Mearsheimer’s lament, U.S. responsibility, and the tragedy of Ukraine

Realists maintain that they tell hard truths about international politics that most people (and especially many Americans) do not want to hear.

Ukrainian armed forces self-propelled howitzers fire at positions near Makariv, Ukraine, March 6, 2022, during Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (CNS photo/Maksim Levin, Reuters)

“The West is leading Ukraine down the primrose path, and the end result is that Ukraine is going to be wrecked.” — John J. Mearsheimer 2015

The devastation now befalling Ukraine didn’t have to happen, and the fact that it did is the fault of the West generally and of the United States particularly.

That is the view of John Mearsheimer, perhaps the preeminent academic proponent of the “realist school” of international relations.

A seventy-four-year old professor at the University of Chicago, Mearsheimer has suddenly become the most talked about critic of the American foreign policy of the post-Cold War era. He is the author of six books and numerous articles in leading journals of his field. Two of the books elaborate on the importance of a lead role for the realist position in foreign affairs: The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (2001, 2014) and The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities (2018).

Liberalism and Realism

Realists such as Mearsheimer are a minority among political scientists who specialize in international relations. The field is dominated by an approach variously called “liberalism”, “liberal internationalism” or, at times, “Wilsonianism”. This mainstream view stresses the desirability of American national and allied international structures to foster liberal values abroad, such as the universal rights of individuals, the rule of law, free trade, popular sovereignty and democratic electoral politics. Liberal internationalists are keen to see democracy spread globally, since it is an article of their faith that liberal democracies do not war with each other, thus bringing a “peace dividend.”

Realism, according to political scientist Robert D. Kaplan, is “more a sensibility than a guide to action in each and every crisis.” Realists believe in the following:

• Order comes before freedom
• Work with the material at hand
• Think tragically to avoid tragedy
• Not every problem has a solution
• Interests come before values
• American power is limited
• Passion and good policy often don’t go together 1

Realists are seen by many to be cynical and reluctant to intervene when human rights are being violated abroad. Realists maintain that they tell hard truths about international politics that most people (and especially many Americans) do not want to hear. As can be seen in the list above, realism is rooted in a more pessimistic view of human behavior that few find well-fitted to the American spirit.

The lament

What is Mearsheimer’s “lament” and what does it have to do with Ukraine?

Mearsheimer’s critique begins with the end of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union broke apart and the structure of international power went from “bi-polar” to ”unipolar”, with the United States the sole superpower. Mearsheimer’s realist bent tells him that world politics are anarchic, that there is no “night watchman” or superior power above the nation-state to keep order. Furthermore, the uncertainty about the intentions of other nations sows fear among the “actors” (primarily nation-states). This fear forces each nation to seek as much power as possible and overwhelming power, or “hegemony”, in one’s region. The global system’s regulating mechanism is the “balance of power” wherein each state tries, by shifting alliances, to prevent any one state from domination of any of the major areas of contention: Europe, Eurasia, or the Western Hemisphere.

During the forty year Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union, a bipolar equilibrium became the status quo. Neither side could prevail against the other. Both sides had nuclear weapons. Mutual assured destruction (MAD) kept the two superpowers from direct confrontation, so proxy wars were fought in the “Third World”. But, suddenly (in historic terms), the United States was unopposed atop world power rankings, going from being a status quo power to a revisionist power.

I recall well the euphoria and relief of that time, when “the end of history” was nigh, democracy was on the march and a “new world order” was being born. The older, nineteenth-century balance of power mechanism was thought to be now outmoded. 2 By 1991, Russian power was substantially reduced and China not yet a peer rival. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin, having just resigned from the KGB, was starting his career in politics in his home city of St. Petersburg (the former Leningrad).

In Mearsheimer’s estimation, this shift in the basic structure of world politics presented a dangerous temptation for the only hegemon, the United States. He termed this temptation “aggressive liberalism”. With no peer power to constrain it, American power was free to be guided by the impulse to propagate liberal values in many places—even by force, if necessary.

The result was that American military power went abroad “seeking monsters to destroy” 3 in Libya, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. The phrase “necessity of regime change” was heard often, but American foreign policy managers in time learned an older phrase: “you break it, you own it.” That is, none of these forays turned out positively, on balance, and all of them created power vacuums into which flowed forces antithetical to liberal values.

This is the heart of Mearsheimer’s lament, that unipolarism led the United States to crusades untethered from realist constraints. In Putin’s view, these crusades were evidence of the bitter fruits of unipolarism for the Russian nation, which stood silent and humiliated.

