Sunday, August 31, 2014

Foreign Affairs — Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault

Foreign Affairs, published by the Council on Foreign Relations, gets it and is saying it.
According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet empire, and he may eventually go after the rest of Ukraine, as well as other countries in eastern Europe. In this view, the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 merely provided a pretext for Putin’s decision to order Russian forces to seize part of Ukraine. 
But this account is wrong: the United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit and integrate it into the West. At the same time, the EU’s expansion eastward and the West’s backing of the pro-democracy movement in Ukraine -- beginning with the Orange Revolution in 2004 -- were critical elements, too. Since the mid-1990s, Russian leaders have adamantly opposed NATO enlargement, and in recent years, they have made it clear that they would not stand by while their strategically important neighbor turned into a Western bastion. For Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected and pro-Russian president -- which he rightly labeled a “coup” -- was the final straw. He responded by taking Crimea, a peninsula he feared would host a NATO naval base, and working to destabilize Ukraine until it abandoned its efforts to join the West.

Putin’s pushback should have come as no surprise.…
Foreign Affairs
Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault — The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin (Free registration required to read the whole article)
John J. Mearsheimer
(ht Lambert Strether at Naked Capitalism)


Ryan Harris said...

The Hryvnia has lost 2/3 of it's value over the last 6 or 7 years with an acceleration over the last months. Who is supplying Ukraine with arms, fuel and financing to fight the Russians?

I suspect with little evidence besides the few billion in assistance that we know about, that the Europhiles, having failed miserably to create either political unity or a unified stable and prosperous single market with their Union might be trying and distract from their domestic problems by supporting the war. The US hasn't offered much leadership or assistance, even within NATO. We've sent some advisers and minor assistance but none of the vehicles, weapons or supplies appear to be US designed.

Anonymous said...

They "get it" all right. This is what is called "covering your backside."

The "West" is most certainly "the cause" of the debacle in Ukraine. And most certainly, the "solution" is not to create a "buffer state" out of the Ukraine (an artificial construct to begin with).

Yes, they get it all right; you're the ones who don't get it.