Peace In Ukraine


I find stalemates frustrating at the best of times. Arm wrestles and tugs of war that don’t end quickly seem to go on forever.  

Sadly, for the citizens of Ukraine these are not good times indeed.  The months of this war risk spilling into another year and no one sees an end to this conflict coming anytime soon. 

Ukraine’s latest offensive has not been the success once hoped. It is becoming increasingly clear that without the West’s continuing supply of weapons and equipment, Ukraine can only hold the line.  

The idea that Russian citizens will someday soon realize the madness of their leader and turn on Putin was doubtful right from the start. Now with drone attacks coming from Ukraine bringing the war to Russian soil - good luck with that.

Russia is in this for the long haul. They are now well aware that they cannot prevail with the West’s long distance support of Ukraine.  Their only hope is that the resolve among the citizens of Western democracies will at some point break. 

We are already seeing cracks of support in the U.S. and other countries where people are struggling with once in a generation inflation. The populace is starting to make its move toward politicians who say charity starts at home. 

Before Russians can see this writing on the wall, we must cut a deal. We can do this now from a position of strength or later from weakness, but a deal will happen. 

For those who might see this as giving in to Russia, I would agree. But we did that as soon as we ignored Ukraine’s request to join NATO. We did it when we let Russia march into Ukraine and played the card of ineffective sanctions rather than direct military intervention. 

The “crippling” sanctions have been muted by China and even India’s energy trade support.  The time for finally finding our spine is now.  Yes, a deal will give Putin some of eastern Ukraine, but many of the citizens in that region have greater allegiance to Russia - so it is hardly an unwelcome annex to many there.  

The other consequence of a negotiated peace agreement is whether appeasement will embolden Putin.  That I would suggest is up to the West. 

The new territory of Ukraine must immediately be brought into the NATO fold. If this new line in the sand is crossed - God help us, but we must respond with the full might and commitment of the western allies, the likes of which have not been seen since Korea. 

Currently, the biggest obstacle to getting a deal done isn't Russian cooperation - but Ukraine’s. Zelenskyy.  His aspirations for victory are to be admired, but not rationally respected. He must be made aware that if Western support dries up his country will be in grave danger. The loss of life from such a bloody, desperate conflict is something that must be avoided - at all costs. 

Those costs are not painless, but they are diplomatic. Balancing a stalemate should be to maintain peace, not war.  

Our grip cannot hold forever. The risk of falling toward greater death and destruction only grows.  It’s time for the West to act now and pull to the side of peace.

Gregory Cawsey

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