Solution Proposal El

The Risk of Doing Nothing

The current unrest in Ukraine is just another phase of the world as chaos is nothing new. The crisis being that of unprecedented events to come. The Ukraine crisis could very well end with a mutual agreement without the need for any more bloodshed. However, it could escalate to a much more dangerous situation should we make the wrong decisions. It is no secret that these conflicts will always erupt as hostilities arise. What I feel needs to be done does not have to do with preventing conflicts but merely minimizing them, smothering them before they have a chance to spread. Therefore avoiding more sinister situations such as war should a conflict spiral out of control. A strong international organization capable of strong military force would have to be the spearhead in defusing these situations. A single country such as the U.S. would be seen as more of an invader rather than a peacekeeper. Organizations such as NATO and the UN would be ideal if not for their apparent lack of force. If the situation in Ukraine does not come to a peaceful end soon, or the fighting increases, I think at that point it will be imperative that NATO intervene and push for diplomacy.

The problem is the violence that comes with certain conflicts and how to deal with it. We need to learn how to diffuse the tension in hostile areas so more hatred and death does not follow. This problem that we are facing is not just about Ukraine but about the future as well. When another conflict arises how will it be dealt with? Who will be the belligerents? And how did it come about? Will the fighting start because of race, religion, land, water, resources? There are infinite reasons for humans to fight with one another, most of them just as ridiculous as the next. Instead of just sitting by and watching potential disasters play out, as a world we need to be more aggressive instead of imposing petty sanctions any time we disagree with a countries actions. As the human population continues to grow, we face the unfortunate reality of overpopulation which in turn leads to many more problems of its own. As space runs out, resources become scarce, and tensions rise, conflict will be unavoidable and disastrous unless we find a way to minimize the collateral damage. Now events such as these will hopefully not occur for quite some time, however the truth is all too real and these problems must be acknowledged.

In Ukraine’s case it falls into the ideal of east vs west, most notably Russia vs. the United States. This has been a problem in the past most notably The Cold War, Vietnam, and the Division of Germany after World War II. As Ukraine wishes to remain independent, the separatists/rebels wish to become part of Russia. "Russia's actions in Crimea created a rift in the international community as it is looked upon as an act of aggression according to Amnesty International" (CSIS). "Following the annexation there was an outcry of protest from the international community condemning their actions" (EU Newsroom). Despite the protest, the only reprimand Russia has faced are economic sanctions imposed by the EU. Naturally Russia supports the rebels and while unconfirmed, they most likely supply weapons and information to the separatists. While the U.S. and other western powers support the Ukrainian government, whether they “indirectly” or “directly” support the government is always up for debate however unclear. The division of eastern and western ideals needs to be put aside and instead focused on what’s best for Ukraine and its people. "The European Union is focusing its efforts on de-escalating the crisis in Ukraine. The EU calls on all sides to continue engaging in a meaningful and inclusive dialogue leading to a lasting solution" (EU Newsroom).

The causes involved with the Ukraine problem have to do with past events that lead to today. As stated in my previous essay, Ukraine and Russia have a bit of history between them, some of it good, but for the most part, bad. That mixed with the ethnic divisions in Ukraine, the protests, and all the unrest eventually led to where we are today. With such a large population of ethnic Russians it’s no wonder they wish to become part of their homeland. "A common refrain among Russians is that Ukraine isn’t really a country: the Slavic origin of the word “Ukraine” means “borderland,” (Niarchos). Another factor to consider is Ukraine’s economic problems. Corruption is quite evident in Ukrainian politics and government, so perhaps in an effort to aid the countries issues, many ethnic Russians turned to their homeland for help. While others sought for European Union assistance, creating a division. Russia then perhaps took advantage of the unrest and chaos to inspire the idea of Ukraine joining the Russian Federation. Whether this is the best option is questionable yet appealing to many Ukrainians and Russians alike. I feel that the fighting really intensified as Russian pressure increased and pro-Russian separatists grew desperate. There are also reports of Russian involvement in Ukraine with heavy activity of Russian armed forces on the borders. "In June, senior NATO officials pointed to a renewed build up of Russian armed forces on the Ukrainian border" (Monaghan). As the situation escalates many countries are beginning to see Russia's actions as an "invasion". "Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN warned in August that continued Russian intervention would be viewed as an invasion” (Yuhas). International conflicts have at times been simple while some are complicated with various causes and complex situations. With Ukraine, the immediate issue should be to quell the armed insurgency and release prisoners detained during the unrest. Once the fighting has stopped a diplomatic solution concerning Russia and Ukraine should be reached.

Many people simply blame the constraints and the pressure administered to Ukraine by western and eastern ideals, effectively splitting the country. The western ideals and EU promises combated by Russian propaganda and government tore the country in two. "Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin has been silencing independent voices one at a time for months, effectively dismantling the press" (Yuhas). As Ukraine stood at a standstill unsure of what to do Russia grew impatient, and gave Ukraine a little push in the direction they wanted it to go. While the east west theory has some truth, it is but a contributing factor to the issue. That are many more factors at play and in many ways the violence pertaining to the unrest was inevitable. Russia has attempted to administer a resolution to the growing violence with several peace talk, all however failed. "Russia last year offered a few resolutions calling for a cease-fire, but they were unpopular with council members who were angry over its annexation of Crimea early in the crisis." (CBS). Hopefully a permanent peace plan will be implemented soon to stop the ongoing bloodshed and make way for peace in order to rebuild.

