Tension continues to build between Russia and Ukraine, as more than 100,000 Russian troops have amassed along the Ukrainian border. Meanwhile, the United States and NATO are also working to prevent a Russian invasion, threatening ‘swift and severe action’ if Russia acts. America has started sending military aid to Ukraine while threatening sanctions against Russia. The White House announced it would send an additional $200 million to Ukraine should Russia invade, as well.
“At the same time, we’ve made very clear to Moscow that if it chooses to renew aggression against Ukraine, it will be met, and it will face very severe consequences,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. “And again, that’s coming not just from the United States, but from countries across Europe and beyond.”
But what is America’s interest in this overseas conflict? And why should Americans care about preserving the Ukrainian border?
Straight Arrow News spoke with Dr. John Deni, a professor of national security studies at the US Army War College, to answer those questions. Deni said one reason is the ripple effect instability in Europe can have.
“The Ukrainian economy is not directly very important to the American economy,” Deni said. “However, Ukraine is a large and very important country in the middle of Europe. And instability and insecurity there will have a spillover effect on countries that are vital to the American way of life and the American economy.”
Find more of Deni’s analysis on Russia’s motivations for invading Ukraine here.
Baumgardner: AS RUSSIAN TROOPS GATHERED AT THE UKRAINIAN BORDER, THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION WAS QUICK TO RESPOND. SENDING MILITARY AID TO UKRAINE, WHILE THREATENING SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA. THE PRESIDENT HAS CONTINUED TO REAFFIRM AMERICA’S READINESS TO RESPOND, IF AN INVASION HAPPENS.
BUT WHAT’S OUR INTEREST IN THIS OVERSEAS CONFLICT? AND WHY SHOULD AMERICANS CARE ABOUT PRESERVING THE UKRAINIAN BORDER?
I SPOKE WITH DR. JOHN DENI A PROFESSOR OF NATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES AT THE US ARMY WAR COLLEGE.
HE SAY AMERICA’S INTERESTS ARE TIED TO MONEY, STABILITY, VALUES, AND INTERNATIONAL LAW. TAKE A LISTEN.
Dr. Deni: The Ukrainian economy is not directly very important to the American economy. However, Ukraine is a large and very important country in the middle of Europe. And instability and insecurity there will have a spillover effect on countries that are vital to the American way of life and the American economy.
Now, more broadly than that, we also share the same values with most European countries values of liberty and democracy, open and free trade. It’s those kinds of values that are that are under threat, given what Russia is doing in this destabilizing buildup around the country of Ukraine.
And then finally, I would add, that we we Americans prefer to live in a world of international norms and law. And there’s an agreement in 1975, called the Helsinki Final Act. This was an agreement signed by most of the countries in Europe, the United States, Canada, and also Russia. That agreement said that international borders are to be honored, that sovereignty has to be maintained, regardless of how big or how small how important or unimportant your country was. These are important values to Europeans and North Americans. Russia has violated that agreement. And so that is a problem for the West as well, the fact that Moscow is not maintaining international agreements and obligations.