Ukraine Isn’t Important for U.S. Security
Russia’s Vladimir Putin is ruthless when dealing with
adversaries — as when his navy shot up a Ukrainian vessel
seeking to enter the nearly enclosed Sea of Azov.
The facts appear to back Kiev, though no one should have any
illusions about Ukraine’s governance. Moscow has become
Washington’s chief bête noire. Yet America is vastly more powerful.
Moreover, the Russian Federation is not the Soviet Union reborn.
The former is neither a global nor an ideological competitor.
Nothing at stake in the
Russia-Ukraine conflict warrants the U.S. confronting a
Rather, much like a pre-1914 great power, Moscow demands respect
for its borders and interests. It certainly does not want to wage a
war with America, which it would lose.
Europe also is able to defend itself, possessing
10 times the gross domestic productand three times the
population. The fact that Europeans do not spend more —
Germany devotes a bit more than 1 percent of GDP to its military —
demonstrates that the continent really doesn’t fear Moscow.
However, stuck in a bad neighborhood, Ukraine wants on to
America’s defense dole. But Washington already is overburdened,
protecting prosperous and populous Asian, European and Middle
Kiev isn’t important for U.S. security: Ukraine was part
of both the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, without much
effect on America. Ukraine matters no more today.
That sounds cold-hearted, but alliances and wars should be about
security, not charity.
Russia is determined to prevent Ukraine from joining militarily
with Moscow’s adversaries.
Nothing at stake in the Russia-Ukraine conflict warrants the
U.S. confronting a nuclear-armed power.
Washington’s chief responsibility is to protect the
American people, which means remembering John Quincy Adams’
famous admonition: The United States should be “the
well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the
champion and the vindicator only of her own.”