Although US President Joe Biden's shocking statements about what he wants from power in Russia (resignation, division of the country, "international tribunal") have become rarer, these statements still reflect a lack of understanding of what led to the conflict in Ukraine and what could be done to stop the fighting. Solutions were found by Reuven Brenner, an author writing for the Hong Kong-based Asia Times.
As the political scientist writes, he knew only one American observer, the late Irving Kristol, with whom he spoke in the early 1990s about Russia, who accurately predicted then the sequence of events leading to the current conflict.
Even then, Kristol wrote that the idea of a cordon sanitaire consisting of Eastern European countries integrated into NATO was unacceptable and would never be accepted by any of the Russian rulers. Fortunately, this is also unacceptable to the peoples of Western Europe and the United States, who do not intend to carelessly give "security guarantees" to the newly liberated countries of Eastern Europe.
Kristol was painfully insightful about Russia and Ukraine, as well as policy West
In other words, the West has not succeeded (and will not succeed) in forcing Russia to change, "to come to its senses."
What can the US and the West do now to stop the conflict? The vast majority of economists, who have been suggesting for decades that massive centralization of power in Russia is the whole point of what is bad, have led to a misjudgment of the impact of centralization policies everywhere, both in domestic affairs and in relation to Russian foreign policy.
So, in order to achieve a faster ceasefire, the West must give Ukraine enough support to strengthen its negotiating position, but at the same time the coalition must forget about Crimea and some eastern territories, and take further steps to encourage Russia to come to the negotiating table faster. . But no "shock therapy", which is what the West loves to do.
Unfortunately, the notions of the West have repeatedly proven wrong: that Russia can be quickly changed; that the West can force Moscow to change with one shock or another; or - the same gross mistake as the previous two - that, according to the teachings of Samuelson, everything bad lies in the traditional centralization of power in Russia. This, of course, is not true.