Opposition to US involvement in the Ukraine crisis grows
Washington- At a time when calls for more US military support for Ukraine, and early imposition of severe sanctions on Russia among senior officials in the administration of President Joe Biden, voices of opposition to the US role in the Ukrainian crisis are increasing at the same time.
A number of experts and commentators are calling on the Biden administration to stay away from getting involved in a conflict that does not serve American national interests, and distracts efforts to contain and confront the continuing Chinese rise, and efforts to confront the repercussions of the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic, in addition to the unwillingness of the majority of Americans to get involved in a conflict far from direct American interests. .
The scope of reservations about Washington’s role in the Ukraine crisis extended to many conservative commentators who support isolationist theories in American foreign policy, to a number of the most important liberal and academic experts who understand the historical dimension accompanying the idea of NATO expansion and its impact on Russia.
Involvement and refusal
Most Americans of various political currents do not support their country’s defense of Ukraine against an expected Russian aggression, according to a new opinion poll conducted by the Trafalgar Group, a research group, on 1,081 American voters from the 12th to the 14th of this month. The poll showed that one in six Americans supports Washington sending troops to support Ukraine.
In the event that Russia invades Ukraine, the poll found that 31.1 percent of Americans believe that the United States should provide only military supplies and weapons, while 30.5 percent support diplomatic action as a means of pressure on Russia.
At the same time, 23.2 percent believed that Washington should provide American military advisors to the Ukrainian army, while only 15.3 percent demanded that Washington send its armed forces to support the Ukrainians in the event of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Efforts and mistakes
Commentator Katrina Vandon Heuvel expressed concern about the US escalation towards the Ukraine crisis, and reports indicated that Washington called on some members of its diplomatic mission in Kiev to leave, at a time when Washington announced the arrival of 90 tons of US weapons to the Ukrainian army, to help strengthen its defenses in the face of the expected Russian aggression. .
“The United States urgently needs to focus its attention and resources on the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, deteriorating economic conditions, acute internal divisions, and catastrophic climate change,” Heuvel said in an article for The Washington Post. Face the rise of China, the last thing we need is a proxy war, or the situation deteriorates into a direct confrontation with the Russians over Ukraine.”
Heuvel was surprised by “Washington’s refusal to agree not to make Ukraine or Georgia a member of NATO, despite the confirmation of the last 3 American presidents – Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and even Joe Biden – that there is no intention to include the two countries in NATO, while also emphasizing that there is no sufficient national interest for US forces to defend Ukraine or Georgia against any Russian invasion.”
Crisis and situations
It is common in Washington to defend the idea of NATO expansion, and to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Ukraine crisis. Although experts and commentators believe that Putin deserves no sympathy because of his repressive domestic policies and campaigns against political opponents who pose no threat to his regime, the Ukraine crisis is not only due to Putin’s positions.
Many opponents of the Biden administration’s approach to the Ukraine crisis are reviewing an article published by The New York Times in 1997, in which the dean of American experts on Russian affairs, George Kennan, described the idea of expanding NATO to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, as “the biggest fateful mistake.” in American politics in the entire post-Cold War era.
Kennan, the architect of the post-World War II Soviet containment strategy, believed that NATO expansion would harm Washington’s efforts to transform Russia from an enemy into a partner.
Kennan expected that “the idea of NATO expansion will fuel anti-Western nationalist tendencies and militarism among Russians, and that this will have a negative impact on the development of Russian democracy,” and “return the Cold War atmosphere to relations between East and West.”
crisis and persuasion
For his part, Professor Stephen Walt, professor of international relations at Harvard University, pointed out that this crisis could have been entirely avoided if the United States and its European allies had not succumbed to arrogance, wishful thinking and liberal idealism, and instead relied on basic visions of realism. Indeed, Russia probably would not have seized Crimea, and Ukraine would be much safer today, had Washington pursued different policies in the post-Cold War era.
“Whoever thought that it was possible to convince Russia of NATO’s good intentions, and that it was easy to persuade Moscow not to worry about the infiltration of the alliance to Russia’s borders, was naive to the extreme,” Walt noted.
He noted that if US policymakers had thought about their country’s history and geographic sensitivities, they would have understood what NATO expansion looked like to their Russian counterparts.
Ban and threaten
The United States repeatedly declares that the Western Hemisphere is off-limits to other great powers, and has threatened or used force on numerous occasions to make this declaration a reality. During the Cold War, for example, the administration of President Ronald Reagan was so alarmed by the revolution in Nicaragua that he formed and supported a rebel movement to overthrow the ruling socialist Sandinista movement.
Prof Walt says that if Americans can worry so much about a small country like Nicaragua, why is it so hard to understand Russia’s grave suspicions about the approach of the world’s most powerful military alliance to its borders?
While most experts in Washington blame President Putin, Walt believes that Putin is not solely responsible for the crisis, that moral outrage at his actions or character is not a correct strategy, and that further sanctions are unlikely to cause Putin to capitulate to Western demands. .
Walt advises the Biden administration and its allies to realize that Ukraine is a vital interest to Russia, an interest that can use force to defend it, not because Putin is a ruthless dictator with nostalgia for the old Soviet past, but because his stance mirrors that of Russia even if it is ruled by someone else.