Skip to main content

View Diary: Ukraine crisis: What does the Budapest Memorandum obligate the U.S. to do? (85 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Promises (4+ / 0-)

    Despite promises by George H.W. Bush not to extend the West’s Cold War military alliance when Germany was united, nine former Warsaw Pact nations and three former Soviet republics have now been incorporated into NATO, with the US-NATO even setting up a military outpost in Georgia. And the EU Association Agreement, advertised as offering free trade, in fact included military clauses that called for integrating Ukraine into the EU military structure, including cooperation on “civilian and military crisis management operations” and “relevant exercises” concerning them.

    http://www.thenation.com/...

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:15:07 AM PST

    •  the kurds (4+ / 0-)

      also thought poppy bush had made them promises.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:21:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Promises You Can't Keep (5+ / 0-)

      is one way nations bungle into war.  I couldn't say exactly which nations should be part of NATO and get our unconditional commitment to defend them as if they were Iowa but I think NATO has probably been over extended as have our imperial commitments everywhere else on the planet.  

      •  NATO (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw, shaharazade, lordcopper

        From Putin’s perspective, in other words, the United States hardly looks in retreat. To the contrary, the post-Cold War period has brought one long march by America and its allies closer and closer to the border of Russia itself. But there was no reason to believe that Russia—which under Putin has been regaining its confidence on the world stage—would go on contracting forever. And by 2008, when Russia sent troops into parts of Georgia, it was already clear that NATO’s expansion onto former Soviet soil had come to a halt.

        http://www.theatlantic.com/...

        "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

        by Paleo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:41:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If Russia had the military assets (5+ / 0-)

          on and near U.S. borders in the breadth and depth that does the U.S./NATO on their border... and if they then proceeded to dabble in the politics of Chihuahua State and British Columbia... things would be different.

          Different in that it the U.S. would consider itself in a state of war with Russia.

          NATO is a bloated appendix that's outlived its usefulness, certainly its usefulness for the U.S. The Europeans have the resources - even the nuclear weapons - to defend themselves in any exigency. They are also have the diplomatic skills - perhaps more so than the U.S. given the quality of such diplomats as Ms Nuland - to deal with issues of immediate interest to them.

          In order to rationalize NATO's continued existence we must reinvent the Cold War. Do we really want to do that? Is it in our national interest?

          It always seems impossible until its done. -Nelson Mandela

          by chuckvw on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:04:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  'National interests' (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chuckvw, marina

            is such an outdated concept both domestically and geopolitically. The sovereignty of nation states is just another impediment to global hegemony by the oligarchical collectivist's who are multinational and look upon the world's people and resources as theirs to loot, kill and own. Just wait till the TPP is a done deal. NATO and the IMF the World Bank and all these globalizing psycho assholes who want to rule the world do not give a rats ass about national sovereignty including the US's.

            They are doing God's work and like every other Empirical scourge though out history they proclaim their inevitability and know no limits until humans say enough. Empire these days is not about nations but about freaking banksters, looting multinationals and extortionists rule the world and the US's goon squad spooks and military are their enforcers.        

        •  Yes, we pushed the Russians further than I (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lordcopper, Lepanto, falconer520

          ever would have expected we could push them so it doesn't surprise me at all that there's some push back.  That's not all bad.  The Russians need to be sure we're clear on where their line in the sand is.  It's one thing to promise to defend the UK or Germany but you start encroaching on the Russian border you're doing more asking for trouble than you are keeping the peace seems to me.  

    •  Bush's promises expired Jan 20th, 1993 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fladem, Wee Mama, wu ming, falconer520

      Unless a legally binding treaty is signed, the promise of a US President is not a promise made by his successor.

      That's how things work here, and the USSR / Russian Federation should understand that. Policies change with each new administration, and if you want something permanent, a treaty is required.

      A new administration will sometimes chose to continue policies of its predecessors. But that is not guaranteed.

      Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

      by blue aardvark on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:41:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Such legal niceities (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw, greenbell, lordcopper, Lepanto

        do nothing to assuage Russia's legitimate concern that the west is pushing further and further east in order to isolate them.

        "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

        by Paleo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:44:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Which is more of a threat (3+ / 0-)

          to the former SSR republics, Russia or NATO?>

          Russia has no legitimate concern - the expansion is occurring because the countries in question are scared of Russia. Is Russia, particularly after what happened in Georgia, seriously under attack?

          Nato expanded because the countries in question are scared of the Russians.

          •  The expansion took place before (5+ / 0-)

            Georgia.  A war Georgia started by attacking South Ossieta.  

            Those countries should not be the tail that wags the dog of U.S. foreign policy.  Just because NATO could expand doesn't mean that it should have.

