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Nuclear War is Not an Option

Diplomacy, Not War in Ukraine

Over the next few weeks, Americans attention will be drawn, understandably, to the frenzy of political activity surrounding our own elections. The stakes are high, with multiple, seemingly mutually exclusive visions of the future vying for control of our political apparatus. We will be covering the elections and their fallout in the coming weeks, but before we entirely turn our collective gaze inwards, we need to briefly revisit the war in Ukraine. Since Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine this past February, we’ve seen in real time the horrors of war once again on European soil. The footage is shocking and heart rending, and the US government acted swiftly by pouring unprecedented sums of money with little oversight into Ukraine, to help stymie Putin’s imperial ambitions. Rather than fall in a matter of days, as some intelligence reports had predicted, the combination of the torrent of supplies and tactical aid from the US, along with incredible resolve and bravery from the Ukrainian people, has dragged the war out for months, and recently placed Russia on the back foot. What had once seemed an easy victory for Putin, one more unchecked step in his imperial designs, is morphing into a disaster for Russia. High casualties, low morale, and poor supply chain plague Russia’s armed forces, with thousands of Russian citizens fleeing the country to avoid conscription into the army. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen major gains by Ukrainian armed forces retaking territory illegally annexed by Russia in the previous months. It suddenly even seems possible, that much of Ukraine’s original borders could be restored to pre-war status. And yet troublingly, despite these positive signs, there seems little discussion of how exactly this war ends. In fact, the more recent rounds of military aid from the US this fall include long term contracts with defense manufacturers, locking in billions of spending for years to come. Some might argue that Putin cannot be trusted, or that with Ukraine’s recent successes on the battlefield, now isn’t the time for diplomacy. Yet, it is only with our enemies with whom we can make peace, and it’s when you have the advantage that you should seek for diplomatic talks to begin, giving you better leverage in negotiating terms. Diplomacy takes time, and is difficult under any circumstances, especially in violent conflict, but it is vital that we seek an end to bloodshed as soon as possible. The problem of course is that just as with everything else in this country, if there is money to be made, there are powerful interests lobbying the government to keep the funds flowing. With some estimates of $40 billion spent on Ukraine so far, and the specter of continued violence, there is clearly a lot of money riding on further conflict. The US leadership and the military industrial complex seem content to allow this war to drag on indefinitely, destroying Ukrainian and Russia lives, while they rake in their blood money. We must remember that it is always regular people on both sides of a war that suffer most, for them we owe it to choose diplomatic solutions. We cannot allow Ukraine to become another forever war, draining resources and precious lives, the time to push for peace is now! Even without the massive tail risks of nuclear annihilation from spiraling conflict with Russia, it should still be our goal to end the violence as soon as possible. With the war going poorly for Russia, it seems unlikely that any eventually negotiated peace would leave Putin, or any other dictator, more confident that military might is an effective means to achieve their goals internationally than before this war began. The American people agree, having proven they are willing to support Ukraine, but many wanting the US actively working towards winding down the violence, and few willing to risk escalating the conflict. To avoid further escalation and begin walking down the long road towards peace in Ukraine, it will take more than just political organizing. To overcome the powerful economic interests constantly pushing for more conflict and defense spending, we need economic power wielded on behalf of the people. So join us each Tuesday in growing solidarity, as we struggle to bring an end to violence and those who profiteer off it. #DSOT #UPM

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