Russia has moved more than 100,000 troops close to disputed areas in Ukraine, setting up fears of a new Russian military intervention following their invasion of Crimea in 2014. US officials have responded by threatening Putin both with economic sanctions and the cancellation of a planned gas pipeline to Europe. Some security experts believe that the west must do more to defend Ukraine; standing by and allowing Russia to invade the country sends a message to other aggressive powers like China that their attacks on smaller countries like Taiwan will be met with similar weak responses. Geopolitically, an independent Ukraine creates an important buffer between Russia and Central Europe and prevents military buildup in the region. Others argue that the US has no business in Ukraine. A string of failed military interventions overseas has left thousands of Americans dead and foreigners scrambling to deal with the mess left behind. Russia also has every right to feel threatened by western attempts to defend border territories and NATO’s alliances with border states. Furthermore, now is not the time to start a fight with Putin when conflicts are escalating with China and Iran. Russia’s fight is with Ukraine. The west, isolationists argue, need to stay out of this fight and away from this conflict.
Arguing for the motion is Dov Zakheim, senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former US Under Secretary of Defense in the administration of George W. Bush.
Arguing against the motion is is Anatol Lieven, senior fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and the author of Ukraine & Russia: A Fraternal Rivalry
“If Mr Putin is allowed to invade Ukraine, then everybody else is going to notice it. It will weaken the NATO alliance and the Chinese will see that perhaps we, the Americans, really are a paper tiger”
“If you try to defend everywhere, you end up defending nowhere, which is what America risks vis-a-vis China, when it comes to Ukraine”
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