Given President Barack Obama's record, it is unlikely he has a contingency plan in place to deal with a potential disaster involving Ukraine - success by that nation in battling Russian-backed separatists.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin has thumbed his nose at U.S. efforts to punish Moscow for intervening in Ukraine. But overt, massive Russian help for the separatists has been kept to a minimum. That could change.
During the weekend, Ukrainian troops scored several successes against the separatists. The rebels were in danger of being surrounded in Donetsk, one of their strongholds.
That falls into the good news, bad news category, unfortunately.
Every victory by Ukrainian government forces makes it more likely Putin will increase his support for the separatists, possibly by using the Red Army openly.
If that happens, what will Obama do? In all likelihood, more of the same. He will hold a press conference to announce new economic sanctions against Russia -on top of several rounds of them, each in its turn proclaimed as irresistible.
They were not, of course.
Obama cannot commit U.S. military forces to the fight, of course. But he can provide more military hardware to the Ukrainians. And he can take other actions to pressure Putin.
The question is whether Obama has any plan for increasing Russian involvement. If not, he should get one ready.
Nearly 20 years ago, author Richard Preston's nonfiction book, "The Hot Zone," told a horror story as disturbing as any make-believe tale. It was about a disease called Ebola and a narrow escape from an outbreak of it in the United States.
Since then, most people probably have not thought much about Ebola or other so-called "emerging diseases." Except for occasional news reports about relatively small outbreaks of the disease in Africa, there does not seem to have been much reason to worry.
But the worst outbreak of Ebola ever recorded is in progress in West Africa. Nearly 800 deaths have been reported. Americans were being evacuated from four countries. Two already have contracted Ebola.
Sixty percent of Ebola patients die, often in agony. Contact with any bodily fluid, including sweat, from an Ebola sufferer can transmit the disease.
For a few years, U.S. officials seemed to have the right idea about Ebola and other emerging diseases. Funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention division responsible for such health threats increased or, at worst, remained stable.
But the division, which was budgeted for $390 million last year, was cut to $341 million this year.
Federal officials should reexamine their priorities. More funding needs to be provided to guard against Ebola and other deadly diseases, before a plague-like outbreak occurs.