Ukraine has withstood Russia’s initial invasion, but a new phase of the war has begun. How should Ukraine define success as it seeks to repel Russian forces?
Russia’s War in Ukraine
Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal in exchange for security assurances. Yet those assurances failed to prevent a Russian invasion, raising questions for other would-be nuclear powers about the reliability of outside security assurances and whether pursuing a nuclear program provides the best guarantee of their future security. How should a hypothetical country under threat decide its nuclear future?
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the biggest test to European stability and, more broadly, of the liberal world order since World War II. The war has the potential to widen to Ukraine’s neighbors, many of whom are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance. NATO members have so far avoided direct military involvement in the war, choosing to limit themselves to sending military and economic aid to Ukraine, providing intelligence, and supporting refugees. Yet as the conflict continues, calls for NATO to intervene directly are likely to grow. The United States will have to weigh whether and, if so, how to become more directly involved in the war.
After the Soviet Union collapsed, Ukraine inherited the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Fearing the risks of nuclear proliferation, the United States and Russia alike sought to negotiate Ukraine’s disarmament, but Ukraine wanted guarantees against future Russian aggression in exchange. How should the United States have managed dismantling Ukraine’s Nuclear arsenal while safeguarding against renewed conflict in Europe?