Backing Ukraine is essential to countering Russia, China, and Iran’s efforts to create global chaos

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has it fundamentally right: The war Vladimir Putin launched in February 2021 is part of a global struggle that will only grow unless the West wakes up.

Putin’s goal is to challenge NATO supremacy, to rebuild the Soviet empire of old.

Vlad already is busy fracturing the alliance, and undermining NATO members on his doorsteps (he’s slamming Finland with a new wave of “asylum seekers” from the Mideast, for instance).

And he’s aiding the allies who’ve been helping him — namely China and Iran.

The three support each other not just materially (Chinese supplies and Iranian drones to Russia; Russian and Iranian oil to China, etc.), but also cooperate in diplomacy, propaganda and even in covert cyber-attacks.

Indeed, if Putin can get any kind of peace in Ukraine (say, the ceasefire in place that some in the West long for), he may well put the freed-up resources into backing his allies (say, more artillery and rockets for Iran’s “axis of resistance” to launch at US bases across the Mideast) rather than any all-out offensive on his own borders.

Putin is already profiting from the war Hamas opened with its (Tehran-approved) Oct. 7 terror attacks in Israel: It has badly distracted the West and helped delay efforts to get more US aid to Kyiv.

Stay on top of news out of the Israel-Hamas war and the global surge in antisemitism with The Post’s Israel War Update, delivered right to your inbox every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

China’s Xi Jinping is smiling, too: Disarray in Congress — as some Democrats whine about the Israel war and some Republicans pretend Ukraine doesn’t deserve our support — is also derailing the urgent need to bolster US defense production, limiting our ability to bolster Taiwan.

These two wars also distract the White House from countering Beijing’s bullying of its other neighbors, particularly its ongoing encroachment on the Philippines.

Washington needs to wake up: This alliance for chaos is pushing hard across the globe.

We need to fully support Ukraine, not just with a fresh aid package but the advanced arms President Biden has refused to send out of fear that he’ll somehow provoke Putin into escalating a war he’s already all-in on.

And to call out Iran’s role in driving Hamas’ atrocities — and quit making impossible demands of Israel in its campaign to obliterate the terror group.

Above all, to stop pretending we can seduce Beijing and Tehran into playing nice with the right level of appeasement, when they are committed adversaries of Washington and the West, joined with Moscow in a determined campaign to upend the world order.

But it starts with Ukraine, which as Zelensky says “is in the center of these global risks of this Third World War.”

Any kind of victory for Putin is a win for all the forces seeking global chaos: If the West doesn’t stand firm in this small war, it’ll soon be seeing bigger ones.

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