I will go more fully into a general anti-war stance, the events leading up to the Ukraine war, NATO expansion, loss of Crimea and other information later. For now, I want to go back where I think this tragedy begins.
There was a "Gentlemen's Agreement" between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1989, more commonly known as the Malta Summit. The Malta Summit is significant because it marked a turning point in the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union. It was the first meeting between the leaders of the two nations since 1979, and it paved the way for further negotiations that would lead to the end of the Cold War. Russian policymakers were opposed the concessions being made at the time but still, a leader named Makil Gorbachev, forced the concessions eastern Europe be damned. It was to be McDonalds for all, a significant blow to a proud nation watching their own USSR empire crumble before them looking outward for an idea on how to be rebuilt.
Whether warranted or not, it is said that their leaders were given verbal assurances about the limits of NATO’s expansion, but no written guarantees. I feel echoes of history possible in these testaments. The same types of promises made by powerful men echo throughout our history. Promises to Native Americans. Promises to women. Promises to workers. I think about these things as I feel a country desperate for peace. A world after all this death and despair my people cannot catch a breath from, as our own citizens turn our high-powered anger and weapons upon one another.
My fellow citizens, "there are no solutions, only tradeoffs." We will not be able to endlessly fund Ukraine. We will not be able to continue to extend our military footprint. To be a leader among nations we should not impose our will on others, only to attempt clumsily to see murky strategic objectives achieved. Too many innocent lives hang in the balance.
We cannot allow this war to spread, and the conversations around peace from this administration are inexistent, a crime against a peaceful people. The supposed 'leaders of the free world' mentality looks great on billboards but is more difficult when we know we must give something up to have peace returned to these lands. While true, this is an unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation, The United States' involvement echoes loudly, arriving now into the present nonetheless with renewed talks of NATO expansion, a reminder of the power of groupthink the most critical of moments.
I would make a plea to the working people of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, and Finland; if NATO is a peace treaty, relinquish your association to bring peace to this region and long-term stability. I know what I am asking for requires sacrifice and if we are so lucky to see this through, bolstered European forces from within will decide their own strategic objectives.
All NATO U.S. personnel would be removed from and bases and returned to the sovereign citizens of the nations in which they reside. We would ask for a ceasefire immediately and for Crimea to be returned upon agreed upon terms smarter men than me will work out the details on. With Ukraine's permission, the United States and Russia can help build Ukraine back together attempting a new front on relations with a purpose of building rather than breaking. This might mean the United States lead in a way it seldom has imagined with that of a shared sacrifice for the greater good of all countries the world over.
Importantly, a European, rather than American force, freely moving and strategizing between the countries, should be a focus for a newly bolstered identity needing to take more of an active role in their own security. America badly needs focus on domestic policy. The removal of the United States from all borders of Russia is what we must do to show good faith on the world stage of a new America, forcing others to grow into their own independence rather than needing our hands in every cookie jar.
My European brothers and sisters, now more than ever, you need to bolster your own defenses as the U.S. has been overstretched causing chaotic episodes within our country. It is my belief this NATO expansion with Finland and Sweden, were the moves of sweaty palmed politicians, sure their citizens could be the next to fall prey. However, this expansion was done with little true conversation between our populous, now I think a shared view across the world. A serious conversation should have been had about the implications if we encroach on these critical waterways and would it be considered an act of war?
How can we build new western battlefronts with NATO bases and western weapons with handfuls of citizens still dying on the streets of Chicago every day like a never-ending curse upon the earth? Does this send a friendly signal to the other working citizens in the region that must deal with the proxy war we are surely fighting as we speak? We're depleting our own arsenal weakening our own war posture, sending too much money to a country without a clear strategic objective other than survival, and our leaders seem dumbstruck at the most inopportune time.
This is a thorn in the eye to our citizens still reeling in the shadows of the virus that has swept our nation. All this while angering our own populous as they must worry about a recession and World War III at the same time. This will not bring economic prosperity to any and will make the lives of working people worse the world over if leaders do not ask what we are willing to sacrifice to make NATO a peace treaty once more?
I know I am asking for a steel resolve from our brothers on the eastern front of a domineering power overlooking. Look at them as Ukraine does. Let us look to the future and try something bold. Let us together attempt to back this man into a corner of peace.
I know our NATO brothers and sisters can rest easy under the wings of the eagle. However, the citizens in Europe have significantly more advanced systems to help their populous, while we subsidize their military, and our people die in the streets because we've convinced ourselves the most important investments elsewhere. We had over 4000 people die in my state alone because of opioids last year. As I am getting older, I realize that there are no good answers to the injustices in this world outside our nation’s boundaries, just moving forward and picking up the pieces. Our people need domestic rejuvenation to survive. We cannot take on a war because we do not have the capacity in our souls to fight it and leaders that will not inspire. Yet, we allow the poking of this bear at every turn.
If NATO is a peace treaty, please help us bring peace.
Remove NATO countries from Russia's border under the threat to pull out of NATO all together
Use new agreement to find peace in Ukraine & return land prior to 2014 including Crimea
Create & foster bolstered European military force to remove American presence in the region & push military responsibilities to Europeans while fostering new relationship with Russia
Utilize new European force to continue to bolster American manufacturing dominance in area of weapons & intelligence
Utilize new relationship and peace agreement with Russia to build back Ukrainian society and begin difficult journey of peace