Preparing for War
Anne Applebaum assesses Russian actions and intent and asks if the west and its preminent superpower shouldn't be preparing for an all-out war. The question is sobering Too much fighting, destruction and death has already occurred in eastern Ukraine and evidence suggests that Russian forces are intervening directly in support of separatist rebels. Applebaum quotes any number of Russian exceptionalists (yes, they have them, too) along with Vladimir Putin to support a reasonable conclusion that war is likely and the world should prepare for it.
Her logic is hard to dispute. It's certainly consistent with my understanding of Russian history and culture. Her conclusion has a hard reality: if you think someone is out to harm you, it's prudent to be ready to prevent that. All that makes sense.
But given that the threat arises from historical and geopolitical relations among ethic groups and nations, its underlying causes will not easily be resolved by war and re-aligning borders. War may, in fact, further inflame the conflict by sowing new resentment and division among people already suspicious of one another.
For me, seeing a situation spiraling into violence means the most logical policy is to find ways to stop the spiral. I expect my government leaders and other nations' leaders to be smart enough to figure out how to work with all parties to stop the spiral and find alternatives to war.
That is the best preparation for war. That may seem like a hopeless dream given our bloody human history but the alternative is to accept the inevitability of war as a constant. I am not willing to accept that.
Call me a dreamer.