At first blush, one might ask why Alaskans should be concerned about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine is not a healthy functioning democracy by western standards. It is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), therefore there is no mandate to provide mutual defense. It has a history of corruption, albeit current President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made significant efforts to curb both government and private sector corruption.

From a global perspective, Ukraine is like the bird in the coal mine. Miners brought birds with them when mining for their safety. If the bird stopped singing and showed signs of stress, the miners knew the deteriorating air quality could eventually cause them harm or death. Today the bird has stopped singing and with each move by Russia, the world is showing greater signs of stress.

Despite Russia’s Vladmir Putin’s assertion that Ukraine is the creation of Russia, it is not. This propaganda is being spewed to distract the uninformed from seeing the blatant violation of Ukrainian independence by Russia’s aggression. Russia has invaded a sovereign nation and all the world should be concerned.

“China has a history of disregarding international norms and respect for democratic states and international agreements.”

Rising Russian military power is creating a negative disruptor of international relationships and is a direct threat to Alaska’s long-term prosperity and freedom. Alaska will probably benefit from a spike in oil prices from sanctions against Russia for this invasion, but this short-term benefit will not create long-term wealth for us.

If Russia is successful in ousting the current Ukrainian government and installing a pro-Moscow puppet government against the will of the Ukrainian people, China may view it as green lighting their effort to accelerate their push for reunification of Taiwan and Asia-Pacific hegemony. This would be a major disruptor for Alaska trade relations, not just with Taiwan but also with many Asian states.

China’s “One China” policy articulates there is only one sovereign China, and Taiwan is part of that country. However, the two systems are diametric opposites. China is collectively a state authority under a single political leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. Taiwan is a democratic republic and is not a single party, centrally-controlled government.

Taiwan remains a strategic location for the United States. Located between Japan and the Philippines and directly east of China, Taiwan has created a prosperous economy and industrious society. Taiwan’s location prevents China from controlling access to the South China Sea. If Taiwan were to become unified with China, major South China Sea routes would be dominated by China. This would create a significant economic and strategic disruptor, as Japan could be cut off from trade routes and the United States freedom to navigate in the western Pacific region would be seriously challenged.

Taiwan has long had close relations with Alaska, including being a strong importer of Alaskan products. Preserving these economic ties and maintaining a strong United States presence in the western Pacific is beneficial to Alaska and our economic future.

China has a history of disregarding international norms and respect for democratic states and international agreements. Take for example their commitment to freedom in Hong Kong. In response to pro-democracy protests that swept Hong Kong in 2019, the Chinese government blatantly violated the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984, which stipulated “Rights and freedoms, including those of the person, of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of travel, of movement, of correspondence, of strike, of choice of occupation, of academic research and of religious beliefs will be ensured by law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,” crushing the pro-democracy movement. The Chinese had no intention of abiding by this joint declaration, so goes freedom in Hong Kong.

Now China has turned its attention on Taiwan. While publicly denying any interest to exploit the Ukraine situation, the Chinese see an opportunity to reunify Taiwan, by force if necessary. In the past twenty-four months China has significantly increased military and naval incursions into the Taiwanese Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). These increased military exercises and incursions are deliberate aggressive acts attempting to stress the Taiwanese Defense Forces and provoke a military altercation, which could then be used as an excuse for military intervention by Beijing.

China has vowed to reclaim Taiwan “through diplomacy or force.” Don’t think for a second the Chinese aren’t watching to see how the world responds to Moscow’s assault on Ukraine works out.

It is insulting to hear President Biden state we must pay higher gas prices because of his ineffective Russian sanctions. If the United States is drawn into a war in Europe, or if Russia gets away with dismantling Ukraine, it will clearly be the failure of Joe Biden and his weak and feckless foreign policies that encouraged our adversary’s aggressive behavior. China is watching. Thus far, the Biden Administration has only shown weakness in confronting this aggression. Sanctions that mean little provide little results.

