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The Munich Crisis of 1938 Today in the Ukraine

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The current situation in the Ukraine that began in 2014 is eerily similar to the playbook Hitler had used over Czechoslovakia in the Fall of 1938. Putin surely has learned from it with his desire to take the Ukraine, or a larger part of it, by massing over 130,000 troops near its border.

It's 1938 Again

In the Fall of 1938, Hitler had not yet gone to war. But he had already expanded Germany by having Austria ceded to it through military intimidation. The Allied powers of Britain and France certainly would not go to war over it. Now, Hitler wanted the Sudetenland, the border region that is in Czechoslovakia that is rather mountainous. He began to mass German troops along the border. This sparked a worldwide reaction and rash consultations between the British, French and Hitler. Other nations mobilized their military and moved them to border regions, fearing that Germany might want more than Czechoslovakia. The British PM desperately did not want war and went with a policy of appeasement to contain Hitler's desires. All this came to the critical summit in Munich, Germany, where the British\French and Hitler entered into such an agreement, without any consultation with the Czech government. The Munich Accord basically gave Hitler what he wanted in order to avoid war. Of course, the British PM had many reservations about it and he knew that Hitler might not keep his word but for the moment, it avoided war. The Accord bought time, so to speak. Then, in 1939, the truth came out when Hitler took control of all of Czechoslovakia. Hitler then conquered Poland that same year. In 1940, he took France.

The 1938 Again Today

History often repeats in life and what seems new to those not around way back, is a repeat to those who have seen it before. Today, we have the US\NATO talks with Russia. Like in 1938, the talks were a non-starter in many ways. Putin demands things that neither NATO\US will ever allow. What the US\NATO offer is not what Putin wants in the immediate future. There is an agreement to just keep on disagreeing. Both sides are buying time for different reasons. For NATO\US, they hope Putin will come to his senses (much like those did with Hitler) and allow for the Ukraine to be reinforced should invasion come. For Putin, who probably will invade, it allows for even more troops and weapons to mass at the border regions. To prepare for a covert war and false flag operations to create an excuse to invade. Both sides gain but the consensus seems that Russia will retake some of the Ukraine by force and there is little the West can do. The threat of sanctions seem to not matter to Putin and the stalling allows for the Russians work around any sanctions imposed.

While the US\NATO are not appeasing Putin, they are not trying too hard to prevent him, either. If the US sent in a battalion of troops to support the Ukraine, would this have the effect desired or just make Putin more aggressive? Putin knows his demands could never be met and yet he wants to talk? He is just buying time until everything is in place and ready to go.

It seems the world is just waiting for the other shoes to drop, that is, Russia's invasion to retake part of Ukraine that he considers is still part of Mother Russia. He will have the excuse of saying that he tried to negotiate with the West in good faith and that it failed. The only other recourse was to invade.

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While the 1938 Munich talks ended differently with the West appeasing Hitler, this time, there is little appeasement to be had since Putin had already seized Crimea in 2014 (which was part of Ukraine). Still, the wasteful talks of 1938 before an agreement, resemble those today between the West and Russia. Putin now must decide. He tried to coerce and intimidate. He's backed himself into a corner. If he does not attack, he will be laughed at. It's almost a given what he will do and then the world react. It could spin out of control quickly.

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