If no effort by NATO or perhaps another country is made to intervene, I feel that it will be imperative for the international community to keep a mindful eye on the situation as it evolves. Russia’s involvement is blatantly aggressive and unacceptable, and therefore should be stopped by any means necessary. If Russia is allowed to continue their meandering the result will more than likely end with strained relations in the east and west. If Russia’s involvement and any other outside country’s involvement is halted, and fighting is reduced, a referendum or other type of vote should then be held and closely monitored. The fate of Ukraine should not be decided by conflict but rather by what it is the civilians want for their home. Whether it’s to join the Russian Federation or to remain independent, the choice should be left to the general population.

Unfortunately that solution is quite unlikely. The displacement of civilians and the chaos that has come about would make it incredibly difficult to hold an accurate vote free of meddling and inaccuracy. The outcome will more than likely belong to the victor, whether that will be the government or the rebels, only time will tell.

If NATO, The UN, and perhaps other bodies of international organizations with the help of individual countries, were to take control of the situation and restore order and balance, a decision could be made to halt the separatists advance and government control. However that would leave the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine in the hands of the rebels which would greatly worry me as I’m sure it would others. The implementation of UN peacekeepers in these areas would hopefully be the next step. After diplomacy has been discussed and tensions reduced it is then important to restore rebel controlled areas to the control of the Ukrainian government. With NATO and UN presence still heavy in Ukraine the next option would be to hold a non-biased, truthful, and closely monitored referendum to decide the where the country stands as a whole. Any outbreak of violence or unacceptable actions by either side should be met by fierce resistance from NATO. A hopefully unanimous result from the vote would then determine the outcome and reduce some, not all, but some diplomatic differences between the east and the west. If such an endeavor were to be implemented it would require considerable military strength from both NATO and The UN. Since the UN does not have a military of its own but rather uses volunteers from militaries around the world, it would be a bit of a challenge to acquire soldiers that would volunteer for deployment into a volatile zone. None the less it could very well effectively stabilize the situation, and focus on a more civilized way for Ukraine to be part of Russia if that’s what is voted on, or for Ukraine to remain independent. If either side wins with force instead of diplomacy, there will still be hatred buried in many citizens. Warfare might stop, but attacks and turmoil will be ever present.

Should an international intervention with such force take place and resolve the situation, there would be problems regarding other conflicts. Such a military escapade cannot be expected every time some kind of armed insurgency arises. Not every conflict can be controlled and reduced without sustaining casualties. For example, ISIS. An obvious threat that has sent the Middle East into chaos yet again. "While the ISIS advance has slowed, it has not come to a halt — rather, it has created a new reality in Iraq, and its implications for various actors in Syria are becoming apparent" (White). A lot of countries would be less inclined to intervene in a location that is in constant turmoil.

A countries problems are their own to solve. It is important for a nation to be able to control its own situations and not be bailed out by outside help and support.

While it would be nice for an “International Army” per say, to take control of the conflict and oversee restructure and justice, it is quite unlikely. Ukraine is in an incredibly complicated diplomatic and militaristic situation. It should normally be up to that particular country to solve its problems, but not when an outside nation has its sights set on “uniting” the country in question.

I believe that the conflict in Ukraine warrants the intervention of the international community by means of force if necessary. This conflict is incredibly important as it has the potential of seeing a developed nation expand into foreign land. Such a thing should not be taken lightly. If Russia has its way, and Ukraine becomes united with the Russian Federation, then the next question is, what’s next? Will Russia attempt to expand elsewhere, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, or Estonia? While I cannot see them getting away with that, it is important to remember.

What would be the risk of intervening, and what would be the risk of doing nothing? These are two very important question. Is it worth intervening on an international scale with the risk of only making the situation more volatile, or is it worth sitting back and watching how the events unfold. Obviously those are not the only two options as events could play out quite differently. The main focus being that to preserve life and maintain justice. To minimize the current conflict and prevent it from worsening is what the western powers as well as the eastern powers should keep in mind. The fighting has had points of ceasefire and all-out war. To give it air and allow it to spread and grow larger is unacceptable.

Works Cited

EU Newsroom. "EU sanctions against Russia over Ukraine crisis." Europa.eu, European Union Newsroom, July. 2014. Web. 23 Feb. 2015. http://europa.eu/newsroom/highlights/special-coverage/eu_sanctions/index_en.htm

Yuhas, Alan. "Russia's actions in Ukraine conflict an invasion." US news, The Guardian, 4 March. 2015. Web. 25 April. 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/04/victoria-nuland-russia-actions-ukraine-invasion

Yuhas, Alan. "Russian propaganda over Crimea and the Ukraine: how does it work?", The Guardian, 17 March. 2014. Web. 26 March. 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/17/crimea-crisis-russia-propaganda-media

Niarchos, Nicolas. “Borderland: Ukraine’s Dilemma.” The New Yorker, 24 Sep. 2014. Web. 21 Feb. 2015. http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/eu-russia-ukraine-dilemma

CSIS, "Ukraine Crisis Timeline." Center for Strategic International Studies. Web 23 March. 2015. http://csis.org/ukraine/index.htm

CBS, "Russia asks U.N. Security Council to take action on Ukraine." CBS NEWS, 13 Feb. 2015. Web. 26 April. 2015. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-asks-united-nations-security-council-to-take-action-on-ukraine/

Monaghan, Andrew. "The Ukraine Crisis and NATO-Russian Relations." NATO Review Magazine, Web. 24 March. 2015. http://www.nato.int/docu/review/2014/Russia-Ukraine-Nato-crisis/Ukraine-crisis-NATO-Russia-relations/EN/index.htm

White, Jeffery. "ISIS, Iraq, and the War in Syria: Military Outlook." The Washington Institute, 19 June. 2014. Web. 23 April. 2015. http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/isis-iraq-and-the-war-in-syria-military-outlook

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