Dear Mr. President,
Let me be blunt: you should fire your foreign relations advisors, all of them.
Your administration is now involved in a crisis with no end in sight. Besides the terrible mistake of getting you involved in the Ukraine crisis, your advisors continue to take you down the wrong course. The sanctions against Russia serve no other purpose but to take the United States back to the cold war era, and for what? Your advisors will no doubt laugh at the idea that such move could take the world that far back. This is no laughing matter.
While you’re in control of your actions, it’s impossible to know, anticipate or predict how your Russian counterpart would react. Hardliners in Russia have dreamt of this very moment, and you have facilitated their reemergence in the Russian political debate. “Russia will not take orders from US, especially in matters that Russia deems critical to its national security.”
As it stands, Mr. President, Ukraine is such a critical matter; it is in Russia’s backyard. No amount of sanctions imposed on Russia can change the dynamic in your favor. There are only two possible outcomes, neither of which seems good.
1.- To isolate Russia is to provide enough rationale for the hardliners to convince Putin to move forward with whatever plan he may have regarding the situation in Ukraine, including occupying it.
2.- To continue to be involved provides your political opponents at home enough ammunition to label your administration as indecisive and weak. Well, that’s already happening.
Your options, Mr. President, are very limited. If Putin were to move towards occupying Ukraine, would you get the United States involved in a war, quite possibly the third world war? For what? I couldn’t locate Ukraine in the US Map or anywhere nearby. Mr. President, the United States interests are not at stake. Your administration should devise a way out of that situation.
Mr. President, there is still time to do what your advisors should have advised you in the first place: to engage fully, completely and solely in diplomacy with the Russian president. No threat of sanctions, no sanction and no flexing of muscles.
Mr. President, in the likely scenario that you ignore me completely, at the very least help me understand what the United States would gain for heading towards a possible war with Russia over Ukraine. Most importantly, if that were to materialize, how would you explain to your daughters, Sasha and Malia, that you are responsible for the third world war?
One more thing Mr. President, even if you were to go to war with Russia, the only thing you would bring back home is planeloads of dead and wounded soldiers, and Ukraine would still belong to Russia. Mr. President, it’s time to fire your advisors for they have taken you far enough in the wrong course.
Follow Mike Ducheine on Twitter: @mducheiney
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