Should the West Seek an Off-Ramp in Ukraine?

Posted: Oct 06, 2022 12:01 AM

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How does the war in Ukraine end?This is precisely the question no one is supposed to ask these days. The supposition by our thought leaders seems to be that if we keep up the pressure on Vladimir Putin in Ukraine, he’ll fold and go home; his threats to use tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield are nothing more than saber-rattling. He will then retrench on the domestic front, resolidify his power and continue throwing his prospective enemies from third-story windows.Perhaps that’s actually the best-case scenario. Because if President Joe Biden gets his wish — if Putin is indeed ousted from power in Russia — what would follow could easily be even worse than Putin: the Russian public remains highly supportive of aggressive foreign action to expand the “empire”; other than the military, there are no well-organized or powerful groups in Russia, and Putin does have an inner circle of possible successors who are if anything, more anti-West even than he is. If none of those successors take the fore, the possibility of internecine warfare akin to Syria isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility either — and that, in a country armed with a massive and aging nuclear arsenal. …

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