Monday, January 24, 2022

The Case for Ukraine

I mentioned earlier that I'd yet to see anyone make the case for Ukraine's vital interest to the United States.

Well, now we have Francis Fukuyama making a stab, at American Purpose, "Why Ukraine Matters":

There is one fundamental reason why the United States and the rest of the democratic world should support Ukraine in its current fight with Putin’s Russia: Ukraine is a real, but struggling, liberal democracy. People are free in Ukraine in a way they are not in Russia: they can protest, criticize, mobilize, and vote. In 2017 they voted for a complete outsider to be president, and turned over a majority of their parliament. On two occasions, during the Orange Revolution in 2004 and the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, Ukrainian civil society came into the streets in massive numbers to protest corrupt and unrepresentative governments.

This is the real reason that Vladimir Putin is preparing to further invade Ukraine. He sees Ukraine as an integral part of a greater Russia, as he indicated in a long article last summer. But the deeper problem for him is Ukrainian democracy. He is heavily invested in the idea that Slavic peoples are culturally attuned to authoritarian government, and the idea that another Slavic state could successfully transition to democracy undermines his own claims for ruling Russia. Ukraine presents zero military threat to Moscow; it does, however, pose an alternative ideological model that erodes Putin’s own legitimacy...

Okay, democracy promotion. After initial regime change in Afghanistan and Iraq, that was the justification for our long, bloody, and unsuccessful military deployments to those countries, especially in the case of Afghanistan. 

In this day and age of new isolationism, will Americans "pay any price, bear any burden ... to assure the survival and the success of liberty" in all corners of the world? 

I don't think so, and I don't hear anyone making a compelling case to the contrary, certainly not Fukuyama. 

In any case, RTWT above.