The Russo-Ukrainian War began in February 2014, with the central division laying between Ukrainian pro-Russian protesters and those advocating for separation. courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Russian invasion of Ukraine Seems Inevitable

The U.S.’s proposed diplomatic solution has not been accepted.

In the midst of the growing crisis between Russia and Ukraine and recent reports from Britain of President Vladimir Putin’s plans for a supposed puppet-regime, citizens of the United States are beginning to wonder what sort of American involvement may be on the horizon. Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley has gone on the record saying that “it would be horrific” if Russia does decide to attack Ukraine, and “a significant amount of casualties” would result from these actions, specifically in the urban areas of Ukraine, the nation’s most-dense regions.

Among these comments during a recent Pentagon press conference, Gen. Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin claimed that military conflict “is not inevitable,” between the two countries, as the attack would lead to too much potential damage on Russia’s part. According to Milley, “If war were to break out on the scale and scope that is possible, the civilian population will suffer immensely.”

Milley continued to elaborate upon the devastation if President Putin were to command an attack on Ukraine, saying “[While] we don’t think any final decisions have been made [by Putin], given the type of forces that are readied – the ground maneuver forces, the artillery, the ballistic missiles, the air forces, all of it packaged together – if that was unleashed on Ukraine, it would be significant, very significant. And it would result in a significant amount of casualties.”

While Milley is indeed correct that, “It would be horrific, it would be terrible, and it’s not necessary” for Ukraine to be attacked by Russia, it seems a little too hopeful to believe that at the current time “a diplomatic outcome” will occur.

Though any decent human would hope that a diplomatic solution would arise from the tension, the United States, alongside allies of NATO, have not succeeded in the past few weeks in diplomatically de-escalating the tense relationship between Russia and Ukraine. In the meantime, President Putin continues to move more of his own troops toward the border of Ukraine. These are not the actions of someone seeking a diplomatic solution, but the actions of someone looking for a fight.

In fact, Dmitry Peskov, the spokesperson for the Kremlin, has stated on the record that there are “few reasons for optimism” since the United States and allies refused Russia’s basic demands to avert invasion of Ukraine, those being withdrawal of NATO troops from eastern Europe and guarantees that Soviet-bloc countries would not be allowed to ally themselves with the United States, including Ukraine itself. While a diplomatic solution to the situation has been proposed, there is no reason to believe that the proposal will be accepted, indicating diplomacy seems like a naive solution at this point, given that there is no chance at this time that President Biden and NATO will comply.

On a recent call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, President Biden supposedly warned that it is a “distinct possibility” that invasion is imminent. Zelensky has been openly critical of President Biden’s administration’s approach to the issue stating that the view of imminent further invasion is a “mistake” and Russia’s threat to Ukraine is still “dangerous but ambiguous”. In response to the State Department’s evacuation of the families of diplomats and nonessential staff from Kyiv’s U.S. Embassy, President Zelensky’s said “These are redundant and wrong steps that don’t help us,” expressing his gratitude for American military and financial support. “I can’t be like other politicians who are grateful for the United States just for being the United States,” he said. “I’m saying the truth. We want to be partners and true friends. I don’t want to lie to you.”

The United States should feel the same way. We should not assume that the rest of the world should love us because we’re Americans, and to assume that we are the greatest country in the world is a mistake coming from our own narcissism. Again, while we may have attempted a diplomatic solution, there is no reason at this time to believe that it will be accepted, and we should be ready to respond in aide of our foreign allies to the best of our ability when they are wronged, and it is in the best interest for both Ukraine and the U.S. that Biden and Zelensky have decided to work as a joint effort in future decisions on the matter.

That being said, to jump into the conflict when it inevitably breaks between Russia and Ukraine would be unwise, given our recent pulling of troops from Afghanistan and the strains that conflict has put on so many people around the world. Careful measures must be considered as diplomatic actions evolve into something different. Instead of sending the U.S. military again into a fight that may not necessarily be our own so soon after bringing our soldiers home will have profound effects for the United States on the homefront, and it would be best to first consider “additional macroeconomic support” to Ukraine’s economy in response to Russia’s buildup, since the White House is already exploring this as an option.

Post Author: Logan Guthrie