Every U.S. intervention in a foreign conflict begins with a series of rationales aimed at persuading voters that the move makes sense. Thus it is with Ukraine, where legislators and policymakers are debating whether to provide lethal military assistance. Much of the logic being advanced is dubious if not downright dangerous. For instance, while it is undoubtedly true that sending U.S. arms will change Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s calculus of the situation, it could backfire by making him more aggressive. And while it is true that important American interests are engaged in the current conflict, by far the most important such interest is in avoiding a confrontation that escalates to nuclear war. If you think through most of the arguments advanced for arming a nation right on Russia’s border, the reasoning involved seems more emotional than analytic. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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