According to these Russia hawks, to not protect Ukraine from Russian subversion is to sacrifice what your grandparents died for at Normandy and Anzio. Writing in Commentary, Brian Stewart holds that Russia enacting its ambitions would “effectively bring down the curtain on the U.S.-led security order that has protected Europe since the end of World War II.”
This is a form of hysteria that holds that if we don’t have everything we want, then we might as well have nothing at all. If we can even speak of just one post-WWII security order in Europe, it is one that has withstood far more difficult challenges than a fight over whether the Krushchev-era borders of Ukraine are to hold up forever. In the 1950s it survived the previous split between the United States and the United Kingdom over Suez. It survived the Red Army marching into Hungary, nearly 1,000 miles west of where it will be near Sevastopol. In the 1960s it withstood Charles de Gaulle’s intention to leave NATO altogether. Oh — and it survived the 2014 incursion in Ukraine.
Our interest is to avoid a conflict with Russia over matters that it defines as in its core interest, a territory that its own people consider significant to their security interests, and which ours overwhelming do not.