We have the capability to provide our own energy supply and to export oil and gas to Europe and Asia. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) can accommodate two million barrels of crude oil daily, yet it only carries about a quarter of that today because of federal restrictions on oil and gas exploration and production in Alaska. Open Alaska, North Dakota, Texas, New Mexico, and other energy producing states to meet the demand and counter the oil and gas leverage currently being played by Russia.

The United States has the industrial, financial, and technical might to stop Russia from continuing this illegal breach of international protocol. The United States should take all deliberate actions, short of sending the US military into Ukraine, to stop Russia. Only by preventing Russia from making Ukraine a vassal state would the world be sending China a message that bad behavior will not be tolerated.

Alaska’s Vital Interest in Ukraine

Craig Campbell
Craig E. Campbell served on the Anchorage Assembly between 1986 and 1995 and later as Alaska’s Tenth Lieutenant Governor. He was the previous Chief Executive Officer and President for Alaska Aerospace Corporation. He retired from the Alaska National Guard as Lieutenant General (AKNG) and holds the concurrent retired Federal rank of Major General (USAF).


  • Jeff says:

    Simple solution
    Instigate a pacific alliance between Japan, South Korea, India, Taiwan, Australia, Vietnam(they are enemies of China) and any other nations that want in on it.
    We can sit back and provide them with the weapons.

    Done, no more Americans killed in wars they don’t need to.

  • Greg says:

    I condemn what Putin has initiated because innocent lives are being destroyed. Yet, it is sheer American hypocrisy to condemn what is occurring, for the US government and it’s military have done this and worse in other areas of the world. It’s a pathetic shame for someone to rail against what another nation has done, or is doing, if he will not acknowledge that fact. I do not condone these actions, but if anyone with an IQ above 50 will go back and read history instead of allowing the media and warmongering government officials to dictate the narrative for them, they would see that culpability for this savagery does not stop just at Putin’s feet. There isn’t a single thing he is doing that the American government hasn’t also done.

  • Greg says:

    “Worship these days, at least in this country, has moved away from the devout, and been replaced as reverence to the state. Many churches in this country now pay homage to the military and its troops, the very ones committing murder in their names. Contradiction and hypocrisy at this level belies logic and sanity.”

    Gary D. Barnett

  • Greg says:

    More on US hypocrisy:

    “What should be evident is that the U.S. and its military have been responsible for tens of millions of deaths due to its wars, its violent aggressions, and its sanctions. No other nation on earth has ever been responsible for such carnage, and no other nation has caused such widespread suffering. How many have really been wounded, disfigured, or harmed by war, chemical weapons, sanctions, and total destruction of infrastructures at the hands of the United States? How many have been displaced, and lost their families? How many continue to live with the horrors of war? And considering that more people are being killed every single day by U.S. forces, and that more war seems inevitable, how many more millions will die before Americans wake up to the horror of this aggression?
    Gary D. Barnett

  • Greg says:

    Wake up folks. This isn’t just a Putin problem. It’s true of all Nation-States, some more and some less. Yet people are willing to justify it when it’s their own nation doing it. Defense is one thing. Wars of aggression, of which the US is king, are something else. Shame on you if you don’t realize that.

    No King But Christ

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    Well said! The ISA is last time I heard the only SUPER POWER left. Why are we cowardice to Russia? We need to show a strong unified front and not waiver.

  • Vickie says:

    Putin is not invading Ukraine, he is conducting a military operation. Taking out the Cabal. If your believing all the lame stream media
    You have missed the boat. The photos you’re seeing are the same ones we have seen for years. Do your research, just because its on the news doesn’t make it true. AMERICANS NEED TO WAKE UP! Follow the money… Clintons, Obamas, Bidens and many more… trafficing of children and adults. Why can you not see the forest through the trees. Putin is no super hero and he takes no bull, he does believe the evil needs to be eradicated. There is a huge military operation under way…. Soon you will see …. Hope you awaken before then.

    • Bill Smallwood says:

      Well said Vicki…Peeps are still drinkin the deep state koolaid. The evil ones have been manipulating mankind for thousands of years. The day of reckoning is upon them. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

    • Karl says:

      Please enlighten us as to how a “huge military operation” on foreign soil is not an invasion. I think you need to do some more research in the dictionary.

