Resolving the Ukraine-Russia Conflict
Aggressive Negotiations Work
TheOne of the most difficult issues in foreign relations is trying to explain to people the relations of power between small and large countries. Isolationists want the US to withdrawal from all military engagements in the world, while “neo-cons” want to engage in numerous areas of conflict.
Let's say you are a 50 year old adult, and you see a ten year old kid picking on and beating up on a 6 year old kid. The isolationist will tell you not to intervene, but the “neo-con” will call on you to beat up the ten year old kid. Neither action is ethical and moral. This is the dilemma the US has in being the largest military power in the world and the third most populist country.
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Sometimes, we simply don’t have all the facts which is why Saddam Hussein had to be taken down. Iraq taking Kuwait was bad and leaving Saddam in power was a greater mistake. The results are messy but will eventually resolve themselves.
Here is what I would do about Ukraine, if I was President of the USA. First, I would drop 5,000 US troops along the Russian border with Ukraine in the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, and warn Russia and Ukraine, the USA is forcing both sides into a truce. I would announce, "we do not wish to dishonor Russia or the Ukraine but military conflict is having negative impacts on their neighbors as people flee the conflict and US has treaties with such countries. This military conflict must end."
After 90 days of truce, I would announce the terms of settlement. Russia is fighting for territory of Russian speaking people. Let them have it, but make them pay Ukraine for it. Here are the terms.
First, Russia should pay Ukraine for the provinces of Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea of about 35 billion each, if it wants the world to recognize these places as part of Russia. Theft by aggression is not acceptable.
Second, Russia also must assure the protection of national minorities in such provinces.
Third, Russia must accept and allow Ukraine to join NATO.
Fourth, both Russia and Ukraine must accept a permanent US military base of 5,000 to 10,000 troops in Ukraine to enforce such truce.
Russia, Ukraine and the rest of Europe should be happy with such terms. Changing borders by buying land is a peaceful transaction and avoids war and has been done numerous times throughout history (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_territory_purchased_by_a_sovereign_nation_from_another_sovereign_nation).
But many will object to what they just read. Why the USA? The USA has a population of over 330 million people. Russia has about 146 million people. Ukraine has about 44 million people. Where do you think the gravity of power and responsibility resides? It will always come back to the USA as we are the biggest kid on the block with the exception of China and India.