The Buck Stops Where?

by Dave Schuler on July 21, 2014

At Fiscal Times David Patrick calls for letting Europe “do the heavy political lift” on dealing with Russia on the Ukraine:

“Days after the plane went down,” Liow said over the weekend, “the remains of 298 people lie uncovered. Citizens of 11 nations, none of whom are involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, cannot be laid to rest.”

These conditions at the crash site say it all now. The MH-17 tragedy transforms the Ukraine crisis into one that must be taken, decisively and immediately, out of the hands of its two belligerents, the Kiev government and the rebels who oppose them. This means international engagement of a seriousness not yet achieved.

Mr. Patrick does a pretty fair job of explaining some of the interests that various European countries have in pacifying the situation in the Ukraine. He doesn’t do nearly as good a job of explaining why they wouldn’t want to delegate that job to us. Or why we should be interested in doing the heavy lifting for them.

Let me summarize. We have no direct national interests in Ukraine. Russia does. We have an interest in not increasing tensions with Russia. We don’t do nearly as much trade with Russia as Europe does. Every move by us I have seen anyone propose would produce an escalation in the conflict rather than reducing tensions.

This entire crisis is a near-perfect example of the sort of thing where we should be able to depend on Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, etc. to take the lead because of their direct interests but can’t.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

TastyBits July 21, 2014 at 11:33 am

None of that matters. The delusional hawks made claims about Assad falling, and they were wrong. They blame Putin for this.

If they were serious, they would be able to articulate how Ukraine fits into a larger unified strategy, but instead, they will regurgitate talking points and other nonsense. What they spout sounds like a company mission statement.

steve July 21, 2014 at 7:42 pm

It mostly depends upon Germany. If they don’t want to do anything not much can be done.

Steve

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