NATO moves East

As the Warsaw Pact was breaking up, Soviet leaders were fearful that NATO would take the place of Russian power in her former client states. According to newly declassified documents, in 1990-1991, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was repeatedly given assurances by several Western leaders that if the USSR would stand aside and allow the reunification of Germany, NATO would not move “one inch” east of the reunited German state. U.S. Secretary of State James Baker said this directly to Gorbachev on several occasions. Top diplomats from Germany and the United Kingdom also gave such assurances.4

This agreement held until 1999, when the Clinton administration reneged and NATO admitted the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. In 2004, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia entered, followed later by Albania, Croatia, Montenegro and North Macedonia. Both Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin and then President Putin complained loudly about both the 1999 and 2004 tranches, but Russia was too weakened internally to do much about it.

The admission of the Baltic states especially rankled Putin, since they were the first former Soviet Socialist Republics to join NATO, thereby potentially putting NATO military units on the border of the Russian Federation. Putin has cited the breaking of the“promises” made by Western leaders not to expand NATO into Russia’s “near abroad” as evidence of what he sees as the arrogance of the unipolar hegemon, the United States and her European subordinate client states.

The so-called “color revolutions” following the demise of the USSR—especially the “rose” Revolution in Georgia (2003) and the “Orange Revolution in Ukraine (2004-5)—were undoubtedly seen by Putin as harbingers of his own fate in Russia. A key event in the narrative leading up to the invasion of Ukraine this month was the 20th NATO summit meeting in Bucharest, Romania (April 2-4, 2008). In the final report, it was stated that both Georgia and Ukraine would be in NATO at a future date. Four months later, Russia launched a “peace enforcement” operation in Georgia.

Putin’s lament

In a famous speech given on September 25, 2015, Mearsheimer said that if Putin were to voice his overall demand to the West, it would sound something like this: “You (the West, led by the United States) must stop trying to peel Ukraine away from Russia. If you don’t, I will wreck it before I see it become part of your bloc.”5 But an ongoing debate about Russia-Ukraine asks “is Russia really threatened by NATO or is Putin claiming it is to cover (a) his own failures to build a prosperous Russia or (b) his imperial designs over the former Soviet space?”

One of the principles of realist theory is brought to bear here. All nations have geo-strategic interests that are more or less fixed. In the anarchic world of power competition between nations, it is imperative to know what your opponent’s interests are, and particularly important to know what their vital interests are—that is, the interests for which they are willing to fight. Nations do not respond well to an opponent who says “we do not accept that this is a vital interest of yours.”

Some posit that Ukraine is a sovereign state, free to join any alliance that suits them. This is de jure true, a legal claim derived from the principle of self-determination. But sovereign rights are always de facto constrained by the power to effect them in the real world. For example, Finland has not exercised her de jure sovereign right to an independent foreign policy since 1941, yet she is a stable, prosperous country. Cuba could not exercise her sovereign right to house nuclear weapons on her territory in 1962. If a nation hostile to the United States were to enter into an military alliance with Canada or Mexico, the vital interests of America, buttressed by her power, would override either nation’s sovereign right to do so.

Putin’s claims

The multiple invasions of Russia via the North German Plain—through Poland and Ukraine and then into the heartland of Russia proper—is “Russian Fear of the West” 101. This history alone is sufficient to warrant Russian insecurity vis-a-vis the politics of the table-top flat territory of Ukraine. This fear is built into Russia’s geography and national consciousness, Putin or no Putin, according to Mearsheimer’s theory.

But we do have the man Putin in charge. Is he just inventing the threat from the West for his own ends? True, Putin may indeed be expressing legitimate historical fears and also calculating that his personal fate and that of his regime depend on his diverting attention from domestic political-economic weaknesses. But he has been complaining about NATO’s encroachment since day one of his rule, the first eight years of which saw a sizable increase in the Russian standard of living and sky-high personal popularity. So he was concerned about NATO’s movement eastward even when things were going well for him. That fact would support Mearsheimer’s realist belief that geostrategic structural conditions, not individual leaders, control.

It must also be noted that the United States is the most secure nation in the history of the modern era. With two vast oceans east and west and weaker, friendly nations on our northern and southern borders, we are not, by experience, scarred by the fears and memories of constant threats to our well-being. This benign history can induce us to discount the claimed vital interests of others.

