Amidst the war in Ukraine, several big lessons are emerging. For one, invasions don’t work—not Putin’s in next-door Ukraine any more than Americans landing on faraway Afghanistan or Iraq. Second, that economic sanctions can work like poison when they take Russia’s central bank out of play and tie up trillions in Russian assets overseas. Third, from the American perspective, it appears that a great power can strengthen its hand by declaring it does not have a vital strategic interest in the fight and will not be sending its troops into battle. In the Ukraine catastrophe, with no winners, countries may end up boasting what they didn’t do in an awful war.
To discuss such lessons, host Chris Lydon speaks with three international affairs scholars, QI Non-Resident Fellow David Kang, Stephen Wertheim, and Emma Ashford. They project the American involvement in the war, the effect of sanctions, and the extent to which this invasion mirrors American military aggression of the recent past.
Listen to the full episode here:
Additionally, check out these related resources:
- Russia’s Underperforming Military (and Ours) – Qi President Andrew Bacevich, 9/13/22.
- It’s Official: The Post-Cold War Era Is Over – Emma Ashford in The New York Times, 2/24/22.
- The United States Must Punish Russia but Remember the Limits of Power – Stephen Wertheim in The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2/24/22.