PrintPrint CiteCite
Style: MLAAPAChicago Close


The U.S. Needs a More Ambitious Role in Ukraine and Gaza

Author: Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
August 7, 2014
Washington Post


The United States is working to increase sanctions against Russia for its destabilization of Ukraine and is trying to extend a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. But activity in and of itself is not a strategy. In both instances, the question arises: activity toward what end?

The answers are not obvious. In Ukraine, the United States seeks an outcome that may not be achievable; in Gaza, U.S. policy needs to transcend the immediate crisis and recast the basic dynamics of the conflict.

The goal of U.S. policy vis-a-vis Russia appears to be to increase the economic pain until President Vladimir Putin backs down. But Putin is too invested in what he has done to simply give up; if he did so, he could well put his own future in jeopardy. There is, too, the fact that what he is doing enjoys wide support throughout Russia; this could change, but change will come slowly. In the meantime, Russia's increased involvement in Ukraine—and what looks to be preparations for a possible invasion— raises the threat of that country's further dismemberment, a wider war or both.

View full text of article.

More on This Topic