What would Mearsheimer do now about the status of Ukraine? Fundamentally, he believes that Ukraine must be removed from the Russia-NATO confrontation. He would prescribe that Ukraine return to a neutral position, not in NATO but built up economically. That prescription is out of date now, since the existence of any kind of sovereignty for Ukraine is questionable. Mearsheimer’s critique is still useful in an analysis of how we got to this point, and the lessons derivable from that. (He may have more robust opinions about the immediate future for Ukraine that I am not aware of at this writing.)

The Realist Creed ignored

Mearsheimer clearly states that we have drifted into this mess because of insufficient attention to four of the principles of realism listed above.

The first is “work with what you have.” In this case, “what we have” is a newly sovereign state whose geography puts her inside the vital defensive perimeter of a great power. What we have is a former Soviet civilization, lacking the socio-political-cultural dispositions upon which a democracy is built. Nepotism and many other forms of corruption are still problems.Yes, at least some of her people aspire to be “Western”, but these things take time to develop.

Secondly, “think tragically to avoid tragedy.” Obviously, the ultimate tragedy has come. Were we ignoring the odds against our policies? Did we, with the best of intentions, do what Mearsheimer said we did, and lead Ukraine down the primrose path?

Third, American power is limited.” Yes, we can sanction the aggressor after the fact. But even if it’s successful, what cold comfort would it be to the millions of stateless, displaced, injured, or killed Ukrainians? Bluntly put, the fate of Ukraine is of vital national interest of Russia, but not of the European Union or the United States.

And lastly, “passion and good policy often do not go together.” It is hard not to be passionate about a people under the gun, desiring something other than the life they were born into. This is where critics of realism lay on a bitter accusation of heartlessness and abandonment.

But could Ukraine ever be a stable, successful state neutral in foreign policy between Russia and the West? Mearsheimer seems to think so, but I have my doubts. I do not think Putin (or any leader of the Russian Federation possible under present conditions) could risk a democratic, prosperous Ukraine because economic ties with the West would fan her aspirations for cultural, social, and finally, political affinity. If that happened, it would expose the kleptocratic-autocratic conditions in Russia that would be unfavorably compared to life “next door”, where so many Russians visit and have relatives.

Hard lessons

What can we learn? We can remind ourselves that wars are major scramblers of order across the board, and that realists favor the order that a balance of power brings. Socially, economically, culturally, politically and even psychologically, things change for the combatants as well as for the non-combatants, and new problems rush into the vacuums.

Belarus is now closer to being an integrated part of Russia than she has been. This changes things for Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, since Putin has said he will not be removing Russian armed forces from Belarus. Russian air and army units will now be directly on the borders of those countries.

NATO also faces new questions: Will Putin be satisfied with neutralizing Ukraine? Will he move on Moldova, or resume hybrid war tactics in the Baltic States? Will there be an ongoing insurrection in Ukraine?

The European Union, and especially Germany, may have to reorient their system-wide energy policies. The global economy will be disrupted, and for an unknowable period. And on and on.

Enter the blame game and a lesson relearned

In the coming debates about the Ukrainian invasion, we’ll surely hear from both the liberal internationalist and realist schools.

One side will say that the West caused the war by not including Ukraine in NATO in 2008, the West should have better armed the Ukrainians years ago, and should establish a “no-fly” zone in Ukrainian airspace even now. Realists such as Mearsheimer will remind us to think in balance of power terms, what he calls “nineteenth-century man” modes, and eschew “twenty-first century” contemporary globalist-liberalism, “new world order” assumptions. The rise of China to a peer position has already put an end to the unipolar temptations of American global hegemony.

Finally, to the degree to which the West, led by the United States, bears responsibility for the carnage and rubble that has been visited on Ukraine (and clearly, there is some), we should relearn that while all nations must, to some degree, fashion their foreign policies to reflect their deepest felt values, the harder, darker constraints of an anarchic and contentious world must always be the bedrock of our striving beyond our shores.


1 Robert D. Kaplan, “The Realist Creed” , published by Stratfor on November 25, 2014

2 Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, 1992. A work of political philosophy that posits the end of ideological struggles due to the triumph of Western liberal democracy.

3 John Quincy Adams. In a speech before the United States House of Representatives on July 4, 1821, Adams praised the political wisdom of the nation, saying of The United States that “…she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” This quote is one of many that stress the need to focus on America’s internal development and avoid moral crusades abroad.

