ravaging that swept a whole nation which caused death, displacement, damage, destabilization of world economy and other debacles. When all this is done and the smoke clears, (Although, I wonder how the world would have to deal with stubborn Putin.), Ukraine has to put down those rifles and has to start to pick up the pieces and restore the country to some semblance of normalcy. There are predictions that international aid will pour out in massive amounts once they get there. But still, the whole restoration will be a lot of work.

With all due respect to Ukraine, and not justifying the tyrannical invasion by Russia, I think this devastation would not have happened had Ukrainian leadership been firm all throughout, and not dilly-dallied in its alliance with more reliable and friendlier nations. Had diplomatic relations blown to a different direction, no technicality would have prevented nations in rushing to Ukraine’s aid, and Russia would not have dared to invade in the first place. Alliance would have made the difference. Even without the NATO membership, the foreign armament support turned the tide of war. It was not the reservists that pushed the enemy to retreat, although we have our highest respect to the Ukrainian civilians who took up arms.

A conflict like that may be far fetched to occur within our fence, but that’s what I used to think about Covid. Now, look at what happened. I don’t really know why some elected officials are pushing for the return of ROTC. Do they suppose that college students would be a good defense in time of war? Maybe. We can never tell. But what we can learn from the Ukraine experience is the importance of strong military alliances. Nations, especially smaller ones, have to hold strongly to those treaties.

In case you missed on the news, US military by virtue of the Visiting Forces Agreement are off the shores of Palawan, doing military exercises with the AFP, while Japanese and Koreans observe. Now, don’t get your patriotic fervor out of place by suspecting that the Americans are cheating us on the equal sharing of marbles. Just visualize the great profits that our nation would get from a US military presence in the event that kim Jong-un or Xi Jinping decide to emulate Putin’s actions.

In case you missed it, North Korea has been flexing its nuclear weapons for years now, and recently, China has become sensitive with its issue over Taiwan, (like an ex-lover who suddenly remembers its deep and painful grudges). Conflict could shock like a viral outbreak. So, you think the Philippines is at a disadvantage with the Americans here? Try to assess our advantages when missiles start flying. Our friendship with those visiting forces may be our best bet for national defense.

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1


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