Do not forget that Putin is creating his own false reality to justify war with Ukraine. The basic lies are that Russia is rescuing Ukraine; Russia really owned Crimea all along; Russia isn't even directly involved in Ukraine, really; and Ukraine or NATO shot down that Malaysian airliner over eastern secessionist-held Ukraine.
Given Russian paranoia about the threat of NATO which would barely defeat revolution-wracked Libya, it should have long been obvious that what NATO does or is capable of doing has no effect on Russian thinking.
Putin does not need actual NATO actions to justify his own aggression.
But Putin's victims and potential victims do need NATO actions to avoid being victimized.
So base our decisions on what to provide Ukraine on what Ukraine needs and not on how it will affect Russian thinking. That crazy train pulled out of the station--and went off the rails--long ago.
With apologies to the other prince of darkness.
Heirs of a Cold War, indeed.
UPDATE: This is what I'm talking about:
President Vladimir Putin accused Russia's enemies on Thursday of seeking to carve it up and destroy its economy to punish it for growing strong, in an annual state of the union speech that seemed to outdo even his own recent strident nationalism.
It's not that Russia is getting stronger that bothers the West, it's using that increased strength to attack Ukraine and seize pieces of it that bothers the West.
Does anybody in Moscow really believe that anyone in the West would be upset if Russia used increased defense spending to bolster their ground and air forces on the border with China?
War on Georgia bothered me, but it didn't bother the West, obviously. Now Russian aggression is too close for comfort.
And the notion that the West wants to dismember Russia is nonsense. The West would have been happy to ignore Russia and go on with our lives if Putin hadn't revived conflict in Europe.
And I suppose that is what really bothers Putin. He'd rather be feared than ignored. And if we hate him too? Well that's bonus ego stroking from his crazy train point of view.