Why risk war with Russia over Ukraine?

The impeachment hearings are about allegations of President Donald Trump’s interference with the criminal justice system in Ukraine..

How and why did the United States become so deeply involved in Ukraine in the first place?  The video above of an interview of Prof. Stephen F. Cohen, a historian of Russia and the Soviet Union, gives a good background of this.

The conflict in Ukraine stems from a U.S. effort to draw Ukraine into an anti-Russian alliance, and from a military coup in 2014 that brought an anti-Russian government to power in Ukraine.

The Russia of Vladimir Putin is not a country I would want to live in.  There are too many unsolved murders of investigative journalists and opposition leaders, too much wealth in the hands of corrupt oligarchs, too much power in the hands of secret intelligence agencies.

But Putin is not paranoid to see a threat to Russia in an American-dominated Ukraine.  Look at a map of the greatest advance of the Nazi armies during World War Two, and then look at a map of a NATO including Ukraine and Georgia and you’ll see why.

President Zelensky of Ukraine is a political unknown who was elected by an overwhelming majority on a promise to seek peace with Russia.  He is hemmed in by his dependence on U.S. aid, and by the anti-Russian faction, including neo-Nazis, in the Ukrainian government.

President Trump wants to be a peacemaker and he also wants to dominate.  But he lacks the knowledge, skill or constancy of purpose to pursue either peace or power effectively.

His foreign policy is incoherent.  He is like a drunkard staggering along a sidewalk, sometimes to in the direction of peace, sometimes in the direction of war.

But when he staggers in the direction of peace, he bumps up against a wall—the war hawks in the Pentagon and CIA and in Congress.  So the likelihood is that he will wind up in the gutter and blunder into war.

The USA and Russia are the main nuclear powers.  Each has the power to totally destroy the other.  I don’t think that President Trump or President Putin desire to go to war, but the present confrontation along Russia’s borderlands creates a danger that it could happen anyway.

LINKS

Ukraine for Dummies by Ray McGovern for Consortium News.  A timeline of recent Ukrainian history.

Why Are We in Ukraine? by Stephen F. Cohen for The Nation.

We’re More at Risk of Nuclear War With Russia Than We Think by George Beebe for POLITICO.

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5 Responses to “Why risk war with Russia over Ukraine?”

  1. whungerford Says:

    I think Russia’s neighbors should carefully maintain proper, non-threatening relations with Russia as some do. I don’t think this means they need be defenseless.

    I think the best policy for the US would be to disallow the export of arms to any country. This wouldn’t guarantee peace, but it might help. If we export arms to some countries, Poland, Latvia, or Turkey for example, I see no reason to make an exception of Ukraine.

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  2. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    The US is arming Ukraine to be a PITA to Russia.

    Ukraine couldn’t stand up to a Russian invasion, let alone be a threat to them, regardless of how many arms we sold. All we have done is make it more costly for a Russian attack, changing Putin’s calculations a bit. I think we this expected to happen from the very beginning and that is why Ukraine didn’t get into NATO. We didn’t want to be obligated to protect them if we were pretty confident there would be an attack.

    Hopefully Putin will be satisfied with control of the Crimea and Azov and not go for all of Ukraine. The effort expended to take them has been trivial for the Russians. Not so trivial for Ukraine which remembers the horrors of Soviet occupation.

    The area has been historically vital for Russia. With control of the naval base at Azov, Ukraine could theoretically neuter the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Control of Crimea would also block the exit for Rostov-on-Don which is a major shipping outlet. Sure, there are treaties and agreements to guarantee Russian access, but Putin can’t allow a pro-western government the option to change its mind. The invasion has the additional benefit of making him look strong to his people.

    Nothing but good old fashioned geopolitical strategy backed up with a grand kabuki dance.

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  3. Bernie Weflin Says:

    The deep state will take advantage of the impeachment to nuke Moscow, Damascus and Teheran. Glory be to the Holy Planet of America against the evil magog. End the RINO reign of Trump.

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  4. Liberty Cat Says:

    Reblogged this on The Chaos Cat.

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  5. Why risk war with Russia over Ukraine? — Phil Ebersole’s Blog – Blog of Staś Says:

    […] via Why risk war with Russia over Ukraine? — Phil Ebersole’s Blog […]

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