4 The full National Archive report is available online.

5 John Mearsheimer, from a speech delivered on September 25, 2015 at the University of Chicago.

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About Joseph Kremers 6 Articles
Joseph Kremers is a political scientist who taught Political Ideologies, International Relations, and Soviet/Russian studies in Oregon for 28 years. He was a "citizen diplomat" that helped form the Sister City partnership between Eugene, Oregon and Irkutsk, USSR. He was co-founder of a private, non-profit corporation that conducted citizen-to-citizen exchanges between American and Soviet athletes, students and professionals, and was an exchange professor teaching American Culture at the Irkutsk State Teachers' Training Institute of Foreign Languages in Irkutsk, the capital city of Eastern Siberia. He made eleven trips to the USSR/Russia between 1988-98. A US Air Force veteran, he guest lectures to AFROTC cadets on international affairs.


  1. The downside of the Realist creed is that it does not sit well with an international legal order in which it is the supreme international crime for the leader of a state to wage wars of aggression, and in particular wars of territorial conquest.

    • This Expert is all over google w his Putin propaganda excusing stealing and murder of the innocent and defenseless. How dare they want to be free and finally take their chance after waiting so long a time, now lied about while fighting like heroes… and exactly like what the apologist is definitely not.

  2. Mearsheimer is prudent and US and NATO countries have not been prudent, they have been foolish regarding Russia and China.

    As Mearsheimer states, inside the US foreign policy establishment, all US presidents, DEMs and REPs, Clinton (we can work with P), Bush (see into P’s soul), Obama (Russia reset and tell Vlad I’ll have flexibility after the election), were all alike (Mearsheimer labelled them Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum) wrt Russia etc.

    Trump, hated by the US and NATO establishment because he called them stupid and called them out for allowing Germany and France etc etc to reneg on paying their NATO defense dues, turns out to be right. UK former MI-6 John Sawer just gave an interview revealing that he and the US – NATO establishment hated Trump, and then in the same breath admitting that now that the establishment’s plans of working with Putin have all gone south, the NATO countries will now “start” paying their defense dues. Too late for Ukraine unfortunately.

    So it turns out that the man they detest, Trump, and they still detest, was right that NATO had become a joke, they had “defunded” their military alliance to spend it as a “peace dividend” and now, they will “start doing” what Trump mocked them for failing to do for 30 years.

    The victim in all of this: everyday people of Ukraine who had hoped they might avoid the scourge of war.

    The stupid Establishment rolls on: yesterday, the idiot-savants of the UN voted that they eill not csll the Russian War on Ukraine a war. They will say its only a “conflict.”

    The banality of the money-grubbing international establishment elites.

    They all hate Trump, and simultaneously prove him right. Pathetic.

  3. Isn’t the cat out of the bag? Mearsheimer is obviously right, not because he himself is right but just the obvious: The Cuban Missile crisis. So what? The people of Ukraine are dying and their country is, as Mearsheimer predicted, being reduced to rubble. We should have had a Marshall Plan for Russia in the 1990’s. but, that’s perfect hindsight. Mr. Zelensky is a drowning man who can’t swim and he is desparately grabbing at anything, which means pulling us down with him. Would it be entirely out of the question to stop the war, let Russia have Ukraine and us airlift out to our depopulated Midwest everybody who doesn’t want to be there and promise Mr. Putin we would not let them cause him any more trouble. Our ponzi scheme economy is in deep trouble with an aging population. It would be win-win: The Ukrainians would get freedom here in USA and we would get more industrious workers to pay for Social Security and Medicare. Irrelevant aside: 100 years ago there was a real revolution in Ukraine: The Kronstadt rebellion, but that failed too.

  4. Coda:

    Also, the Western countries and POTUSs are often inclined to prefer personal and stockholder enrichment via Russia and China, and just play pretend wrt Putin and Xi, while giving lip service to Wilsonian “freedom” and pushing “our values” (which clearly from the USDOS embassy flags includes abortion and queer ideology).

    Former UK MI-6 John Sawer unabashedly admitted that as a member of the Board of Directors of BP, he supported all oil and energy arrangements made with Putin because “it was in tbe interests of our stockholders.”

    And if course Bill-and-Hill “could work with Putin” and “hit the Russian reset button” because it meant $$ tens of millions of Russian bribes to “The Clinton Global Initiative.” Indeed, the DEM charmer old Mr. Bill C has just announced yesterday that he and Hill are “restarting” the Clinton Global Initiative,” as they can see the opportunity for more grift to be made, no matter who is actually getting imprisoned or killed.

  5. Much to be said for the realist school, and yet, from the perspective of the perennial Church, does it also sound a little like the provisional Council of Westphalia back in 1648? “Cuius regio, eius religio” (“whose realm, their religion”).

