It’s Time for the US To Stop Courting Conflict with Russia
Just as happened this past April, Russian troop levels at the border with Ukraine are rising. Next door in Belarus, the embattled government of Alexander Lukashenko is being accused of launching a “hybrid attack” on its neighbor Poland. Meanwhile, to the south, a constitutional crisis been brewing for months in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik apparently taking the final steps toward the Republika Srpska’s separation from the central government. These developments are worrying, particularly the latter two cases. Treaty obligations tie the United States to Poland, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the United States intervened multiple times during the wars of Yugoslavia’s disintegration in the 1990s, are in the last stages of their applications for both NATO and EU membership. It is all too easy to imagine how the United States could wind up involved in a preventable conflict.
Apart from any treaty obligations or historical precedents, the Biden administration’s foreign policy team is dominated by liberal internationalists. And just as their increasingly aggressive, zero-sum approach to China is the wrong one to take in the Indo-Pacific, it has long been counterproductive in eastern and southern Europe. The liberal internationalist desire to control the world is a dangerous delusion where the interests of other nuclear-armed great powers are concerned, and it alienates powerful minority populations who feel locked unwillingly into their existing states by the threat of American intervention or retaliation.
So while the US military, national security, and foreign policy establishment will likely feel the need for the US to be involved in the various concurrent crisis spots in the region, the only realistic policy for peace and stability in the region (so the US government can go back to focusing on the Indo-Pacific and antagonizing China) is one based on de-escalation, decentralization, and a tacit or overt acceptance of a Russian sphere of influence in its immediate neighborhood. For this to even be possible, however, US policy makers need to realistically reflect on how their various actions since the end of the Cold War must look from the Russian perspective, because while Russia and its allies are almost always portrayed as ominous encroachers on Europe’s peace, the reality
Article from Mises Wire