Nicholas Burns, a professor of the practice of diplomacy and international politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe last week detailing the position of the US with regards to the on-going upheavals in Ukraine, and what is currently at stake.
Nicholas argues that “what happens in Ukraine is important to American interests in a still-vital Europe.” He goes on to list three reasons why this is so:
- Putin’s success in Ukraine is resounding ominously in Central Europe. If he gets away with the destruction of a major state like Ukraine, what would stop him from destabilizing an even weaker Moldova?
- Russia’s intervention in Ukraine has thrown Washington’s relationship with Moscow into a deep freeze, resuming a long-term struggle for power in Europe.
- Most importantly, Putin’s aggression challenges the entire architecture of the post-Cold War order.
Nicholas adds that whilst Putin continues to divide, destabilize, and dismantle Ukraine, American and European leaders cannot agree on the severity of sanctions against Russia. Consequently, Nicholas warns, this has led to a “series of weak, half-hearted measures that have failed to alter Putin’s behavior in any meaningful way.”
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