John Mearsheimer: Ukraine Salon

The Biden Administration is engulfed in a staggeringly expensive folly in Ukraine with no forseeable good outcomes. John Mearsheimer will argue twin themes: First, we are in a war where both sides – Ukraine and the West versus Russia – see the other as an existential threat. That makes a workable peace agreement beyond reach. The best possible outcome is a frozen conflict that is likely to have a variety of terrible consequences. The worst possible outcome is a nuclear war, which is unlikely but cannot be ruled out.

Second, Russia is going to win the war, although it is not going to decisively defeat Ukraine. It will end up, however, conquering a large swath of Ukrainian territory and making it part of Russia, while at the same time turning Ukraine into a dysfunctional rump state.

The Committee would not be holding this salon over Ukraine if we had been faithful to constitutional processes. The systematic provision of $113 billion in military assistance to Ukraine in its war with Russia makes the United States a co-belligerent requiring a congressional declaration. But no co-belligerency declaration has been initiated by Congress nor sought by President Joe Biden. If Congress were required to vote, it would balk at co-belligerency as it balked in 2013 when President Barack Obama asked for a declaration of war against Syria and as it balked in 1999 when President Bill Clinton asked for a declaration of war against Serbia.

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