U.S. Hasn’t Helped Kiev’s “Endless Dysfunction”

Balazs Jarabik, who is associated with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and who focuses on Ukraine, has an article titled “Ukraine: The War Must Go On?”. It’s a pertinent article because both sides are re-arming and both sides are more skilled now at war. Renewed fighting, if serious war breaks out again, will be more devastating than the earlier engagements. It will likely enter new areas and, in the process, undermine Ukraine altogether.

Jarabik writes “As terrible as it sounds, Kyiv’s endless dysfunction is the Kremlin’s most powerful ally in the current crisis—a point that is glossed over in Western policy debates on sending lethal aid to Ukraine.”

Critics of the libertarian positions on Ukraine should read and heed what the non-libertarian Jarabik says about Kiev and Ukraine. U.S. and NATO aid, bank financing, training and military advice are not helping Ukrainians. Quite the opposite.

The libertarian refrain calling for U.S. disengagement from Ukraine (and other of the Empire’s venues) strikes some as being either pro-Russian or not anti-Russian enough. This is a false conclusion that doesn’t follow from a non-interventionist stance. It only follows from a non-libertarian perspective of supposing that the U.S. should be helping Ukraine achieve independence from Russian pressures. But such so-called help is destroying Ukraine and promises worse to come.

Criticism of Kiev’s administration and its war against Donbas likewise strikes some as pro-Russian. This too is a false conclusion. The making of war by any state against breakaway regions or regions seeking autonomy or constitutional changes or secession is anti-libertarian.

Both U.S. disengagement from Kiev and criticism of Kiev’s war-making are policies that will help, not harm, ordinary Ukrainians. Sons will not be drafted, ill-trained, ill-equipped and sent into unwinnable and destructive wars. The government won’t go bankrupt in the process. Huge debts won’t be levied on generations of Ukrainians. The currency won’t crash, as it has, destroying the wealth of anyone holding it, small savers or holders of debt denominated in that currency. Resources can be put toward peaceful purposes. Similarly, people in Donbas won’t face the severe destruction wrought by war. Refugees can come home. People won’t be driven from their homes. Population centers, ranging from villages to major cities, won’t be shelled.

The war-making and other related decisions are promoted by the U.S. and NATO. The U.S. is re-arming one side and improving the weaponry. The Russians are re-arming the other side, and that side too will bring in new ways of fighting. The level of destructiveness can only escalate as a consequence of a U.S. and Kiev decision to bring Donbas back into Ukraine by military means.

Libertarian calls for the U.S. completely out of Ukraine are for the good of Ukrainians themselves, although surely not all of them. This policy doesn’t satisfy Ukrainian nationalists who insist on union of west and east, come hell or high water. Hell it may be.


12:06 pm on April 12, 2015