The U.S. Should Do Nothing About Ukraine

The news suggests to me that Russia is now destabilizing portions of eastern Ukraine. What should the U.S. do about this? Nothing. Stay out of it. Whether Ukraine or Russia controls these areas makes no difference to the average American. But attempting to insert U.S. power into this region carries very real risks. The calculus is one-sided: no prospective gains and high prospective costs.

Earlier U.S. interference in Ukraine has contributed to destabilizing the country, affording ample advantages to nearby Russia to establish its own interference. It is doubtful that those in charge of this U.S. policy anticipated the current results. They cannot be trusted to raise the ante in attempts to control the political outcomes in that region.

Revolutions in the streets are notoriously hard to control. It’s highly unlikely that those Ukrainian groups that sparked the Maidan protests anticipated that their actions would result in splitting up Ukraine or in bringing in Russian pressures. There have been miscalculations by them and by the U.S. Putin also may easily miscalculate.

Those who have misplayed their hands need to stop now and cut their losses. Those who have made gains need to stop now and take their profits. Playing on by ratcheting up the rhetoric, charges and counter-charges, pressures and spillage of blood doesn’t benefit anyone except a few gamblers who like to take risks with the lives of others. The U.S. should get out of this game and stay out of it. It will lose nothing. It will avoid worse problems and miscalculations that it cannot now foresee.

Common sense should inform U.S. policymakers that this region is not in the U.S. sphere of political control. Victoria Nuland, anxious to have her man (“Yats”) in Kiev, lacked that common sense. The U.S. should be content with economic relations with this region.

Those who think that Putin is going to make moves on other regions that were once satellites of or republics in the Soviet Union are relying on an outdated view. Those, like NATO, who rattle sabres that they cannot unsheath without inflicting huge disaster on themselves and the world, are relying on a dangerous misconception and vision. The world has changed. It has moved on from the Cold War. All of Europe right to Russia’s borders cannot and should not be brought into NATO. This can only cause more problems. Economic ties are one thing, but military ties, missile launching sites, nuclear arsenals and armies are quite another. Europe needs to emulate the borders of the U.S. with Canada and Mexico, or at least how they used to be not too long ago. The U.S. needs to pack its bags and leave Europe to the Europeans. It needs to withdraw from NATO and leave European defense to the Europeans.


11:19 am on April 14, 2014