Regarding United States Intervention in Ukraine

Jacob Baird, Pawprint Staff Reporter

On February 25th, Russian forces moved into the sovereign nation of Ukraine. Since then, there has been a great deal of conflict in Ukraine. As of late Russian atrocities have escalated to the level of killing unarmed citizens and artillery targeting Ukrainian civilian evacuation lines. On March 9th Russia bombed a children’s hospital and maternity ward even more recently. In response, the majority of the world has condemned Russia and placed sanctions on them.

Sanctions are not enough. The United States has a fine line to walk regarding intervention in Ukraine, but the government’s path will not be sufficient. Although Ukraine is fighting hard, its military is simply not a match for Russia’s war machine. Although sanctions will be impactful in the long run, the economic results six months from now won’t be relevant to the Ukrainian civilians who will still be dying tomorrow. This doesn’t mean that the United States should deploy military forces to Ukraine, as United States forces entering a conflict with Russian soldiers would likely mean the initiation of World War III and quite possibly bring nuclear devastation. On February 27th, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin told the world that he would be putting Russia’s nuclear weapons on standby in preparation for Western intervention. Although he could be bluffing, that is not a risk the United States can justifiably take.

However, that doesn’t mean that the United States is doing everything it can to aid Ukraine. As the leader of the free world, inaction on the part of the United States would mean that it isn’t the protector of democracy, that nations such as Russia or China can conquer democratic nations with impunity. The key to Ukraine may be air supremacy, which is an area that the United States can help with. Sending Ukraine military supplies such as warplanes could allow them to gain the aerial upper hand and, in doing so, could protect Ukraine’s sovereignty without getting directly involved in a war. In addition, there is a way that some in Congress are considering to enable this method of intervention. Many members of the former Warsaw Pact are transferring fighters to Ukraine, and members of Congress are considering negotiating a deal where those fighters are replaced with more modern American ones. This is a way that the United States can aid Ukraine without risking war.

A lack of intervention in Ukraine on the part of the United States is a sign of weakness. While America can’t risk direct intervention, it is unlikely that Russia would be willing to initiate a nuclear conflagration over an exchange of fighters. In addition, the world’s nations have a moral obligation to protect Ukraine in this situation. Russia is violating international law in this invasion, as Article 2 of the United Nations Charter states that “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” The way that Russia is conducting its invasion includes the massacre of unarmed non-combatants and an effort to prevent fleeing the nation, which is frankly a display of immorality on an international scale. A failure to intervene in a meaningful way by the United States is a display that this kind of atrocity will not be punished by the international community and encourages other countries to do the same. As the leader of the free world, America cannot in good conscience stand by and watch.