21 April 2022

Looking way ahead on Ukraine

 I disagree with John Mearsheimer's interpretation of recent history in regard to Ukraine, which sees the US and NATO relationship with Ukraine over the past 20 years or so as exploitative and Russia-centered, and actually claims that Ukraine's policies pre-invasion constitute an "existential threat" to Russia. This is total nonsense, in my view, and completely fails to recognize that Ukraine itself, government and people, has sought and pushed hard for "Westernization," for its own reasons and as a sovereign state. Not everything that happens in former Soviet states is about Russia, for crying out loud. And there simply is no basis to claim that Ukraine, or even NATO for that matter, are threatening Russian existence or its sovereignty or self-determination. That's just claptrap. 

But having said that, his proposed solution for this war is probably about right. Somehow the Ukrainians will have to accept a sort of Finland-style neutrality, bound in a treaty. And probably have to cede part of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the Crimea. But beyond that, the Russians will have to accede to the sovereignty and security guarantees that such a treaty would also have to bind. This will not be easy to achieve, but it's the only way. 

Putin has done immeasurable damage to his own country and made himself into almost a second Stalin. There will be a long time for recovery, no matter what. But in the long run, NATO should be remade into a "Northern Alliance" including Russia, and Russia should join the EU. When this might happen I can't say, but it's the best possible outcome. One thing is for sure. Putin will be long gone before that day dawns. 

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