United States foreign policy options – Ukraine
The United States is struggling to deal with the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Russia, growing
increasingly aggressive under President Vladimir Putin, invaded Crimea in 2014 and got
almost no international pushback, which may have emboldened him to think Russia would
suffer little international resistance to invading Ukraine.
Ukraine is an important target. Known as the “breadbasket of Europe”for its rich
agricultural production, successfully conquering Ukraine would also give the Russian navy
and merchant ships access to the Black Sea – warm water ports that connect through the
Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean, and through the Suez Canal to the Indian Ocean.
The United States is in a difficult spot. The rest of the world looks to the U.S. for leadership
in situations like this. We have the largest and most advanced military in the history of the
world. If the U.S. sits back and allows Russia to conquer Ukraine, Georgia is likely next.
Russia’s economy is fragile, and the current strategy of sanctions will create some
hardship for Russia, but they might not be enough. A full scale war with Russia – a war
between two nuclear powers – over Ukraine, no matter how well justified, could have
devastating results for the entire planet.
I hesitate to say a lot about the progress of the Russian invasion as I write these
assignment directions – a lot can change between now and November, when you’ll be
doing this assignment. If you’re reading this early in the semester, know that I’ll add more
detail and some current links as we get closer to the due date.
Your assignment is to write our standard 2-5 page college-level essay about United States
foreign policy options with respect to Ukraine. What, if anything, should the U.S. do?If you
were advising President Biden, what would you recommend?(Remember, thisisn’t an essay
about Ukraine, or the Russian invasion of Ukraine, or what you think of Vladimir Putin – it’s an
essay about U.S. foreign policy optionsregarding Ukraine.)
Whenever you’re studying a foreign country, the CIA World Factbook is a great place to
National Public Radio has a good summary of the basics of the conflict:
The Council on Foreign Relations has another good page: