If you don’t like this headline, what is the United States and the West going to do to not make it a reality?
First, rather than simply reminding us of Russian actions in Ukraine and assisting to Ukraine in its ability to survive an endless war, how about mounting a serious diplomatic effort?
The United States and Western Europe did so on a regular basis when it confronted the Soviet Empire. Arms control diplomacy was a key aspect of turning down the threat of nuclear war and containing the Russians and their aggression in Europe and elsewhere so why can not we do this now?
Fueling an endless war with no clear end point simply leaves the Chinese free to shape a solution and to announce it in the UN where there has been significant support for not supporting an endless war.
Second, the Ukrainians will need to see their country rebuilt. Where will this money come from? The United States even without investing in the future of Ukraine is projected in the recent CBO analysis to be looking at 19 trillion dollars of debut added to the U.S. deficit in the next decade. The European Union after the COVID shock is not exactly rolling in investment capital.
Third, it is clearly in the Chinese interest to invest in Ukraine as an outpost in Europe which gives them influence on Russia, a process which the Chinese have already seen expand due to the war.
The greatest threat is not the Chinese adding the lethal capabilities of the Russian armed forces but leading a peace process whereby they manage the Russians and propose to aid the Ukrainians in their reconstruction.
Ignoring this prospect while the U.S funds the Ukrainian military is suggestive of an outcome the U.S has seen in too many of its endless war adventures in recent years – the expenditure of defense dollars with no clear return in reinforcing the U.S. global role.
War is not simply about lethal conflict; it is about mastering the entire process of war to peace. This is not a process where the U.S. has demonstrated mastery.
We need to energize our diplomatic efforts beyond the current course.
As one leading European strategist said to me this morning: “It is time to blow the whistle. End recess. And get back to class and seriously consider how to meet our strategic interests while living in the real world.”
On UN voting and the war in Ukraine, see the following: