In Eastern Europe, tensions continue to build in advance of a likely Russian invasion of Ukraine. For the past few months, Russian President Vladimir Putin has danced around invading the country which was once part of the Soviet Union. The United States, for their part, has continued to threaten Russia with “severe consequences” should they move on Ukraine. President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Llyold Austin have all echoed that sentiment recently. With that said, severe consequences has never been fully defined. Most believe a U.S. response would consist of severe economic sanctions on Russia as well as possible military intervention.
For the sake of the United States, this country should take absolutely no military action with regard to Ukraine. This Eastern European former Soviet Block country serves no strategic or military benefit to America or its allies. The only result of U.S. boots on the ground in Ukraine will be the unnecessary deaths of servicemen. America has flat-out no business intervening in a potential Russian-Ukrainian conflict, and their actions should start and end with sanctions. While it’s unfortunate to see any country engage in military aggression, it does not serve America’s interests to get involved.
The Brewing Conflict
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine regarding the most recent crisis have been high since the fall of 2021. But the ongoing unrest stemming from Russia’s previous takeover of Crimea has been going on since 2014. Russia seized the Southern Ukrainian Peninsula in February of that year, and ever since, the countries have been at odds. Putin, a former KGB agent and two-time President of Russia, has made every effort to stoke tensions in the region. Russia has moved over 100,000 troops to the Ukrainian border and has further beefed up defenses in the area.
Military experts speculate that an invasion is imminent, but Putin has insisted all Western concerns are fear-mongering propaganda. However, no one can deny Russia’s interest in Ukraine, a strategic country on the Black Sea chock-full of natural resources. Putin even went so far as to annex Crimea in 2014 just to seize the strategically valuable port of Sevastopol. The country is now gunning for the rest of Ukraine, and absent a full military response by the United States and others, it seems Russia will ultimately be successful. Regardless, Russia’s forthcoming military browbeating of Ukraine should not suck in the United States, no matter what Putin threatens.
The Cost of Going to War
The simplest reason the United States has no business intervening militarily in Ukraine is the cost of war. Military intervention means certain death for hundreds if not thousands of U.S. soldiers. It will also mean a weakening of an already hemorrhaging economy and the inheritance of a new first-rate enemy. Make no mistake, Russia is no friend of the United States, but the countries are far from their Cold War Era relationship, two superpowers ready to launch missiles at each other. The U.S. has repeatedly seen the cost wars bring back home, especially those where victory is almost impossible. The cost will be dead Americans at the hands of a Russian military offensive hell-bent on retaking Ukraine.
The thirteen U.S. servicemen killed in Afghanistan last year will seem distant if America dares get involved in Ukraine. In addition, the U.S. economy is still in the midst of recovering from the COVID-19 Pandemic, and with rising inflation, it is in no position to finance what would likely be a billion-dollar military expenditure in Ukraine. Finally, Russia is a first-world, highly developed military superpower on the same plane as the United States and China. Should the U.S. willfully involve themselves in any Ukrainian conflict, they almost ensure a full scare war with one of the only countries in the world that can go blow to blow with them. The thought is too chilling to even comprehend.
Why America Should Stay Out
The list of reasons why America needs to steer clear of any Russian-Ukrainian conflict is long, but in many ways, it’s the same list that justified the U.S. leaving Afghanistan once and for all. Loss of life, money frankly wasted, and the antagonization of a major world superpower. For all the reasons stated in the previous section, the U.S. needs to stay out of Ukraine. But this is easier said than done as the U.S. is in a precarious position militarily. They have intervened time and time again in other countries’ affairs without considering how it benefits their own interests or the people living in said countries. Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Korea, Vietnam: the list goes on and on.
But they all share one common similarity: every country America gets involved in militarily without just cause is left just as unstable as the day they arrived. The recent events in Afghanistan are a prime example of this. This is a country where 20 years of U.S. involvement couldn’t prevent a bunch of Taliban rebels from seizing control. In addition to all of this, any potential conflict in Ukraine means that Russia will be fighting in its own backyard. They are more familiar with the terrain and will have every strategic advantage thanks to their previous aggression against Ukraine. Even with U.S. and NATO help, Ukraine is likely to fall if Russia invades. Does the United States really need another global military embarrassment akin to Afghanistan?
The Russian-Ukrainian Roundup
Rising tensions and the coming conflict plaguing Ukraine at the hands of Russia are unfortunate, no one disputes that. Vladimir Putin is a cereal intimidator and military aggressor essentially aiming to recreate the Soviet Union. Crimea was Putin’s first target, and he was victorious. Now he is angling to take over the rest of Ukraine. Does this deserve a substantive response from the U.S. in the form of severe economic sanctions and the like? Absolutely, but what it does not warrant is any kind of military response from the United States. The cost of lives, the stability of the economy, and the inheritance of a first-rate enemy are all causes for the U.S. to stay away from war.
America has been caught up in too many endless and impossible-to-win conflicts with third-world countries. Now, the U.S. is starring down the barrel of a potential war with a global superpower on their home turf. The last thing we need is another war that spills the blood of U.S servicemen and bleeds the country of any kind of moral identity. Russia, in all likelihood, will seize Ukraine in the coming weeks or months, and that is regretful. But the U.S. will regret it even more if they send any Americans to die in Ukraine. So for the sake of this country, let’s hope this conflict has a peaceful resolution requiring absolutely no military intervention from the United States.
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