            "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

            by Paleo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:54:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It did so at the request of the countries that (2+ / 0-)

              joined because they were scared of exactly what has happened in both Georgia and the Crimeria.

              I will repeat - what security concern does Russia have with the expansion of NATO? Answer - none unless you are going to argue that NATO is going to attack Russia.

              The "security concern" is that it won't be able to bully the countries of the former SSR.

              •  The Russians lost 20 million in WWII (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lordcopper, Lepanto

                Do you think the Russian people have forgotten about that? When you consider that Bush was able to scare our public into a war with Iraq over non-existent weapons thousands of miles from our borders, it's certainly not surprising that the Russians want a buffer.  We lose about 4000 people when we're attacked and we go insane and you wonder why the Russians get nervous?  

                •  A buffer against whom? Realistically, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dr Swig Mcjigger, wu ming

                  who threatens the sovereignty of the Russian Federation with military invasion?

                  Answer: No country in Europe.

                  Furthermore, in the Budapest Memorandum, the Russian Federation promised to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to refrain from the use or threats of force against Ukraine.

                  Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

                  by another American on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:37:20 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Realistically who threatens the United States (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    shaharazade

                    with military invasion? So why do we need the NATO MILITARY alliance?  If we really believe there is no threat then we would dissolve the NATO MILITARY alliance.  We don't because we still believe war is possible and must be deterred but deterrence requires a degree of proportionality.  You can't have it so lop-sided in favor of one side that the other side is provoked into irrational behavior out of pride and fear.  

                •  Russians? What grounds do we have for (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dr Swig Mcjigger

                  believing that, in free and fair elections, Putin would prevail?

                  Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

                  by another American on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:38:56 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What grounds (0+ / 0-)

                    do we have that in fair and free elections the current US ruling class of pols right or left would prevail? Would Bush 2 or even Poppy Bush be elected. I'd say the Russian people have as much to say about who is in power as we do. Oligarch's rule the world and presidents east and west are 'elected' unfairly as globally people have no choice. Goldman Sachs and assorted too bigs rule the world.  

                    The Cold War is over dontcha know Raygun kicked their Evil Empire's butt and tore down the wall. Putin was KGB Bush was CIA so it goes when Evil  Empires disguise themselves as democracies. Meanwhile the Egyptian people with their revolution are getting a new pres. the military dude. Surprise Surprise. Have you taken a look at who is in power after the populist uprising in the Ukraine? A rogues gallery of oligarchical criminals just like here and in Russia.        

          •  Being scared of the Russians (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lordcopper, falconer520

            was a reason for them to join NATO.  It wasn't necessarily a reason for NATO to let them join.

        •  Russia is a great power with an (0+ / 0-)

          expectation - I hesitate to say "right" because I don't know that any nation, including us, has the "right" to act like a traditional great power - of a sphere of influence.

          The Ukraine is clearly within that sphere.

          However, if you want to be a great power, it requires more than just a big army. That's a lesson dating back to the Romans and the Chinese.

          If Russia's diplomats have failed her in terms of protecting her sphere of influence, that is not necessarily the fault of the West. We are not, as I understand things, required to help them be a great power.

          Resorting to military force when your diplomats fail is something great powers do. The question before us is whether or not the idea of great power is valid in the 21st century. For Russia, and for the United States, and also for China; does China have "rights" wrt Vietnam or Taiwan or the Spratelys because of sphere of influence?

          Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

          by blue aardvark on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:51:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not the fault of the west? (5+ / 0-)

            Who expanded NATO to the Russian border line?

            "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

            by Paleo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:56:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do you not understand? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wee Mama, Dr Swig Mcjigger, wu ming

              If China attempted to sign military treaties with Mexico and Canada, we wouldn't invade them. We'd use our diplomats and other influence to prevent the treaties being signed. Note that you don't hear about the Chinese even trying; they are smart enough to know what the odds are.

              If Western diplomats out-negotiate those of Russia, that means it sucks to be them, not that they get carte blanche to start invading people.

              If you want to be a great power, you have to have more than just an army. Russia failed diplomatically. The West moved into the power vacuum they left by failing.

              Russia's diplomatic failure is tied to their corruption and cronyism. Their economy is not as attractive as that of Western Europe, despite their natural resources and close proximity to Eastern Europe, because of those factors, which are orders of magnitude worse than the Western equivalents.

              Putin's Russia is the 21st century Ottoman Empire, but propped up by natural resources. We don't have to respect their weakness economically and diplomatically, and their incompetence does not grant them rights.

              Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

              by blue aardvark on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:05:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Are you serious? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greenbell, lordcopper

                The U.S. might not invade Mexico, unlike the other times it has, but when the Germans tried to strike up a military alliance with Mexico in 1917, the U.S. declared war on Germany.

