Normally I try to stick to domestic issues when blogging. I don’t like to talk about what’s happening abroad unless it’s a war or conflict that we are directly involved in (which I most likely am vehemently opposed to) simply because I would rather focus on what’s going on on the home front. When I saw that the Crimea was, once again, being disputed I started to think about the possible outcomes of the situation. We obviously are opposed to Russia, as we have been for as long as most people can remember. The only time that we have been aligned with Russia in recent memory was back when Stalin’s USSR was a part of the Allied powers, and that was certainly a strained relationship considering the numerous human rights violations that took place during the reign of the famed dictator.
Nowadays, we have a sort of love/hate discord with Russia, shaking hands with them one moment and condemning Putin’s actions the next. The ordeal with the punk band Pussy Riot was a glaring violation of basic free speech rights that marked the reputation of the current regime for a long time, and will probably be something that most people will never forget just because of the media attention that it got. The government got a chance to save face with the Winter Olympics that just happened recently, but they dropped the ball when it came to preparation, and they got a lot of bad press over the extermination of dogs, incomplete hotel rooms, the rings not lighting up fully at the beginning of the opening ceremonies, etc. The games themselves went by relatively smooth, and the closing ceremonies were spectacular.
Then, not even one month later, the Crimea became a trouble area once again. The region of the Crimea that has now “voted” to become a part of Russia has been an area that has been thick with revolution and political unrest for the past couple months, giving the rest of the world something to watch as Russia begins to make moves to once again gain regional hegemony. The White House has since placed sanctions, condemned actions, and basically told Russia and Putin that their actions are not appreciated by the United States, as well as the rest of the world. In an even more recent development, the G8 has effectively kicked Russia out of its proceedings. These actions being taken by other nations in concert with the United States has not seemed to change the viewpoint of the Russian government, however, and this could mean trouble.
What the United States cannot do is physically intervene, either directly or by proxy. The direction that the US government has taken so far on the matter is the one that it should continue to exercise so as not to possibly escalate the conflict and bring about a war that could have massive and permanent consequences that the world might not be able to survive. Intelligence agencies are working around the clock at the moment, I assume, to bring a peaceful end to this delicate situation that is just waiting to explode. Another Cold War could be avoided if diplomacy is put above all else, including our own egotistical view of ourselves as the “global force for good” as the Navy commercials say. We have to start to think about this situation from the outside looking in with a global perspective if we want to come out truly on top, with the rest of the world thinking that we handled the situation as best we could. We have not done well in foreign proceedings over the course of the past 20 years, and we need to break that trend. The rest of the world has a tarnished opinion of us because of how we have dealt with conflict in the past, and we now have a chance to diffuse a possibly incendiary situation with another powerful nation that we have a history with instead of agitating them and possibly making a huge mistake.
But the question remains: what should the administration do? Should they continue with the same things that they have done so far? Should they ask for other nations to help them in the negotiations? Should they start to put the pressure on Russia and Putin to show them that they mean business? I truly believe that the United States should play a part in resolving this situation, but that it should not be at the forefront. We have shown time and time again that we are not the best at negotiating peace with other nations, especially when we are mediating disputes between two parties. Meetings with other nations should be called to try and figure out the best solution to the problem, outside of the walls of the United Nations. Heads of state should all be on the same page for what they want to happen and how they want to go about this. Only if the rest of the world powers are aligned will this situation come to a relatively peaceful conclusion.