"The best way to send Putin a tough message and possibly deflect a Russian campaign against more vulnerable NATO states is to back up our commitment to the sanctity of NATO territory with ground troops, the only military deployment that can make such commitments unequivocal."To its credit, the administration has dispatched fighter aircraft to Poland and the Baltic states to reinforce NATO fighter patrols and exercises. But these deployments, like ships temporarily in the Black Sea, have inherent weaknesses as political signals. They cannot hold terrain – the ultimate arbiter of any military calculus – and can be easily withdrawn if trouble brews."Troops, even limited in number, send a much more powerful message. More difficult to rapidly withdraw once deployed, they can make the point that the United States is serious about defending NATO's eastern borders."
- President Wilson believed he would be hailed as a great international statesman. Instead, Europeans laughed at him and his 14 Points. ("Even God himself only needed 10," quipped French prime minister Georges Clemenceau.)
- President Johnson imagined a big "thank you" from the Vietnamese. Instead, he got a "no thanks" from Americans.
- And President George W. Bush imagined the oil riches of Iraq flowing back to the homeland...only to end up with the most costly and unrewarding war in US history.