    Except that the realms are no longer politico-religious (Catholic/Lutheran/and later Calvinist), but rather the modern total religions of ungrounded Liberal alongside Pharaoh and the long shadow of Katyn Forest and the Gulag?

    Wondering, too, about realism and sleeper cells now within the Church. As in letting sleeping dogs lie (both meanings) in the German synodal way? Westphalia…that hasn’t gone so well in Germania. Of course, the Luxembourg synodal relator-general Cardinal Hollerich has it all figured out. And has already said so publicly (pubically?) regarding desacralization, (invalid) female ordinations, and the (Vademecum “walking together”) pace-setting homosexual lifestyle.

  6. Kremers, a more knowledgeable, realistic, political scientist highlights the major dynamics that drive the Russia Ukraine war. From Gorbachev’s Yeltsin’s welcome of the West to Yeltsin and Putin’s initial protestations, eventually Putin’s fear, outrage over the jettison of agreement to contain Nato from Eastward expansion. Drang nach Osten the old German intent to advance East at the expense of Russia became Nato policy under the Mearsheimer Lament of consolidation of univocal power engineered by the US the ideology that Russia is a perennial threat deserving of zero political consideration.
    Madeleine Albright Clinton’s secretary of state was the quintessential neocon ideologue, “Anti-Americanism is the foundation of Kremlin policy, the central credo of which is the United States’ intent to destroy Russia as we know it” (The Madeleine Albright Declaration: Origins Of A Kremlin Lie, Paul R Gregory in Forbes).
    Added to Kremer’s analysis is the cultural ideology of unprincipled liberty advocated by Barack Obama by direct interference in Ukraine politics [also establishment of biological research in the Ukraine a threat to Russia?], Joe Biden and family and their financial investments in the Ukraine.
    It may be impossible to determine Vladimir Putin’s exact motives at present, the West led by the US determined to promote the idea of Russian expansionism no different than Albright and other neocons. Although, to be fair and just, Putin’s Russia made the simple demand that Ukraine remain neutral, and made no suggestion of political interference in Ukraine. Our true gambit at resolution is abandonment of a myopic condemnation of everything Russian, and the perverse idea of the sanctification of everything Ukrainian. That doesn’t deny the heroism of a people long overdue to be free of Russian domination. And free of the ideological, financial [the Bidens] domination of a morally jaded West.
    Sizing up the present tragedy we should abide by God’s advice to Moses on judgment of internal affairs among the Jews. Jethro offered his son-in-law Moses the principle of delegation. Our Lord Justice. Judge impartially. “You must not show partiality to the poor or show preference to the rich. With justice you should judge your fellow man” (Leviticus 19:15)

    • As a postscript for the reader to digest, Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland stated 1.27. 22 before a Senate hearing that biological research facilities have been operating in Ukraine, in response to a question from Senator Marco Rubio Republican of Florida about the presence of chemical or biological weapons in the country.
      Why would the US finance and promote biological research on deadly pathogens of all places in Ukraine? Russia had much earlier complained about the ‘research’ facilities. Notice that virtually simultaneously by several days since the Administration is warning of Russian biological warfare in Ukraine.

  7. The trouble with Mearsheimer’s argument, and Kremer’s endorsement of it, is that it totally ignores the interests and desires of the people and nations of the former Warsaw Pact. What the archives show is the old mentality of Western powers negotiating with Russia over the fate of other nations without those nations being involved in the conversations. From a Catholic perspective, this is a clear violation of the principle of subsidiarity.
    The reality is that, over 30 years of developments, those states in the sphere of the former Soviet Union felt threatened enough by Russia that they sought out the protection of the only safe harbor available to them, a defensive alliance called NATO. NATO is by no means perfect but it is a fallacy to say that it intentionally sought eastward expansion. You can argue the merits of accepting those nations’ requests to join but you cannot ignore the context in which they were made nor their “right” to seek out whatever alliances they believe to be in their national interest. Russia, by its aggressive posturing, created the impetus for NATO expansion, not NATO.

    • At present the Russians say they want recognition of the annexation of Crimea and the independence of the breakaway Donbas republics. If the interests and desires of the people there is the key I don’t see the objection.

      Otherwise, the Russians say they want neutralization, as in the case of Finland, which has maintained genuine independence during the 80 years since losing two wars it waged with Russia in its time of greatest need, and Austria during the Cold War period, which maintained genuine independence after withdrawal of Russian occupation troops from that section of the former Third Reich.

