We don’t necessarily want a continuation of the Cold War, but understanding the strategic realities The Cold War created is as vital as ever. The younger generation in Ukraine, as well as a lot of people in the West, are getting a hard lesson in Putin’s power politics.
Young Ukranians have yet to taste the economic possibilities of getting a job in a growing economy without living amidst the corruption and cronyism of a rotten, post-Soviet oligarchical no-man’s land. They have yet to learn how to build and defend institutions that can secure their liberties against Putin’s aggression, and also protect them from the ethnic, linguistic, and historical strife within.
And now the Russian bootheel is back.
I think we ought to be pretty clear about where we stand on Ukrainian aspirations for such an economy, such liberties and the possible development of such institutions. We have many strategic interests at stake here, despite our clear limitations.
The drift of the current U.S. administration is sending many messages, and not just to Ukranians.
The Cold War strategists are still around:
Henry Kissinger At The Washington Post: ‘How The Ukraine Crisis Ends:’
‘Putin should come to realize that, whatever his grievances, a policy of military impositions would produce another Cold War. For its part, the United States needs to avoid treating Russia as an aberrant to be patiently taught rules of conduct established by Washington. Putin is a serious strategist — on the premises of Russian history. Understanding U.S. values and psychology are not his strong suits. Nor has understanding Russian history and psychology been a strong point of U.S. policymakers’
Adam Garfinkle at The American Interest talks with Zbigniew Brzezinski: ‘Coping With Crimea: In Ukraine And Beyond‘
‘It’s hard to understand how Putin could calculate that doing what he did in Crimea would make the Ukrainians more supine toward him in Kiev. So unless it’s a sudden burst of poorly calculated activism, the Crimea operation could be the first stage of a series of steps he’s planning, perhaps to create exploitable unrest in eastern Ukraine. The aim would be to demonstrate that Ukraine is falling into anarchy, thereby making a case for a wider Russian intervention, and then we’re back to having to ask ourselves: “How do we react to make that not happen, and if it does happen, how do we make it ‘
Vice link from a reader: