2014 September 01 Monday
Daniel Larison: Do Not Arm Ukraine

Since we really are not willing to fight for Ukraine Western governments never should have encouraged Ukraine to break free from Russia's orbit.

Several Western governments carelessly pursued a contest for influence with Russia in Ukraine without having any intention of dedicating the resources or taking the risks that such a contest required, and they did so without ever considering how negatively Russia would react to the attempt. Now that we can see how disastrously this has turned out, it makes absolutely no sense to repeat the error by encouraging Ukraine to fight an unwinnable war.

Which governments encouraged Ukraine to take a line that earned Putin's wrath? Was the Obama government one of the governments encouraging Ukraine? My (admittedly vague) impression was that the US State Department was for a trade deal between the EU and Ukraine.

Then Ukraine will have to maintain tariffs on Western goods and buy lousier stuff from Russia instead.

What I find interesting about Ukraine and also China in the South China Sea: There are limits to how far the United States will go to protect a country that wants to be free of undemocratic bully neighboring countries. The US will not protect Ukraine or, for that matter, some of China's nearest neighbors. Quite a few countries and ethnicities are going to (and in some cases already have) get into and stay in submissive positions toward Russia and China.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 September 01 10:48 AM 


Comments
Dan said at September 1, 2014 11:17 AM:

This administration is like a chess player that thinks zero moves ahead. Egypt, Libya, Ukraine, Syria... Step one was push against the status quo and step two was never even examined. The arc of history would turn toward rainbows and unicorns with just a little destabilizing nudge.

Daniel H said at September 1, 2014 5:43 PM:

Larison was responding to the hectoring in the NY Times op-ed page of some punk named Ben Judah. These war mongering Jewish neo-cons are out of control. They would bring armageddon down on us all.

Mercer said at September 1, 2014 9:52 PM:

"Was the Obama government one of the governments encouraging Ukraine?"

His employee Victoria Nuland encouraged demonstrators to overthrow the elected leader of Ukraine. That is what set off the current mess.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2014/february/05/victoria-nuland-the-bride-at-every-wedding.aspx

bob sykes said at September 2, 2014 4:43 AM:

No major power allows neighboring minor powers freedom of action: e. g., the numerous US interventions in the internal affairs of Central American and Caribbean countries since the Spanish-American War, which continue to this day.

To understand what Russian is doing, consider the Cuban Missile Crisis. The US was prepared to go to war with the USSR to prevent the installation of IRBM in Cuba, which it regarded as an existential threat. Similarly, Russia regards a Ukraine in NATO as an existential threat and will go to war to prevent it.

I watched an insane rant from that drooling lunatic John McCain yesterday. Unfortunately, his madness is typical of our Ruling Class and its advisors (just read the WSJ, NYT and Meade's American Interest), and the possibility that they are mad enough to start a war in Europe is very real.

Stephen said at September 2, 2014 8:32 PM:

Bob said: "To understand what Russian is doing, consider the Cuban Missile Crisis. The US was prepared to go to war with the USSR to prevent the installation of IRBM in Cuba, which it regarded as an existential threat. Similarly, Russia regards a Ukraine in NATO as an existential threat and will go to war to prevent it."

I agree with Bob. This is Russia's sphere of influence and the unusual western interference in local politics was guaranteed to produce a decisive push back.

Randall said: "There are limits to how far the United States will go to protect a country that wants to be free of undemocratic bully neighboring countries. The US will not protect Ukraine or, for that matter, some of China's nearest neighbors. Quite a few countries and ethnicities are going to (and in some cases already have) get into and stay in submissive positions toward Russia and China."

I think you're buying into propaganda (which is admittedly pervasive), a superpower doesn't act to 'protect' other countries, rather the protection is merely a convenient excuse for a strategically useful action.


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