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If any three men have been most outspoken in their desire for peace between Ukraine and Russia, it has been former President Donald J. Trump, the Vicar of Christ Pope Francis, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
The oddball trio standing athwart America’s military-industrial complex raises two questions: Where have all the peacemakers gone? What exactly could be a starting point on the path to an end to the bloodshed?
Well, the answer to the latter might be found in a recent report from the RAND Corporation. The paper, titled “Avoiding A Long War,” indicates that the data suggests that we could all be faced with World War III and nuclear war sooner than we think if the U.S. doesn’t change its strategic objective — and fast. It didn’t take a policy paper to come to that conclusion, but the piece sure helps put things in perspective and just might be the resource that key figures in D.C. need to change tactics.
Right now, the Russia-Ukraine war is essentially at a standstill, trending toward major escalation. The U.S. has sent 31 Abrams tanks, but it takes months for those to be used operationally. On the battlefield, it seems neither Ukraine nor Russia will lose any time soon.
For the United States’ part, President Joe Biden and his longtime ally Secretary of State Antony Blinken insist that the fighting could end at any time — if only the Russians left. Objectively speaking, that’s a pipe dream.
Why would the Russians pack up and leave after spending so much time, blood, and resources attacking Ukraine?
So, the Russian government has looked at America’s decision to send tanks and declared that talks right now are “pointless.” Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov made that claim on state TV Monday, adding that Putin would be willing to “consider any serious initiatives” but argued that none had been presented.
Whether that is true or not, the statement comes on the heels of NATO’s chair of the Military Committee, Rob Bauer, claiming that the organization and its members stand ready for a “direct” confrontation with Russia. Bauer also reportedly advised members to start operating under a “wartime economy.”
At least in the U.S., American politicians seem to be already acting as if America is at war.
Elected members of Congress from both parties have stated that the U.S. is “at war.” Under that framework, we’ll be “at war” for as long as Ukraine’s main goal is to regain all of its former territories. As discussed last Thursday, it also seems that the more covert goal of the U.S.’s foreign policy is to remove Russian President Vladimir Putin from power.
You don’t have to be a military expert to understand that the longer this war goes on, the more likely it is that the entire globe will be drawn into it — which would mean hundreds of thousands, if not millions, more dead bodies.
How can we avoid that? According to the non-partisan think tank, the RAND Corporation, the Biden administration must drastically depart from its current course of action.
“We conclude that, in addition to averting possible escalation to a Russia-NATO war or Russian nuclear use, avoiding a long war is also a higher priority for the United States than facilitating significantly more Ukrainian territorial control,” the group said.
How should it do that? The group posited that the U.S. should adopt policies that work toward “clarifying its plans for future support to Ukraine, making commitments to Ukraine’s security, issuing assurances regarding the country’s neutrality, and setting conditions for sanctions relief for Russia.”
Obviously, those four suggestions would be a starting point for the U.S. — not a final offer in negotiations.
If you are someone who believes that the U.S. should support Ukraine for as long as possible, then it is easy to see the positives of that plan: It would assure that Ukraine has security against Russia and guarantees it won’t join NATO, thus avoiding a larger war, while also keeping-checks-and-balances on Russia without isolating it entirely.
Now, it should be noted that some — such as Kissinger — argue that Ukrainian neutrality is “no longer meaningful.” Trump, for his part, insists that Biden’s incompetence is to blame for the war, but assuredly his South Carolina ally, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, also deserves some of the blame for repeatedly arguing that war ends with regime change in Russia. Pope Francis, obviously, has had little-to-no success acting as an intermediary between Russia and Ukraine.
So, perhaps we really are too far gone for negotiations.
Of course, another option some might argue is that the U.S. shouldn’t be concerned with Ukraine, let alone increasing the type of weaponry sent there. Nobody seems to be discussing that idea, but perhaps more alarmingly, none of the powers that be seem to be conjuring up plans for peace. The fact that American leaders seem more concerned with foreign citizens and unconcerned with potential World War III is a bit dismaying, to say the least.
The one bit of hope for those who are on the side of peace is that at least with RAND’s plan, alongside the pleas of a pope, a president, and a practitioner of realpolitik — somebody out there is trying to engineer an end to the conflict in the region.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.