The collision of US and Ukrainian goals

President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukraine consider Crimea and Donbas national territories that can be retrieved by waging war against the Russian invading armies. In the history of U.S.–Russian relations, the question of who controls Crimea or the Donbas has never been a reason to declare war. America has never held a vital interest who controls Kiev.

Through the 19th century and nearly all of the 20th, Ukraine was part the Russian Empire or USSR. It was governed from Moscow. This was no problem for the USA, which is 5,000 miles away.


We believe that the most important concern in the Ukraine-Russia conflict is not who will control Crimea and Donbas but whether the U.S. does not get drawn into a war against Russia that could lead to a global war or nuclear war. This is America’s primary interest in this crisis.

There is nothing in Eastern Europe that would justify an American-Russian war. Moscow’s dominance of Eastern and Central Europe was the Cold War situation from 1945 to 1989. The result of World War II was never militarily challenged by the U.S. It was a fact we accepted. The U.S. refused intervention when the 1956 revolt of Hungarians for independence and freedom was realized. President Dwight Eisenhower left the fate of the Hungarian patriots to their fate, rather than risking war with Russia.

The 21st century has seen a lot of changes in the world. While the U.S. has no obligation to attack Ukraine, the NATO treaty obliges us to do so if Slovakia and Czechia, Bulgaria or Romania, Hungary, Poland. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, or Slovakia are attacked.

Even though Kiev is not a NATO member, the U.S. has become the principal financier and armorer of Ukraine in the war with Russia over Crimea, the Donbas and other issues. This could lead to the first use of nuclear weapons since Nagasaki.

Our vital interest, which is to avoid a U.S.-Russian war, may soon be in conflict with the strategic war goals for Ukraine, i.e. full recovery of Crimea and Donbas.


What are our willingness to go to help Ukraine drive the Russians out of Crimea and take these lands back if Putin really intends to wage an indefinite war on Crimea and Donbas?

The situation that appears to be developing is something like this: While U.S. troops drive Russian soldiers from the occupied territories of Ukraine, Russia’s and Putin are forced into a corner where their options shrink to two: Accept defeat, humiliation, and all its consequences or escalate to keep what they have. To prevent defeat, an escalation can mean crossing the nuclear threshold. Putin and his entourage have made it clear.

The bottom line: Moscow must accept defeat or consider escalating the conflict at some point.

Russia knows that the more dire the war situation, the sooner Putin will have to choose between playing his ace of spades and avoiding defeat or accepting defeat, humiliation, and the possibility of his overthrow in Moscow. The United States could be involved in a conflict if Russia uses nuclear weapons. Kiev’s constant pursuit of its vital interests, including the return of all the Donbas and Crimea lands, will eventually lead to the destruction of vital U.S. interests.

With U.S. support and weapons, Kiev can push the Russians out Crimea and Donbas. This will push Kiev’s war with Russia closer to a nuclear conflict. It is pushing Russia closer to nuclear war as it tries to conquer all of its territory that Russia has lost since 2014.

Putin’s Russia suffers higher casualty rates than the U.S.-armed, -equipped Ukrainians. This means that Russia is more likely to use its ace in spades, nuclear weapons, against humiliation and defeat, and ensures the survival of the regime.

The bottom line is that the closer Putin gets to defeat, we get closer to nuclear war. That seems to be the only way Putin can stop a Russian defeat and humiliation. The Americans should begin to think about what the outcome of this war will be. It must end the bloodshed and restore most of Ukraine to Kiev. But it shouldn’t be viewed as an historic humiliation for Russia.

Some Americans view this war as a chance to defeat Putin’s regime in Russia and bring disgrace upon them. These people should realize that the closer they get to their goals, Russia’s use nuclear weapons will be. Remember: President John F. Kennedy tried to find an honorable solution for the Cuban missile crisis. He did this by offering an honorable path out to the Soviet dictatorship and the nation that triggered it.

More Stories

Stay informed by joining TruthRow

24/7 coverage from 1000+ journalists. Subscriber-exclusive events. Unmatched political and international news.

You can cancel anytime