The Diplomatic Path to a Secure Ukraine

Conventional wisdom holds that a negotiated end to the Ukraine war is neither possible nor desirable. This belief is false.

It is also extremely dangerous for Ukraine’s future. The war is not trending toward a stable stalemate, but toward Ukraine’s eventual collapse. Russia has corrected many of the problems that plagued its forces during the first year of fighting and adopted an attrition strategy that is gradually exhausting Ukraine’s forces, draining American military stocks, and sapping the West’s political resolve. Sanctions have not crippled Russia’s war effort, and the West cannot fix Ukraine’s acute manpower problems absent direct intervention in the war. Ukraine’s best hope lies in a negotiated settlement that protects its security, minimizes the risks of renewed attacks or escalation, and promotes broader stability in Europe and the world.

sonori, avatar

Russia has consistently signaled that they have no intention of accepting even the current frontline as a negotiating point, as far as recently passed Russian laws are concerned, large areas of currently Ukraininan controlled territory like the city of Kerson are part of the Russian Federation and any agreement that gave them up would be illegal under Russian law.

Moreover, given how well appeasement worked for them in 2014, there is little public support for such a strategy in Ukraine, even if Russia’s stated core goal wasn’t to prevent the possibility of Ukraine joining any defensive agreement that would make a further invasion difficult.

If Russia comes to the negotiating table, it will either be because a large scale collapse is inevitable on either side, or because they’ve run out of North Korean shells at a time where their opponent is gaining access to increasingly more modern weapon systems. The Soviet Stockpile is massive, but you can only empty it once.

eran_morad, (edited )

Oh, fuck off. As if we all didn’t witness what happened when we provided sufficient aid to Ukraine.

Edit, read the piece. OP is a useful idiot.


Very well-reasoned article, though the political constraints might end up making implementing its recommendations impossible. Hard to see how the US and EU could make the rhetorical shifts it would take. If events continue as they are now, the military realities may preclude it. While it seems advantageous to reach a negotiated settlement for all sides at the moment, this will not remain the case forever.

queermunist, avatar

This war is going to end in a negotiation like almost all wars inevitably do and all the extra months of fighting will have been pointless.

FaceDeer avatar

The fighting is to provide ammunition at the negotiating table. Currently, Russia isn't going to accept any negotiated settlement that requires them to leave Ukrainian territory or return kidnapped Ukranian children, for example. But once Russia's on the ropes there's a better chance of them doing that.

queermunist, avatar

The NATO alliance will never provide enough aid to put Russia on the ropes. They want the war to continue for as long as possible to hurt Russia.

FaceDeer avatar

So you think Russia intends to keep on fighting until it conquers Ukraine?

queermunist, avatar

I think Russia intends on conquering the Donbas region and keeping Crimea, as they have been saying the entire time. How much more of Ukraine they take depends on how negotiations go.

If this war drags on long enough, yeah, they might try to take the whole country.

FaceDeer avatar

Russia has passed laws annexing Zaporizhzhia and Kherson oblasts. They invaded Kharkiv and made a run for Keiv and Odessa. Their politicians rant about how Poland and the Baltics are next. You really think anyone's going to believe that they did all that to keep some territory that they had already occupied?

queermunist, avatar

I just said that as the war drags on Russia is going to conquer more territory - they want their money’s worth.

I think if there had been a negotiation in the beginning for the “Russian speaking regions” that Russia would have stopped. Now that it’s clear there will never be negotiations they have no incentive to stop, and since its clear the West is getting bored with this war they might as well take as much land as they can. The longer the war drags on the more likely it is they’ll just take the whole country.

FaceDeer avatar

How many Minsk Agreements did Russia go through, again?

Have a listen to that rambling interview Putin gave Tucker the other day. He thinks all of eastern Europe is "Russian speaking."

queermunist, avatar

Please, the Minsk Agreements collapsed because of violations from both sides.

This is clearly going nowhere. I’ll leave you with this: there is a reason that NATO and the US will never give Ukraine enough aid to win.


Inb4 shitlibs tell me the Quincy Institute is Russian agitprop

Ooops avatar

Why would we tell you when everyone can just google it:

Self-proposed centrist think tank with questionable funding... check

Aligning with Trump's ideas of foreign policies... check

Isolationist, cases of anti-semitism... check and check

Doubting the Uyghur genocide... check

Dovish response to Russia's invasion... check

Several resignations caused by their completely ignorance of Russian actions to exclusively criticise Ukraine and NATO... check

I rarely agree with Republican politicians but the description of the Quincy Institute as "an isolationist blame America first money pit for so-called ‘scholars’ who’ve written that American foreign policy could be fixed if only it were rid of the malign influence of Jewish money" seemed very fitting.

empireOfLove2, avatar

Putin is so far past giving the tiniest shit about diplomacy that it will only ever be a stop gap. Crimea was responded to with a whole bunch of wishy washy “diplomatic solutions” and oh look, it happened again. This sort of fake-moderate response of diplomacy and restrain only feeds further into Putin’s war chest.

You cannot reason with empire-building dictators that ignore all such restraints. Russia is no longer a free country, frankly never has been, and should be treated harshly as the territory-hungry, human rights abusing, tyrannical neo-USSR that it is.

TheAnonymouseJoker, avatar

Russia is no longer a free country, frankly never has been, and should be treated harshly as the territory-hungry, human rights abusing, tyrannical neo-USSR that it is.

Anglo fascist NATO propaganda detected

empireOfLove2, avatar

Most sane mod

TheAnonymouseJoker, avatar

Most sane redditor?

empireOfLove2, (edited ) avatar

oh no, I used to use a popular website until it fell apart and I left. That clearly invalidates my entire opinion.

edit: wow, your replies make it obvious you are way down the russian rabbit hole. I’d rather not. See ya.

FaceDeer avatar

They literally just murdered Putin's most prominent political rival. Just yesterday.

TheAnonymouseJoker, avatar

Uh no that is not how it works, besides he loved Neo-Nazis so he can go die happily.

FaceDeer avatar

"He was a Nazi," Russian propagandist's favorite excuse for killing people.

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