Americans are tired, at odds with themselves and in no shape to handle more foreign entanglements — much less the three-front catastrophe looming before us. Yet here we are, with the U.S. potentially facing a drawn-out war in Ukraine that risks escalating into a direct U.S.-Russia confrontation, the collapse of the Iran nuclear deal that may lead to war with the Persian Gulf power and now an unnecessary crisis with Beijing over Taiwan, triggered by Nancy Pelosi’s ill-advised trip to Taipei.
Ultimately, this trifecta of crises further de-prioritizes the real existential threat of our era.
Ultimately, this trifecta of crises further de-prioritizes the real existential threat of our era: climate chaos. But that’s another story. For now, the Biden administration still has the opportunity to prevent one of these potential crises: the Iran nuclear conflict.
There is neither victory nor even a certain outcome in sight in Ukraine in the short to medium term. The U.S. and its allies, as well as the Russians, are preparing for a prolonged conflict. Stamina and commitment will determine the outcome of that war. Yet, as MIT professor Barry Posen writes, even after more resources are poured into the war, the most likely outcome will still be “a long, bloody, and ultimately indecisive war.”
Beyond the more than $50 billion the Biden administration has sent to Ukraine in military aid (and the Ukrainian government has already asked for another $40 billion) and although the White House appears unlikely to provide another supplement before the midterm elections, the longer the conflict goes on, the greater the risk of escalation. This includes not only the potential use of nuclear weapons but also more direct U.S. involvement in the war. (I’ll note that the Biden administration should be commended for keeping U.S. troops out of the war.)
Read the full article in MSNBC.