Developing. We are publishing this article as it is being written. Please check back for updates. UKRAINE: THE WAR TO SAVE THE U.N. CHARTER AND…
We need to take a deep breath, step back, and ask ourselves, “How is the current Ukraine Crisis going to end?”
Upon reflection, it is clear that even if Vladimir Putin leaps into the abyss and launches an invasion of Ukraine he cannot achieve his crazy objectives, goals which only a madman or a dictator drunk on power could even imagine to be achievable.
He wants all of Europe and the Free World to agree to roll back the history of the last 77 years, since the end of World War II, the founding of the United Nations, and the adoption of the U.N. Charter in 1945 by all of the nations of the world, and to proceed as if international law did not exist.
It’s not going to happen.
He may invade Ukraine and start a war that could cost tens of thousands of lives, but he cannot win.
In his mad megalomania, he cannot prevail.
His aggression can only succeed if the rest of the world agrees that international relations will no longer be governed by the U.N. Charter, that treaties are no longer to be viewed as binding, and in general that international law will no longer govern relations between states.
That is not going to happen, no matter what Putin does.
One thing is certain: Putin cannot win. He cannot achieve his delusional goals by leaping into the abyss of war.
Indeed, he cannot know even how he might land.
Of course, if Putin misses the last exit ramp before war, there may be further exit ramps further down the road.
Whether there will be a further exit ramp he can take and still retain his power, is unknown, and essentially unknowable–even by him.
The current threats of economic sanctions against Russia if it invades Ukraine do not appear sufficient to deter Putin.
Putin’s disdainful remarks about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday in Moscow, following his five-hour meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, suggest a hardened attitude and a dug-in position.
Deterrence of a Russian invasion should not be considered merely as a desirable objective, but rather as an absolute necessity for the security of Europe, Taiwan, and other countries.
Moreover, the survival of the post-World War II U.N. Charter-based system for the maintenance if international oeace and security, and international relations based on international law, are at stake.
The alternative, in a nuclear age, is the “right-makes-right” system that led to two world wars in the twentieth century.
Maximum Assured Deterrence
To make sure the law-abiding nations of the world avoid the fate they suffered after 1938, they must adopt deterrent measures that provide “Maximum Assured Deterrence”, that is, not just deterrence that seems “politically feasible” but which may or may not work.In an age when Mutual Assured Destruction (what we can call MAD I) may deter a nuclear first -strike, but may not deter aggression with conventional weapons, “Maximum Assured Deterrence” (which we can call MAD II) may be required to deter aggression and invasions by conventional forces.
What steps can be taken, even now, to provide “Maximum Assured Deterrence” against a Russian invasion of Ukraine?
The preceding analysis strongly suggests that an optimal strategy for dealing with Putin and Russia, starting today, would include the following components:
1) Adoption of the Maximum Assured Deterrence steps outlined above; and
2) Development of fully-developed and coordinated negotiating positions on Minsk II implementation in order to help construct an off-ramp which Putin might be persuaded to take.
Time is of the essence. These steps should be taken as soon as possible, on an urgent basis.
Developing Because so much is being written about the Ukraine Crisis, we are providing links to the most important news dispatches and analyses, in particular…
Stefanie Bolzen reports on what could be a dramatic development, “At the same time, it was reported in Kiev (‘verlautete aus Kiew’) that Great Britain, Poland, and Ukraine are preparing a tripartite security pact.
A triparite security pact, depending on its provisions, could lead Poland to come to the defense of Ukraine if Russia invades the country. Should that then lead further to a Russian attack on Poland, the mutual defense obligation in Article 5 of the NATO Treaty could come into play, requiring all NATO members to come to the defense of Poland in repelling the Russian attack.
At that point, the world would be facing a direct nuclear confrontation between Russia, on the one hand, and the U.S., Great Britain, anf France, on the other.
The new U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, did an outstanding job in presenting the case against Russia and in defending fundamental principles of the U.N. Charter and international law. 10 members of the Council supported the holding of a public meeting, and implicitly the position of the U.S. NATO, and EU countries. Only Russia and China voted on a procedual motion not to hold the meeting. India, Kenya, and Gabon abstained.
There is no sign that the Biden administration has decided to launch a serious international legal critique of Russia’s mobilization of troops near the Ukranian…
U.S.,NATO, and EU heavy “costs” that will be imposed on Russia if it invades Ukraine are a deterrent, built on illusions, which will not deter Putin.
