WASHINGTON, May 15 (The Hill) – First, the truly alarming news next to no one seems to care about: Day by day, the war in Ukraine is tipping ever closer to triggering a nuclear strike.

Earlier this week, independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. once again waved the warning flag on this pending cataclysm, posting: “The situation in Ukraine is on the brink of calamitous escalation. Do the military imperialists in Washington and their lackeys in Europe have any idea the danger they are courting? They are conducting foreign policy as if it were a game of ‘chicken.’”

Kennedy is nightmarishly correct. It is a point I have stressed several times on this site. Be it the actions of the Biden administration, the United Kingdom, France or others, some in the West seem intent in daring Vladimir Putin and the Russians to do the unthinkable. Why?

Leaving aside the ever-malleable arguments that: “We have to stand as one against Putin,” “We have to save the people of Ukraine” or “We have to protect NATO,” there are also other forces at work here. First among them: money.

Before we get there, for those trying to “save the people and infrastructure of Ukraine,” I am truly sad to report that you have failed. While most in the media seem averse to reporting certain facts in the country, this much is true: Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children have been killed or wounded; much of the infrastructure of the country has been reduced to rubble; and over 6 million Ukrainians have fled their nation. Those encouraging Ukraine to fight to its last citizen from the comfort and safety of their offices thousands of miles from the battlefield need to come up with a more convincing rationale.

Now, back to the money. Toward the end of April, President Biden signed yet another aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, this one to the tune of USD95 billion. But, as they used to say in the late-night commercials, “Wait, there’s more.” As reported last month: “Ukraine and US working on long-term security agreement.”

How long is “long term”? According to venture capitalist and podcast host David Sacks — as well as others — “long term” would equal approximately 10 years and cost upwards of USD1 trillion.

Clearly, for a number of defense contractors in our nation and in Europe, Ukraine has become the gift that keeps on giving. But when does a never-ending supply of taxpayer money begin to resemble “fraud, waste and abuse”? Some would certainly say now, as hundreds of millions of dollars have already disappeared down various rat holes in Ukraine with no accountability.

Next, at what point do the billions and billions of aid pouring into Ukraine begin to resemble the world’s largest Ponzi scheme? One definition of that age-old scam is a form of fraud that pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors. Except in this case, the “earlier” and “more recent” investors are not doing so of their own volition. Their various governments are deciding for them, as they take their hard-earned money and turn it over by the billions to Ukraine or, quite possibly, criminal enterprises.

The grift in this case can sound very much like this: “We have to prop up Ukraine now by sending hundreds of billions of US taxpayer dollars, so we won’t have to send in US troops later.” Gee, and just who would be ordering those troops into combat in Ukraine?

Going back to Kennedy’s warning, we now seem to be — without anyone asking for our approval — engaging in a game of nuclear “chicken” with Putin and Russia over Ukraine. Insane hubris at the least.

As RFK Jr. posted: “British Foreign Secretary David Cameron recently stated that Ukraine has the right to use British weapons to strike Russia. In return, Moscow warned the British ambassador that that would provoke Russian retaliation against London.” The New York Times reported last week that the U.S. secretly shipped ATACM missiles to Ukraine that can strike deep into Russian territory; not by coincidence, Russia announced training maneuvers using tactical nuclear weapons.

Does any of that make your blood run cold? It should.

None of the experts I have spoken with over the course of the last two years believe Ukraine can win this war. It’s long past the time to blow the whistle on the Ponzi scheme, end the game of nuclear “chicken” and enter into a negotiated settlement.

At some point, Putin is sure to tire of the game and drive straight into the oncoming vehicle. What then will be the literal fallout from that explosion?

Douglas MacKinnon, a political and communications consultant, was a writer in the White House for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and former special assistant for policy and communications at the Pentagon during the last three years of the Bush administration.

This article was originally published on The Hill.

Photo from AFP