Where US and Ukrainian War Aims Collide

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Where US and Ukrainian War Aims Collide

October 18, 2022 by Patrick J. Buchanan

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For us, the crucial concern in this Ukraine-Russia war is not who ends up in control of Crimea and the Donbas, but that the U.S. not be sucked into a war with Russia that could escalate into a world war and a nuclear war.

To President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukraine, Crimea and the Donbas are national territories whose retrieval justifies all-out war to expel the invading armies of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Yet, who controls Crimea and the Donbas has, in the history of U.S.-Russian relations, never been an issue to justify a war between us.

America has never had a vital interest in who rules in Kyiv.

Through the 19th and almost all of the 20th century, Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire or the USSR, ruled from Moscow. And that condition presented no issue of concern to the USA, 5,000 miles away.

For us, the crucial concern in this Ukraine-Russia war is not who ends up in control of Crimea and the Donbas, but that the U.S. not be sucked into a war with Russia that could escalate into a world war and a nuclear war.

That is America’s paramount interest in this crisis.

Nothing in Eastern Europe would justify an all-out U.S. war with Russia. After all, Moscow’s control of Eastern and Central Europe was the situation that existed throughout the Cold War from 1945 to 1989.

And the U.S. never militarily challenged that result of World War II.

We lived with it. When Hungarians rose up in 1956 for freedom and independence, the U.S. refused to intervene. Rather than risk war with Russia, the Hungarian patriots were left to their fate by President Dwight Eisenhower.

How the world has changed in the 21st century.

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Today, while the U.S. is under no obligation to go to war for Ukraine, we are obliged, under the NATO treaty, to go to war if Slovakia, Czechia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia are attacked.

And, though Kyiv is not a member of NATO, the U.S. finds itself the financier and principal armorer of Ukraine in a war with Russia over Crimea and the Donbas, which could involve the use of nuclear weapons for the first time since Nagasaki.

In short, our vital interest — avoidance of a U.S. war with a nuclear-armed Russia — may soon clash with the strategic war goals of Ukraine — i.e., full retrieval of Crimea and the Donbas.

If Putin is serious about an indefi

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