Chief among them, of course, is Pat Buchanan, whose 1990s presidential campaigns CNS editor Terry Jeffrey helped run. Buchanan has been on this for a while now: In his Dec. 14 column he declared, "Most autocrats are nationalists, not transnational crusaders. It is not Putin who is dividing the world based on ideology," going on to complain that Biden "sees the world as divided between saints and sinners, democrats and autocrats and, by coercion and conversion, seeks to grow the camp of the saints."
In his Dec.21 column, Buchanan demanded that ther U.S. give in to Putin's demand that Ukraine never be allowed into NATO (never mind that it has not been ninvited to join), declaring that "the chickens of NATO expansion are coming home to roost." He came to Putin's defense again in his Jan. 4 column, asserting that "The heart of Greater Russia as one ethnic, cultural and historic nation consists not only of Russia but also of Belarus and Ukraine" and that "What the U.S. should do in this Ukrainian crisis is to avoid a war with Russia, avoid an escalation, and leave our adversary with an honorable avenue of retreat."
Buchanan ranted against further NATO expansion in his Jan. 11 column in order to placate Riussia: "With NATO's continuous post-Cold War expansion into Central and Eastern Europe, America has to ask: If the risk of war with Russia grows with each new member on its borders admitted to NATO, why are we doing this? Is there no red line of Putin's Russia we will not cross?" He used his Jan. 18 column to again demand that Biden capituate to Putin and not let Ukraine or any other former Soviet countries into NATO: "Indeed, if the purpose of NATO is the defense of Europe from a revanchist Russia, why would we extend NATO so far to the east that it provokes Russia into attacking its neighbors in Europe?" Buchanan repeated that caputiation message on Feb. 1: "What the U.S. needs to do is to say with clarity that while Ukraine is free to apply to NATO, NATO is free to veto that application, and the enlargement of NATO beyond its present eastern frontiers is over, done."
In his Feb. 8 column, Buchanan portrayed Putin as an American-style president who's just seeking his own Monroe Doctrine:
Whether Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to send his 100,000 troops now on the Crimean, Donbass and Belarusian borders of Ukraine into the country to occupy more territory we do not know.
But the message being sent by the Russian army is clear: Putin wants his own Monroe Doctrine. Putin wants Ukraine outside of NATO, and permanently.
Again, Putin's demands that ex-Warsaw Pact countries and Soviet republics be kept free of NATO installations, and that the enlargement of NATO end, if agreed to, would leave Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and Belarus permanently outside.
But if Moscow is going to push to remove NATO forces from its borderlands, this means an endless series of diplomatic-military clashes or a U.S. recognition of a Russian sphere of influence where NATO does not go.
In short, a Putin Monroe Doctrine.
Buchanan used his Feb. 18 column to cheer that Putin has effectively won -- and Biden has lost -- the first round of the Ukraine crisis:
Again, if Putin has been given private assurances that Ukraine will never be a member of NATO, he would appear to have gotten his nonnegotiable demand, as long as he does not crow about his victory.
And if Ukraine is not going to be a member of NATO, Georgia, a far smaller and far less populous nation, even farther east than Ukraine, is not going to become a NATO member either.
Who in the West, outside of Kyiv, is now demanding it?
Putin does not threaten any vital interest of the United States and does not want war with the United States. But, as a great power, Russia claims a right to secure, peaceful and friendly borders, free of military alliances designed to circumscribe, contain and control it.
And the protests Moscow is making are not without validity?
Now that the Soviet Empire is dead, the Soviet Union is dead. Communism is dormant, and the USSR has devolved into 15 nations; why did we move our Cold War alliance onto Moscow's front porch?
Would we tolerate this?
Can we not understand the rising rage in Moscow as we convert all its former Warsaw Pact allies and ex-republics of the USSR into member states of a military alliance established to contain and control Russia?
Because Jeffrey is such a close buddy of Buchanan, he can't see how bad it makes CNS look to have such a pro-Putin, anti-American columnist.