The Beginning of a Realisation in the US. Elites

Re-blogged from

This would be a good solution, but seems unlikely, partly because most US and CIA interests are still in aggressive Cold War mode, and Ukraine already has something of a stubborn but indulged child, a bit like Israel. The USA is also probably hoping to establish bases in Ukraine to be within striking range of Russia, a bit like when the Russians planned to set up a military presence in Cuba (the 1962 Missiles Crisis).

Even more problematic is the EU which wants to incorporate Ukraine into the EU, a classic Drang nach Osten German dream.

John Mearsheimer just published a piece in Foreign Affairs entitled “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault – The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin“.  It is a typical “establishment” piece in style and assumptions – along with some rather misleading statements about the war in Georgia – but I still recommend that you read it.  Here is the interesting excerpt:

There is a solution to the crisis in Ukraine, however — although it would require the West to think about the country in a fundamentally new way. The United States and its allies should abandon their plan to westernise Ukraine and instead aim to make it a neutral buffer between NATO and Russia, akin to Austria’s position during the Cold War. Western leaders should acknowledge that Ukraine matters so much to Putin that they cannot support an anti-Russian regime there. This would not mean that a future Ukrainian government would have to be pro-Russian or anti-NATO. On the contrary, the goal should be a sovereign Ukraine that falls in neither the Russian nor the Western camp.

To achieve this end, the United States and its allies should publicly rule out NATO’s expansion into both Georgia and Ukraine. The West should also help fashion an economic rescue plan for Ukraine funded jointly by the EU, the International Monetary Fund, Russia, and the United States — a proposal that Moscow should welcome, given its interest in having a prosperous and stable Ukraine on its western flank. And the West should considerably limit its social-engineering efforts inside Ukraine. It is time to put an end to Western support for another Orange Revolution. Nevertheless, U.S. and European leaders should encourage Ukraine to respect minority rights, especially the language rights of its Russian speakers.

Some may argue that changing policy toward Ukraine at this late date would seriously damage U.S. credibility around the world. There would undoubtedly be certain costs, but the costs of continuing a misguided strategy would be much greater. Furthermore, other countries are likely to respect a state that learns from its mistakes and ultimately devises a policy that deals effectively with the problem at hand. That option is clearly open to the United States.

Now, I have no illusion about Mearsheimer, he is spokesman for what I call the “old Anglo guard”, the folks who have been gradually, if partially, displaced by the Neocons, who then got behind Obama, only to be re-displaced when the Neocons skillfully took Obama under their control.  In other words, Mearsheimer only speaks for the defeated and resentful part of the establishment, but a still powerful and influential one.  His article could also serve as a kind of “feeler” with the rest of the US “deep state” to see what reactions it triggers.

What do you think – does the publication of this article mean that some kind of the beginning of a realization that the US needs to revise its Ukrainian policy?

What do you think?

The Saker

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