I recognize many are unsettled by news of war in Ukraine, but the truth is they shouldn’t be.

I got to know the Pentagon’s leading expert on Bosnia-Herzegovina in the late ’90s as I prepared to assume the responsibilities of an electronic warfare systems officer, a role which would include some of the intel work he did to prepare us for operations there. We talked quite a bit about former Soviet republics like it and the need to stay abreast and responsive to those nations as they shed the beliefs that had gotten the Soviet Union so bogged down in the Middle East it fell apart.

The objective was to ensure democracy stuck, reason prevailed, and the needs of the people were met so the extremists who thought they could put the Soviet Union together again by force did not prevail.

I left him knowing it was imperative that we balance the need for action, where the Muslim extremists similarly driven by the desire to build an Islamic state through conflict with us were concerned, and where former Soviet extremists were concerned.

Unfortunately, our political leaders are easily distracted and willing to believe they can do silly things like control Middle Eastern oil supply by allying with nations the intel community knows are duplicitous, and pass the whole thing off as humanitarian or designed to make us safer.

My point is, if people force politicians to follow the advice of defense and intel heads they’ll have no reason to worry.

Jamie Beaulieu, Farmington

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