Bacevich Interview – Podcast April 18, 2022

Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine. The History And Unseen Consequences. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Andrew Bacevich to the show. Bacevich is a Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University as well as co-founder and president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He argues that to understand the invasion of Ukraine, you must consider the historical context in which the U.S. exploited Russia economically following the collapse of the Soviet Union. And, despite telling Russia that we would not expand NATO eastward, successive American administrations did it anyway. He believes that led to bitterness and a sense of betrayal.

Now Ukraine, as an innocent party, is suffering the consequences.

In addition, the Russian people are suffering under the most horrific sanctions imposed on any nation in memory, he says. When asked how we end those sanctions and deal with Russia once the war ends, Bacevich explains, “The primary question is who’s going to be in charge. If it’s Putin, then it’s going to become ten times more difficult to figure out a way to bring Russia in from the cold. If it’s not Putin, if it’s somebody who we can deal with, then I think that makes the problem orders of magnitude easier.”

“To me, the biggest concern is that this war is going to lead to a new Cold War centered on a frankly exaggerated Russian threat and therefore distract our attention from concerns that ought to be…that are more important. And I’m in the camp that says the climate crisis probably ranks as number one,” says Bacevich. “We increasingly hear warnings issued by authoritative sources that say that the planet…that nations of the world are not meeting their targets in order to limit the rise in temperatures and suggesting dire consequences that are now just 20, 30 to 40 years into the future. I think that danger is much more serious than any danger posed by Vladimir Putin.”

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