I watched in horror reports of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. This was not just the previously held “separatist” regions, but major attacks on and into the entire country. I feel there was a possibility that this could have been averted.
Russia’s President Putin had amassed massive numbers of troops along the border with Ukraine. He was asking for assurances from us that Ukraine would not become part of NATO, repeated over and over again, but our answer was “no” every time. We would not like it if Russia had alliances right on our border, and potential military, and I think it was reasonable to honestly discuss this, and perhaps say that Ukraine would not become part of NATO.
We could have conditioned our assurances on Russia’s behavior. But no, we had to be hardlined on this issue, with Putin acting more crazy every time. Putin is obviously the “bad actor” here, but he is in control of a large military, and perhaps it would have been wise to honestly discuss his concerns with him. Now Ukraine, Europe, and perhaps even us here at home will be feeling the effects.
Best to handle things well ahead of time than let them get out of control, as I feel we have done here. At least if we had dealt more honestly with his concerns he would have had less excuse for going ahead with his plans, as has unfortunately occurred.