An Army comrade who served with me in the First Infantry Division commented on a recent piece I wrote on the similarities between the Ukraine War and the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s.

“…Anyway, here’s something for you to consider in the way of a historical analogy – Ukraine war in light of Bourbon France’s experience with the American Revolution.” The man, as usual, has a very good point. Let’s set it up.

We have shipped billions of dollars worth of equipment and material to Ukraine, not even counting direct funding. Like Nixon did to save the Israelis in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War, we are dipping deep into our military inventory to pursue this course.

Now I learned the lessons of Munich long ago and I support the so far effective effort to stop the Russian takeover of Ukraine. If Putin isn’t stopped here, just as he wasn’t made to pay a price over Georgia and the Crimea, it could embolden him to further attack his neighbors.

With Belarus already in his pocket and even a rumored outright annexation of that satrapy, his next target could be one of the NATO Baltic nations. That would trigger a Russian-NATO War and the general conflagration we avoided during the Cold War could be upon us.

However, the Russian move against Ukraine is a threat to all of NATO. But we have been doing the vast majority of the heavy lifting. In depleting our military stocks and treasure to do it, are we setting ourselves up for problems down the road? Enter the Bourbons.

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King Louis XVI of France, of the House of Bourbon, spent massive amounts of money and material helping American revolutionaries and sticking it to the British during the 1770s-1780s. Without the French the Brits would have won the American War of Independence. Perhaps for the better. But that’s another article.

When about a decade later Robespierre and his gang of murderous red cutthroats revolted against Louis, the king had so drained his treasury by his American adventure that the French economy was weak. This, amongst other factors, animated the French revolutionaries to strike, eventually topple the monarchy, and behead the king.

We sadly have no king to behead or worse, exile him to Manhattan or San Francisco. But we are looking at several national security threats around the globe. Taiwan primarily comes to mind.

The Chicoms would love it if we didn’t have the material to support the defense of Taiwan. That’s perhaps why they are arming the Russians, to make sure the war goes on. But the Caribbean, North Korea, the Middle East, and Chinese aggression in Asia apart from Taiwan are all also on our radar.

What if we get hit with challenges in one or more of them at the same time we’re heavily committed in Ukraine? Could we cope or are we bled dry? Would we have to make a geopolitical Sophie’s Choice? Would our means of defense be strewn across the fields north of Kyiv?

As we proceed in Ukraine we must begin to ask ourselves these questions. We should stay the course in Ukraine. But not at the expense of our own national interests and all obligations elsewhere. Which means our NATO allies need to cover us a lot more in Ukraine and we need to rearm to make up for the Ukrainian deficit in military stocks. Both must happen, and soon.