The West needs to strengthen its deterrent threats and to start imposing sanctions now.
Russia should be sanctioned for threatening the use of force in violation of Article 2 paragraph 4 of the U.N. Charter, and bringing the world dangerously close to a major war in Europe which has the potential of escalating to a nuclear conflict.
The West has been playing defense, reacting slowly to Russia’s threat of a war of aggression against Ukraine.
German war criminals were tried at Nuremberg for committing “crimes against peace”. Putin is committing crimes against peace as we speak.
NATO and the West need to stop responding to Putin’s unlawful demands and to start making their own demands on Putin and Russia.
The best defense is a good offense, it is often said.
It is now time for the civilized nations if the world to move from defensive maneuvering to going on the offense against Putin and Russia.
They should demand the following steps from Putin, and impose escalating sanctions on Russia if he does not comply, and until he does.
These demands include the following:
The U.S., the EU, and NATO member countries should begin imposing severe economic sanctions on Russia for its ongoing threat to further invade Ukraine, for its continuing occupation of the Crimea, and for its continuing occupation, both directly and through agents under its control, of Donetsk and Luhansk provinces (together “the Donbas’j in the Eastern Ukraine.
The goal should be to really deter Putin from invading Ukraine, not just putting on a good show that NATO, the U.S. and the EU tried. A secondary goal should be to deter Belarus from allowing Russian troops to launch an invasion from its territory.
To really deter Putin, all countries should pressure Germany to go along with the expulsion of Russia from the SWIFT international payments system, if it invades Ukraine, and to commit now to cancellation of the Nordstream II pipeline project if that occurs.
As the civilized nations of the world move to offensive operations in defense of Ukraine, the imposition of heavy economic and other sanctions, perhaps on a partial and escalating basis, should begin at once.
Both Fiona Hill, above, and former Defense Secretary William Cohen, have called for the question of the threatened Russian invasion of Ukraine to be taken to the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. General Assembly.
These steps should be undertaken at once.
Originally published on April 13, 2014. An alternative future history of the Ukraine might include the airlifting of Western troops to the Ukraine to aid…
As far back as December 19, David Ignatius reported on a telltale fatal flaw in U.S. thinking about how it and NATO would respond to a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
He reported that American military advisors and policy makers were discussing how to provide assistance to Ukrainian “insurgents” or a Ukrainian “insurgency”. Ignatius on January 6 and David E. Sanger and Eric Schmittt on January 8 report that policymakers are still using the same terminology.
In doing so they have framed the question in a way which naively fails to take international law into account, much less to use it actively to achieve American deterrence goals, while employing a conceptual framework that assumes Ukrainian defeat. They are talking in terms of providing military assistance to “insurgents” after Russia has taken over Ukraine.
The conceptual framework assumes defeat, while completely ignoring international law and the U.N. Charter.
Story also availabe on Medium / James Rowles
The site is hacked.
Story available on Medium / James Rowles
See Anne Applebaum, “The U.S. Is Naive About Russia. Ukraine Can’t Afford to Be; Putin is right about one thing: A free, prosperous, democratic neighbor…
Updated January 11, 2022 The analysis in the article below, updated on December 31, 2021, appears to be confirmed by Russian statements following the bilateral…
Developing See, 1) Andrew E. Kramer and Steven Erlanger, “Russia Lays Out Demands for a Sweeping New Security Deal With NATO; The proposal, coming as…
The Russia-Ukraine crisis appears to be de-escalating, with the anouncement by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that Russian troops will be withdrawing from the border…
You cannot make plans for additions to your house while there is a bulldozer outside, with its engines revving, actively engaged in tearing down your…
Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll of Trump’s Job approval, November 20, 2019L Approve 46%, Disapprove 53% House Democrats have succeeded in tearing bricks out of Trump’s…
Elizabeth Drew, whose accounts of the Watergate scandal are legendary, has stressed a critical point made by the Observer in earlier articles, that it would…
See Mehdi Hasan, “Democrats, Please Don’t Mess This Up. Impeach Trump for All His Crimes, Not Just for Ukraine,” The Intercept, September 26 2019 (10:35…
U.S. foreign policy under the direction of a malevolent simpleton The great challenge facing observers and critics of U.S. foreign policy is to keep track…
In February, 2014, Russia invaded the Ukrainian peninsula of the Crimea, seized it by force, and in March purported to “annex” the Crimea to the…