                The U.S. tried to invade Cuba and assasinate Castro.  And brought the world to the brink of nuclear war when the Soviet Union shipped missles to Cuba.  Finally, settling on a starve them out tactic.  The U.S. invaded the Dominican Republic and Grenada when it thought they were led by forces sympathetic to the Soviet Union.

                "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

                by Paleo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:14:31 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Are you serious? (0+ / 0-)

                  Do you honestly think the US declared war on Germany in 1917 only because of the Zimmerman telegram? Or mainly because of it? Or that it even made the top 50 on the list of real reasons (as opposed to those offered for public consumption)? Don't pull my leg, dude.

                  What you are saying is that the United States has acted like a great power in the past. And not one of those actions meets with your approval, I'm sure, except perhaps the Cuban Missile business. So therefore you must either wholeheartedly condemn Putin, or must enthusiastically endorse the US acting like a great power, because giving Russia rights you deny us would be silly.

                  I think we're actually in violent agreement. Russia wants to be a great power, doesn't have the diplomatic chops, and therefore resorts to military force, which it ought not to do.

                  I further argue that the idea of a great power is 19th century and that the US and China, among others, ought to move away from that idea. I suspect you agree.

                  Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

                  by blue aardvark on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:22:18 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Declaring war on Germany had nothing to do, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blue aardvark

                  nothing, I say, with the sinking of the Lusitania or Germany's unrestricted submarine warfare, that is, including U.S. civilian ships going to Britain. In this context, Germany's offer of a military alliance to Mexico was understood as preparing further aggression against the U.S.

                  This is not to say that the combatants in World War I were divided between the good guys (all good) and the bad guys (all bad). Christopher Clark's important new history, The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 puts paid to that notion.

                  But context matters. The suggestion that Russia's invasion of Ukraine has anything meaningfully in common with the U.S. declaration of war against Germany in World War I is laughable.

                  Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

                  by another American on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:22:28 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, I expect you'd see some gunboat diplomacy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lordcopper

                as well.  The reason such treaties are impossible to imagine isn't just that we're famous for our diplomacy.  

            •  That depends: did the additions to NATO arise from (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blue aardvark

              an invitation by NATO or a request from the nations themselves? To me that makes a difference; I can appreciate that it might not to the Russians.



              Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

              by Wee Mama on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:08:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  It's still valid (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lordcopper, blue aardvark

            There are natural great powers and we could argue about which nations they are or maybe have more than one tier but some nations by virtue of size, resources and strategic location can't be wished away.  That's a problem with neo-con ideology.  It assumes we can remake the map and we can only do that around the margins.  This is a problem with misunderstanding the risks of war with Iran too.  

            •  Well, then, if there are tiers they look like this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shaharazade

              1) United States
              2) ...
              3) ...
              4) China
              5) ...
              6) ...
              7) Germany, Japan, UK, France
              8) ...
              9) ...
              10) ...
              11) Russia, Italy, Canada
              12) ...
              13) ...
              14) India, Brazil

              Pakistan and Israel may have nukes, but don't make the cut because they don't have economic and diplomatic clout

              Therefore if a great power has "rights" of some sort, we get lots more than anyone else does. Our economic and military power are both unmatched, we occupy a central position in the Western Hemisphere, we have vast natural resources.

              I don't think we want to think this way. It's pretty neo-con.

              Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

              by blue aardvark on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:51:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You could put Iran on there someplace (0+ / 0-)

                It's not neo-con because the neo-cons seem to hold two contradictory ideas in their heads 1) every nation is a potential threat, therefore we must be ready to fight any of them even if we imagine they may become a threat in the future 2) no group of two or more nations will ever join together in an alliance against us so nothing we do will ever provoke a response to our aggression.

                Think Machiavelli or Kissinger.  Realpolitik.  The following is true though it's not about rights. It's entirely amoral.  It's all about strategic power relationships.  (Another problem with the zealot neo-cons is that they believe they have God on their side.)  Power A acts and Power B responds or Power B allies with Power C to block further actions by Power A.

                Therefore if a great power has "rights" of some sort, we get lots more than anyone else does. Our economic and military power are both unmatched, we occupy a central position in the Western Hemisphere, we have vast natural resources.
          •  that final sentence (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blue aardvark, shaharazade

            is definitely being asked right now all over southeast and east asia.

        •  What is "legitimate" about a concern that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Swig Mcjigger, wu ming

          now-democratic countries, for example,, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic, should want to associate themselves with other democratic countries?

          A democratic Russian Federation surely would find fast friends throughout Europe.

          Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

          by another American on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:57:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  And those countries joined (0+ / 0-)

      because there were scared of the Russians.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site