Tulsi Gabbard thinks Putin’s invasion of Ukraine could have been avoided had President Joe Biden (D) and European politicians only recognized Russian President Vladimir Putin’s security concerns vis-à-vis Ukraine membership in NATO.
This war and suffering could have easily been avoided if Biden Admin/NATO had simply acknowledged Russia’s legitimate security concerns regarding Ukraine’s becoming a member of NATO, which would mean US/NATO forces right on Russia’s border
Gabbard is badly mistaken in this, for a number of reasons.
- The Biden-Harris administration and NATO had already acknowledged Putin’s security concerns here, and rejected them. Ukraine’s membership in NATO is a matter for sovereign Ukraine and the sovereign NATO nations to accept or reject, not for Putin to dictate to them.
- Putin’s putative security concerns regarding Ukraine are not his aim, but merely a tool in his drive to reconstitute the 20th century Russian empire—which loss he considered the geopolitical tragedy of the century and which reconstitution he made explicitly his goal in his Monday night speech.
- NATO is a defensive alliance with no designs on Russia beyond defending the member nations against a demonstrably aggressively acquisitive Russia.
- Georgia, which Putin’s Russia has invaded, partitioned, and occupied those partitions
- Ukraine, which Putin’s Russia already has invaded once, partitioned, and occupied those earlier partitions
- The Baltic States and Poland, which Russia has already attacked, more than once each, with cyber war break-ins and hacks
- Russia’s repeated use of energy extortion against Ukraine, Europe through Ukraine, and lately Germany explicitly
- Russia’s shutdown of Colonial Pipeline, in response to which Biden-Harris meekly lifted the sanctions against Russia’s Nordstream 2
- Putin’s Russia has no security concerns from the West except in his own fetid imagination. Russia has nothing at all that the West wants that can’t be gotten far more cheaply through freely done and mutually beneficial trade.
Regarding that last point, if there’s a security risk, it comes from People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping, who’s long had designs on Siberia, which generations of PRC governments, and China governments before them, consider Russia to have stolen from China. That risk already is in progress of realization via the economic deal that Putin and Xi signed just a couple of short years ago that enables Siberia’s rich resources to be jointly exploited by Russia and the PRC—with PRC citizens doing the vast bulk of the labor and moving into (functionally colonizing) Siberia in order to do that work.
No, what led Putin to invade Ukraine this time, with his intent to conquer and occupy the nation, was Western—including our own nation—mild acquiescence in those prior aggressions, invasions, and occupations. If Putin isn’t crushed in Ukraine, he won’t stop there. All of eastern Europe, including what used to be the German Democratic Republic will be at risk. And so will be the Republic of China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, and the United States.