Make yourself invincible
On the bombing campaigns of WWII, cell phone charging stations, and what Ukraine deserves after winning its defensive war
One of the more interesting developments to emerge from the defensive side in the war in Ukraine is the rollout of 4,000 "Points of Invincibility" across the country. As announced, "all basic services will be there, including electricity, mobile communications and the Internet, heat, water, and a first-aid kit. Absolutely free and 24/7."
■ The development is interesting for at least two reasons. The first is that it reveals just how rotten Russia's war against Ukraine has turned out to be. Russia keeps attacking Ukraine's energy grid, in a transparently terroristic bid to degrade the basic quality of life for the people living there.
■ It's barbaric and repugnant behavior on Russia's part. This isn't even a morally ambiguous case, like bombing the industrial centers of an aggressor nation in World War II. It's just a naked bid to impose the maximum civilian pain on a country that's only trying to defend itself.
■ But the second point of interest is how the "Points of Invincibility" are symptomatic behavior of a country getting its act together and leapfrogging its own development. The decisive factor in the Allied victory in World War II was probably the unfathomable retooling of the American economy into an invincible machine for producing virtually unlimited war materiel. American industry was building convoy ships by the thousands, and Boeing alone built just shy of 100,000 airplanes.
■ The United States moved forward, technologically and economically, at a breakneck pace because of (and following) World War II. That advancement wasn't worth the toll of war, of course, but it did provide a sort of compensation for it.
■ Ukraine, likewise, is set to emerge from the brutal and senseless war forced upon it as a much more capable nation than it was before. The whole country is being forced to learn and adapt at a screaming pace just to ensure its own survival.
■ But as long as it receives the material support it needs from sympathetic nations, it is gaining momentum towards military victory that deserves to be followed by a tremendous boom in peacetime. Small seeds of ideas like "Points of Invincibility" grow into the kinds of durable advantages later that make a country truly invincible in the long run. Heaven knows they deserve it.