  • M.John says:

    “if Russia gets away with dismantling Ukraine..” The United states got away with dismantling Ukraine in 2014, and installing a pro-U.S. government there, but somehow that wasn’t an illegal breach of international protocol? I agree that I agree that we should develop and use our own sources of fuels, and export what we are able to. Russia should be free to do the same. If Russia wants to sell gas to Germany, and Germany wants to buy it, we have no business standing in their way. That’s for the most part, what this is about. The U.S. State department couldn’t care less about the freedom of anyone in Ukraine. After the 2014 coup, U.S. armed and backed Ukranians in Kiev had newfound power to attack and harass ethnic russian Ukrainians in the Donbas, and continued to do so, even after the Minsk agreements, which they blatantly violated, no doubt at the urging of U.S. operatives.
    Those ethnic russian Ukranians asked Russia for help, and Putin made the decision to help them. If they were driven out of Ukraine, an area they have occupied for hundreds of years, the U.S. controlled government in Ukraine would have undoutedly allowed installation of a U.S. missile base in the Donbas. That, also, gave Russia a very legitimate reason to be concerned. I ask you again, Mr. Capmbell, why is this sort of thing always ok when the U.S. does it, but not when someone else does? The Russian Federation is not the Soviet Union. The days of the American Neocon Cold Warrior are numbered. – M.John

  • Bridget says:

    It appears that there are layers upon layers of corruption behind the scene in Ukraine. Why does Biden, Pelosi, Kerry and Romney have children in high paying jobs there? It’s a money laundering hq, that’s for sure. No mention anywhere on the 8 years of shelling by Ukraine on Ukrainians in the Donbass region. Since Biden is throughly blackmailed we can only expect this WH resident to continue lying and fail at protecting our sovereignty. He’s proven that since day one. We are being played once again by our corporate entity faux govt on this issue with the ‘Russia bad’ cry. Russia is far from good but we must question everything coming out of D.C. This illegitimate administration sold their soul long ago and will sell us down the river for 30 pieces of silver in a heartbeat. Why trust an American admin that said absolutely nothing while Trudeau trampled on the charter rights of peaceful Canadians? They’ll do the same to us. It sickens me to read statements out of the White House stating that they’ll stand for freedom. Blatant lie. Notice how they’re implementing a digital passport at lightning speed while everyone is distracted by the situation in Ukraine?
    There has only ever been one secure peace in this world. This peace is in Christ and Christ alone. Make your peace with God, take care of your fellow man and be sober and watchful for the days are evil.

  • Akdale says:

    So this article says we should be interested/worried about Ukraine because China might invade Taiwan…Good grief. How about our legislature invading the PFD? Illegals invading our southern border, politicians and bureaucrats invading my private health choices? We have more to worry about that we can actually influence than issues in other countries, however unjust they may be. Fight the war at home. We are losing our freedoms right here. Vote and DONT vote for a flipping Democrat or RINO. S hard turn is needed. Out with Dunleavy, in with Kurka. Hes young, but he has a spine and he is principled.

    • Bill Smallwood says:

      Well said also Dale! Thats exactly what “We the People” of Alaska need to focus on right here at home. LETS TAKE OUT THE TRASH HERE AT HOME. As Putin is doing in Ukraine.

      • I'll be back! says:

        Sweet Jesus, there ain’t nobody littler than “Smallwood!” Those of his ilk have shown that they gladly would palm thirty pieces–or less–of Putin’s silver and feel no compunction were you crucified along with so many Ukrainians. At their own death, each will cry out with pain, “Sweet Jesus! Oh, Sweet Jesus, I beg….”

    • Proud Alaskan says:

      Agree, it’s the law to a full PFD.
      We better stock up on toilet paper too.
      More Madness, we Alaskans need to stand together to fight against this evil of Alaska and this world order.

  • AK Pilot says:

    I think a simpler solution would be for the United States to not allow Ukraine (which, by itself, is wholly irrelevant to us) to distract us from China’s aggression.