By Steven J. Grisafi, PhD.
The first president of the Ukraine has died. Please read his obituary here. As the author of the obituary indicates, the judgment of the Ukrainian people upon their first president’s decision, to relinquish control of the nuclear arsenal they inherited from the Soviet Union after its demise, is unfair. Moscow retained control of the launch codes for the nuclear weapons. It would have taken months, if not years, for Ukrainian engineers to dismantle and then re-tool the weaponry such that only Kiev possessed the launch codes. Leonid Kravchuk knew how to work the apparatus of the Soviet Union. He understood that to yield a magnanimous, but empty, gesture to President Yeltsin, and the Russian Federation, insured a harmonious future for the Ukraine with its domineering neighbor. For his wisdom and superb guidance the people of the Ukraine ought to praise their first president.
Leonid Kravchuk was the man the Ukraine needed at its helm in November 2021. Instead they had Volodymyr Zelensky. Leonid Kravchuk would have understood that he needed to appease President Putin with a Magnanimous Empty Gesture. The Ukraine Crisis is a failure of diplomacy. Specifically, it was the failure of Anthony Blinken, Jens Stoltenberg and Volodymyr Zelensky to do what Leonid Kravchuk would have understood by instinct. All that was needed was a Magnanimous Empty Gesture. The insistence of both Blinken and Stoltenberg upon an unwaiving open door policy for NATO demonstrated a complete lack of pragmatism necessary for any position of leadership. Zelensky could have overcome their obstinacy. But he lacked the willingness to pursue any Magnanimous Empty Gesture. Kravchuk would have instantly understood that he would need to appease President Putin with such a gesture. He would know better than me what concession the Ukraine could have offered. But even I can see that there were myriad opportunities. Such as integrating the armed forces of the Ukraine with those of the Russian Federation such that the Russians would have understood that at no time could the Ukraine take military action against Russia.
Blinken’s and America’s failure to adhere to the policy of George F. Keenan is the primary cause of the Ukraine Crisis. George W. Bush is to blame for promoting the expansion of NATO in a manner that did not include the Russian Federation. When the Ukraine joins the European Union later this year, France, Germany, Italy and all current 27 nations of the European Union will be at war with Russia. Since most of those 27 nations are also members of NATO the United States will also be at war with Russia. Considering the extent to which robots and robotics are employed within modern warfare, the NATO countries’ and America’s claim not to be participants in the Ukraine war is a complete farce. Soldiers are now superfluous in modern warfare. Wars are conducted by drones operated from safe distances by someone sitting in the comfort of an air conditioned room. Even during 20th century naval warfare, when sailors manned their battle stations, most sat at an electronic console. We are at war with Russia. I expect President Putin to understand this.
A Magnanimous Empty Gesture would have sustained the current world order such that the Russian Federation could eventually be absorbed into NATO. I see that as the primary attribute of America’s most prudent foreign policy: To include the Russian Federation in both the European Union and, if it should continue to exist, NATO. This is what we would need to do to contain China. Will the Ukraine Crisis cause World War III? We cannot yet determine this. Everything depends upon the People’s Republic of China. But I am certain that the Ukraine Crisis will persist as Korean Style Permanent War if America and NATO continue to arm the Ukraine.
President Biden became too overly involved emotionally in the Ukraine Crisis. I can understand the Democrats taking their position of support for the Ukraine. The Biden Administration has been a disaster for domestic policy. When that happens presidents always switch their focus to foreign policy to distract attention from the calamity they have caused at home and to hope to unite the people against a common enemy. As for the Republicans, their support for the Ukraine is more troubling to me. It suggests to me that their primary concern is to feed the Military-Industrial Complex with even more spending. Biden needs to understand that money spent on defense is unproductive. It can lift an economy out of recession. But the man-power and materials used to build the weaponry literally go up in smoke. They do not contribute to the enhancement of productivity. Our problem is inflation, not recession. The central bank cannot control inflation under the current circumstance because our national debt is already too high. Spending money on weaponry sent to the Ukraine is the stupidest thing America can do right now. That spending exacerbates inflation. Those weapons appear on the Black Market. Engineers in Third World countries copy their designs and manufacture their own replicas of America’s most sophisticated weapons. We lose whatever advantage our troops had prior to any conflict. But it is the inflation that will destroy the Biden Administration. Chairman Jerome Powell of the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States cannot control it no matter how high he tries to raise interest rates. It will occur simply because those weapons require materials, energy and man-power to produce them. Those three things are now in short supply.