One thing I have always found fascinating about Russia is that when they tell us they are going to do something, they usually do it.

So when Moscow struck a military base near the Poland-Ukraine border that was a staging ground for arms shipments, we shouldn't have been surprised. They told us that was their next plan of action just twenty-four hours before they did it.

But that’s just the beginning of what Russia likely has in store for the West, NATO, and the entire world if we aren’t careful.

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s plan seems simple: chaos on a scale that...

One thing I have always found fascinating about Russia is that when they tell us they are going to do something, they usually do it.

So when Moscow struck a military base near the Poland-Ukraine border that was a staging ground for arms shipments, we shouldn’t have been surprised. They told us that was their next plan of action just twenty-four hours before they did it.

But that’s just the beginning of what Russia likely has in store for the West, NATO, and the entire world if we aren’t careful.

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s plan seems simple: chaos on a scale that will extend far beyond Ukraine.

You see, Putin is starting to come to grips with the fact that he can’t win the war in Ukraine — at least on paper — unless he destroys Ukraine. And that’s not exactly a victory.

Putin also knows that if he does go Grozny 2.0 and tries to wipe Ukraine off the map, the international community will place so much pressure on him and his regime that he could very well see his reign threatened from within or on the streets. In some respects, that’s already happening.

Here, we can see a big change in global power politics, one that will transform how all wars are fought: weaponized social media. And make no mistake, it truly is a game-changer.

Clearly, Putin did not consider the fact that every bomb he drops, every civilian that dies, has a chance of being recorded on social media and driving international outrage. That outrage then trends, and those trends become policy.

Moscow’s bombs have created the ultimate boomerang effect. Whoever wins the social media war could very well win the war. Social media could be the weapon the 21st century never saw coming — until now.

And that means Putin has clearly lost. Russia will rot from within due to Putin’s invasion — and that rot is already spreading.

Think of the war in Ukraine as a sort of cancer let loose on international politics. If we don’t treat the disease — meaning do everything we can to draw it to a conclusion, and that means an imperfect one if we are lucky — it will only metastasize further.

And make no mistake, metastasis could mean death for the patient, meaning the world. That means eventual escalation into a NATO-Russia war that no one wins, and where everyone dies.

History proves the war in Ukraine will undermine the international global order and the very balance of power as we know it today.

Quick example: when the Soviet Union collapsed, the Yeltsin government was desperate for hard currency to keep its arms industries going. China was ready and willing to help, buying things like fighter aircraftsubmarinesair-defense systems, and anything else they could legally or illegally get their hands on.

Today, the United States military faces a Chinese military that is built for one thing and one thing only: to defeat Washington in armed conflict. The spine of China’s military is clearly Russian, thanks to a weakened Moscow that was desperate for aid — and don’t think it won’t happen again. China could very well gain access to hypersonic weapons technology, nuclear submarine knowhow, tank technology, and even stealth fighter and bomber aid.

Then there is North Korea. I find it very interesting that Pyongyang chose now to start testing ICBM technology after a nearly five-year pause. While I would be willing to bet Pyongyang and Moscow did not plan the timing of the launch, North Korea clearly understands that now is the time to test anything they have been holding back, knowing that UN Security Council sanctions are completely out of the question.

What about the new Iran deal? Well, that seems dead, as Russia has tied it to sanctions relief, and who’s going to provide sanctions relief during the Ukraine war?

These are just the opening challenges. NATO and Russia are already on a course of escalation that is starting to point towards armed kinetic conflict.

What if, during the siege of Kyiv, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is captured or killed?

What if another Russian strike near the NATO frontier accidentally crosses into NATO territory?

What if a cyber strike on Ukraine spreads and infects a NATO country?

You see where I’m going with all this. We are headed down the highway to hell. Now is the time for cooler heads to prevail. If you don’t stop the spread of cancer, death is certain.