Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created an incredibly difficult situation for Ukrainians. The world leaders who are trying to navigate assisting Ukraine are also facing difficulties, especially since Putin seemed to threaten nuclear action against countries that offer military aid and recently placed his special forces, which include nuclear intelligence, on “high alert”. With all of this chaos and the world trying to help Ukraine while edging around Putin’s disgusting actions, Biden chose to take the option of sending troops completely off the table. While this may be the right choice for now, since Russia’s invasion began only in the last two weeks, Biden needs to start thinking of wise, tactical choices as the world watches the early course of this war.
Everything about the situation in Ukraine is intensely tragic, and Putin’s trigger-happy attitude is not helping anyone. However, the choice right now to avoid sending troops — whether because Biden wants to avoid American death, or because he believes Putin’s threats may have some weight— is the right one. The history of American foreign intervention in problems adds another difficult obstacle to contend with. Though it’s disappointing to stand by while Ukrainians fight tooth and nail for their sovereignty, it’s best that America keeps itself out of the conflict for the time being. It’s too early to tell if mass world intervention is going to be necessary. Avoiding it in the first place unfortunately seems like the better course of action, as Cold War tensions between Russia and America still very much remain. As it stands, involvement seems to imply intense escalation in tension and brinkmanship.
Though the world is still subtly supporting Ukraine by sending ammunition and issuing sanctions against Russia, and although Ukraine is holding its own well in fighting against the Russians, it still is easy to assume it might not be enough in the long run. The sanctions that Biden and other world leaders issued will only serve to hurt the 99% of Russia that is innocent in this conflict and won’t hit Putin where it hurts for a great while. And though Russians are working to protest within their country to get Putin out, combined with a bounty now placed on Putin’s head, the world can only stand by and keep a close eye on what Putin is doing.
While sanctions have the potential to not be enough, even though the Russian ruble has plummeted in value as a result of them, the world must be willing to consider other options to help Ukraine if necessary. Unfortunately, this could mean the possibility of sending direct aid to Ukraine. This war is especially different from ones seen in the past because of how primary sources from the Ukrainian battlefront are being placed for all to see on social media. Because of this, people with social media platforms outside of Ukraine can keep sharing these stories and use their platforms to offer support to these people.
Furthermore, the chance for more military aid cannot be taken completely off the table. Though Putin has threatened nuclear war if any NATO country gets involved, the reality is that he could potentially fire off nukes anyway. If the situation necessitates it, sending troops to help Ukraine and risking that chance for a Ukrainian victory could be worth it. The option should not be taken completely off the table, but it should certainly only be chosen as an action if absolutely necessary.
No one wants to get involved in a war; that much is certain. But if America and the world at large want to help Ukraine, then we need to center our focus on attacking Putin and his government. Attacking innocent people for an involvement they did not have is hardly any better than what Putin is doing to the Ukrainian people. More than ever, world leaders must band together to fight back against Putin and his oligarchy to prevent more bloodshed.