Defeat in Ukraine may not be a sign of US weakness against Iran or China


To the editor: Bernard-Henri Levy is certainly right that Ukraine will continue to fight the Russian occupation with or without American military assistance. But he is wrong to suggest that Ukraine is a defining moment for global democracies or for US power and influence around the world.

While Levy does not say it outright, he appears to believe that the United States’ failure to send additional military aid to Kiev will encourage authoritarian states like Russia, China, and Iran to test America’s resolve in other theaters.

In theory, this could be true and should not be completely discounted. However, in reality, this is not how credibility works in international relations.

What the United States decides to do in Ukraine tells us little about how it would act if China invaded Taiwan, Iran made the operational decision to acquire a nuclear weapon, or Russia were reckless enough to attack a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The leaders of these countries cannot count on the United States to act the same way in all circumstances.

Not all crises in the world have the same risks, and foreign policy is not a simple undertaking.

Levy’s sentiment is not new. We heard it before, when American troops left Vietnam in 1975 and Afghanistan in 2021. But the world didn’t fall apart then, and it won’t fall apart depending on what happens in Ukraine.

Daniel DePetris, New Rochelle, New York

The writer is a member of Defense Priorities.

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To the editor: The blood of Ukrainians killed in Russia’s latest attacks is on the hands of congressional Republicans. His pathetic leadership not only contributes to the massacre of Ukrainian civilians, but also emboldens our adversaries to take advantage of America’s lack of resolve and weakness.

Russia invaded Ukraine without provocation. Ukraine is fighting for its life and Congress must immediately approve sufficient funds so that Ukraine can not only defend itself, but also engage in attacks inside Russia.

President Biden needs to take off the kid gloves and be much more proactive. Russia will respond with threats and bluster, but it is not willing to engage in direct conflict with the United States and NATO.

If the people of Russia realize that Ukraine has no choice but to wage a full-scale battle against Russia in order to adequately defend itself, Russian President Vladimir Putin could be forced to end the invasion.

Sid Pelston, Marina del Rey

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