Thus, the comprise solution yields a win-win-win-win-win. Ukrainians could enjoy enhanced security and a new prosperity. Full NATO membership has its privileges, for sure. As a bonus, Kyiv’s sons and daughters would no longer be sent into the meat grinder of the Donbass trenches. The people of the Donbass gain the most, obviously. They would finally put down their weapons and now focus on the hard work of economic development and rebuilding their lives after this devastating conflict. Russia would benefit very substantially by getting out from under sanctions and also gain security for its treasured prize of Crimea. Merkel and Macron could share the Nobel Peace Prize, having achieved peace in Europe for the next hundred years and beyond. Even the Asian powers (e.g. Japan, China, India) would gain substantial prestige by making a very noteworthy contribution to peace in Europe, illustrating that they can actually make major contributions to peace and security, proving that they are prepared to assume the mantle of global leadership.
Americans would win too, since there would be no need to talk about Ukraine (and Russia) incessantly anymore. But what would all those DC national security pundits (and their journalist friends) do with their ample time if peace breaks out in Ukraine?
Lyle J. Goldstein is Research Professor in the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) at the United States Naval War College in Newport, RI. In addition to Chinese, he also speaks Russian and he is also an affiliate of the new Russia Maritime Studies Institute (RMSI) at Naval War College. You can reach him at [email protected]. The opinions in his columns are entirely his own and do not reflect the official assessments of the U.S. Navy or any other agency of the U.S. government.