      I don’t see why telling them “hey guys, that looks like a realistic deal that gets you what you really want” is “totally ignoring their interests and desires.” And Western countries also have interests and desires. I don’t see what’s wrong with a Westerner urging his fellows that those would best be served by committing to keeping out of Ukraine.

      I have all possible sympathy with the Finns and Ukrainians in their struggle to maintain independence in the face of brutal encroachment by a country nobody wants to be ruled by. So why not look for some workable way to do that takes account of the interests and desires of the Russians, which in this case are similar to those of the Americans during the Cuban Missile Crisis?

  8. All this article proves is that a dozen european countries, wanted nothing to do with Russia and viewed Russia as a threat. And rightly so. The European countries mentioned that allied into NATO, faced no coercion to do so, no invasions, or had puppet governments installed to make that shift, the PEOPLE of the said countries, wanted in on European prosperity and democracy. These countries co-exist in peace and prosperity…meanwhile all Putin has to offer since his election is oppression and death…and it is playing out in real time now…

  9. Finland has been “a stable, successful state neutral in foreign policy between Russia and the West.” Why not Ukraine?

    In any event a “democratic, prosperous Ukraine” seems a distant speculation. And the Russian people are already perfectly capable of investigating what life is like elsewhere. So why base policy on the idea that a Ukraine that looks like Sweden is going to be an existential threat to the Russian regime anytime soon?

    Also, I’m not sure what the policy implications of such views are. The forcible transformation of Russia into a facsimile of the West as a basic goal of Western policy?

  10. Your defense of Putin’s aggression is outrageous. It is clearly not a Catholic position, so I’m not sure where you’re coming from. Ukraine was becoming more of a threat to Russia, not because it was remotely close to joining NATO but because it was becoming a liberal democracy right across the border from Putin’s totalitarian’s regime. You allude to this but don’t seem to appreciate the point. There is no going back – Putin’s fantasy of a reuniting ancient Russia is an illusion and will soon result in his downfall and the disintegration of Russia as we know it. His military is a mess and his economy is in shambles. There is no reason or the West to back down now.

  11. For the sake of argument let’s assume the Bucharest declaration 0f 2008 is an underlying cause. But why is this invasion happening NOW? What’s the precipitating factor here?

  12. Thank you for this fine essay. No analysis of American foreign policy, however, is complete without taking into account the influence of the neoconservatives, who use the language of liberalism to mask an agenda driven by some very specific ethnic and geopolitical objectives. The disastrous American foreign policy in the Middle East over last thirty-one years can be laid almost entirely at their feet, as Mersheimer and Stephen Walt documented so thoroughly in their 2007 book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy. Also, the gratuitous hostility towards Russia over the last three decades has been largely driven by this group’s historical animosity toward that country.

  13. Nothing in the long and complex sequence of events from 1999 to 2022 proves that “Trump was right”. Trump was no more successful at resolving our issues with Putin than Obama or Biden. You call NATO ‘they’ – I guess you forgot ‘we’ ie the USA – are the biggest part of NATO and we actually runs NATO (do we even pretend our vote is the same as Lithuania’s or Romania’s lol) ? Do you really believe if European NATO countries had bumped their defense spending up to 2% of GDP, the Ukraine invasion would not have happened ? Doubtful.. Also, Mearsheimer’s premise that everything in the world revolves around what US, China, and Russia want, and the other 192 counties better toe the line is offensive in the extreme.

    • Was Trump’s name brought up once in this piece? Does the argument that higher levels of military spending by the Europeans would deter the Russians appear anywhere? Did Mearsheimer really claim that the world revolves around the US, China and Russia? Last question: Did you bother to read the article before offering your irrelevant critiques?

  14. The vagaries of man! How does the Lord put up with us?

    Yet, He knows the beginning from the end and is almighty. He understands how sin turns us inside out and he knows the power of canceled sin.

    Valid assessment of the situation helps and, turning our hearts to God for spiritual binsight gives us peace and a direction that is beneficial to those in need.

    We pray for the peace of Jerusalem and a peaceful God honouring end to this conflict in Ukraine.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Mearsheimer’s lament, U.S. responsibility, and the tragedy of Ukraine – Catholic World Report – Politixia
  2. Shared blame for Russia's war on Ukraine is not realism — it's irrational – National Catholic Reporter - My Blog
  3. Shared blame for Russia’s war on Ukraine is not realism — it’s irrational | National Catholic Reporter | Edmund Rice International- Care of Earth

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