Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Ukraine: Two Realist Assessments

"'Do something' is a platitude, not a strategy." So says Sean Kay in an essay titled "America's Strategic Dilemma in Ukraine" that appeared on The Duck of Minerva on Sunday.

Kay takes to task those who are urging some sort of muscular American response to Russia's invasion of the Crimea. It is not a liberal critique, however. On the contrary, Kay's analysis is focused on the realists' traditional concern with national interests and geopolitics. It's a reminder that sometimes the realists are the ones who provide the counsel of restraint where the use of force is concerned.

In another essay worth reading, Thomas Friedman reminds us--yet again--of the many health benefits (to U.S. foreign policy) of reducing our appetite for fossil fuels. The bottom line is this: oil and natural gas exports are what allow Putin (and many other autocrats around the world) to stay in power and occasionally launch invasions of neighboring countries.