Tuesday, September 27, 2022

How the West Brought War to Ukraine by Benjamin Abelow

This is a slim volume that tries to offer some nuance and additional perspective with respect to Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine. The author doesn't necessarily break new ground but he highlights some of the most important issues that Putin continuously referred to and brought up in international gatherings and discussions that were seemingly ignored or not taken seriously. In this respect, there is not much new or original material as discussions revolve around the expansion of NATO, promises supposedly made and never kept by the West, the US unilaterally leaving various treaties revolving around anti-ballistic missiles, medium range surface-to-surface missiles, conducting training experiences on Russia's borders, and continually arming Ukraine to the tune of billions in the post-Maidan period. A lot of agency is taken away from Putin which is not necessarily a bad thing as it shows how NATO and the US are not without fault for the invasion of Ukraine, but this is a primer at best and needs to be read with a wide variety of literature that not only focuses on the international/security issues Putin and Russia have been dealing with but also internal issues that undoubtedly have had an impact on both, and vice versa. It's important to keep in mind that Putin's actions were not made in a vacuum and by better understanding his positions and thoughts, we will better understand how this war began and, just maybe, what needs to happen for it to end.

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