10 September 2023: Getting real, plus texts and tunes
“There is, as yet, zero evidence that discussions of any kind can modulate Russian aggression, and so the proposition cannot even put forward a grounded hypothesis about how it might achieve its desired results.” Imagining myself as a Ukrainian, the only option is to fight to push the Russian invaders out of my country. As an American, I think our objective could not be more clearly defined than doing all possible to aid Ukraine in maximizing the pain inflicted on Russia militarily and using our economic clout to further turn the screws on the Russian government. As for diplomacy, we, in concert with NATO allies, ought to be making the situation so untenable for Russia as to force them to initiate a diplomatic solution, i.e. a surrender in the form of withdrawing from Ukraine unconditionally and suing for economic peace. This is war, however unconventional.
Re Quincy Institute, is it your opinion that Stephen Walt, Paul Pillar, Anatol Lieven, Greg Grandin & Mary Dudziak are on the unserious side of the diplomacy camp? I am a reader, not an expert, and seek to narrow my reading to only those who are serious thinkers.
The other part of this discussion is basic bargaining strategy and game theory. Whatever one's view of the end game, it behooves the West to present the strongest possible front prior to those possible negotiations. The objectives for the West OUGHT to be to reduce Russia's strategic threat to the West while not allowing it to cease being a threat to China; and to enhance its credibility in terms of defending its allies. Neither of these objectives suggest immediate diplomacy on any terms.