Former President Donald Trump warned NATO, and to a greater extent the entirety of Europe, about Russia back in 2018. During a NATO meeting, Trump expressed his grievances about obvious things that many nations would prefer to not discuss. The first issue is the disproportionate amount of funding given to NATO from the United States in comparison to other countries in the organization. The second issue is how much Europe is dependent upon Russia for its energy needs. If the purpose of NATO is to protect Europe from Russia then how can Europe be so dependent upon them at the same time?
The current situation in Ukraine was totally preventable. Unfortunately, the necessary steps were not taken to prevent Russia from going on its current dangerous path. The first recent mishap was the botched US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The complete blunder of an operation that was showed the world that the United States isn’t truly prepared for serious geopolitical problem-solving. The thought process is very simple. If the US can’t hold the Kabul airport, how can they protect any other nation? Biden also decided to rely more on foreign countries, such as Russia, for energy rather than increasing domestic production. Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline then gave the green light for Germany to start up Nord Stream 2. This move directly reduced American oil/gas production and increased Russian production.
The exact thing Donald Trump warned about back in 2018 is what Europe and the United States did within the past year. Giving leverage to Russia in terms of energy production and a weak US image paved the way for Ukraine to happen. China is looking very closely at Ukraine and the lack of retaliation or intervention. The next logical step for the CCP would be to go ahead and officially take Taiwan. Then they could gain more control of the South China Sea than they already do. SCS is one of the most, if not the most, important waterways in the world. Improper action or lack of action has placed the whole planet on uneasy footing. And it was all avoidable if only certain people in certain countries cared to listen to those who warned them about this years ago.