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The departure of Americans from Ukraine. Foolish and cowardly

(B2) The actions taken by the United States on Saturday are astonishing. A few days ago, the White House proclaimed Urbi et orbi its solidarity with Ukraine and its desire for de-escalation. Today, it's “Courage, Flee! A decision which rather encourages the Russians to intervene than it prevents them from doing so. Incomprehensible.

The facebook page of the US Embassy in Ukraine. Symbolic
  • Not content with announcing this departure, Washington also asked on Saturday (February 12) the US soldiers present in the OSCE monitoring mission to do the same, as all Americans residing in Ukraine to leave " without delay " the country.
  • The American Embassy in kyiv is not a small representation. No less than 180 Americans and 560 Ukrainians work there.

Consecration of areas of influence

In political and diplomatic terms, this measure is nonsense. It is giving in to the Kremlin game. And above all, this amounts to enshrining the notion of zones of influence desired by the Russians. On the one hand, it is clear today, Ukraine obeys the Russian zone of influence; and the Americans are pulling out. On the other hand, Romania or Poland are in the Euro-Atlantic area; and the Americans are reinforcing themselves there by sending reinforcements: 3000 additional soldiers will arrive in Poland soon, in addition to the 1700 already decided. Exactly what Vladimir Putin wanted in his letter sent to NATO and the USA.

Incredible military cowardice

In military terms, this is the height of cowardice. So far, in fact, no gunshots have been fired - apart from those customary for eight years in the Donbass. No additional Russian soldiers crossed the borders of Ukraine. We are therefore just in a possible fear. There is therefore no risk of an American being affected. Conversely, the American presence should persist. If only as a sign of guarantee and solidarity with the Ukrainians. Otherwise there is no point in making big statements of solidarity.

The tradition preserved

The United States thus consecrates the tradition. Facing the Russians, on European territory, the principle is non-intervention. It was valid at the time of the cold war in 1956 in Budapest, in 1968 in Prague. It was another time, which we thought was over, that of the opposition of the blocs. This remained valid in 1992 for Transnistria, in 2008 for Georgia and South Ossetia and Abkhazia, in 2014 for Crimea and Donbass. And today in 2022. Moscow can therefore be reassured: the American tradition is preserved. Washington will not risk the skin of a single American to save the countries of the former Soviet bloc from the Russian hand.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

NB: this measure has been followed by the United Kingdom. The soldiers who participate in the assistance mission (Orbital) of the Ukrainians were asked to pack their bags. While London announced 350 Royal Navy additional in Poland. More intelligently, France did not make a similar decision. Followed by several European countries.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

2 thoughts on “The departure of Americans from Ukraine. Foolish and cowardly"

  • Stupid and cowardly? Perhaps, the US position is confusing to say the least…
    Are they trying to provoke Russia to force Ukraine into NATO?
    To recreate a localized conflict within the framework of a strategy of tension? To lead to the stationing of the US Army on the southwestern borders of Russia in order to complete the encirclement of Russia to the west, and to cut off the southern sea route? Or to replace Afghanistan (cowardly handed over to the Taliban last year after twenty years of war… for nothing?), as a training ground for the Western war industry?
    As the editor of the New York Times said (I believe?), “imminent and impossible war”.
    The solution can only be political and diplomatic.
    Is this withdrawal a gesture of de-escalation? Has the United States realized that Russia will not back down, and that provocations are counterproductive?
    A Finnishization of Ukraine, guaranteed by the great powers (including China and Europe), could perhaps represent a solution?
    But Europe, for the moment, political as well as military, is an absent subscriber, and that is not a surprise, alas…!

  • Jean-Pierre Bergerac (ex-RMF NATO)

    For me, the fault of the Americans is not to have “fled bravely” but to have raised the stakes, by giving the Ukrainians the illusion that they would defend them, in the end to run away.
    – Ukraine is not a member of NATO and is not an ally of the US: it is therefore not entitled to the mutual defense clause, both bi- and multilaterally. If the US deems an attack imminent, it is logical that they should not leave behind “picking goats” who could drag them against their will into a direct confrontation with the Russian forces;
    – The US has been campaigning for at least 20 years with its allies for NATO to accept Ukraine's membership. Their withdrawal allows us to doubt the sincerity of this position.
    What is most disturbing in the story is that the US seems to signal by its gesture that it really believes in an imminent Russian attack. Unless it's a poker shot or a 3-cushion billiard shot? (If so, I don't see the purpose).

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