Media Link: Can post-invasion deterrence work in Ukraine?

In this week’s A View from Afar podcast Selwyn Manning and I discuss the concept of deterrence as it might apply in the Ruso-Ukrainian war and ponder whether the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine can or should be applied in that context. Apologies for some technical issues with the AV links.

3 thoughts on “Media Link: Can post-invasion deterrence work in Ukraine?

  1. Di Trower

    Another excellent commentary on what’s happening in the Ukraine, thank you both. You touched on a couple of things I haven’t seen or read anywhere else, Pablo – the terrible toll the fighting is taking on the Ukrainian people, due to the bravery of their response, and also after the Rwanda massacre and the change that would allow for action to be taken by other nations where genocide was being committed by the aggressor (I’m not sure if I have that absolutely correct as I probably need to watch the video again). It would be interesting to know more about this and if you think it feasible for this to happen without the conflict escalating to a full-blown world war? Everyone seems to be dragging their heels on that aspect – possibly for good reason but the slaughter of innocent people is heartbreaking.

    I also wonder if Putin could be playing cat and mouse with Zelenskiy and his government with the peace talks, while his troops continue to slaughter civilians. Given what he has done and is doing, could there ever be a guarantee he would stick to any peace agreement if one was reached?

  2. Pablo Post author

    Di:

    I have no doubt that part of the Russian approach is to stall using negotiations so that they can make gains on the battlefield. The trouble is that the stalling is on the battlefield, where the Russian advance in the north has been blunted. It still has the initiative in the South and the battle for Odessa will be pivotal, but I do not think for a moment that the Russians are sincere about ending the war anytime soon via negotiations.

    Now that the Russians have shifted to war of attrition/annihilation strategy targeting civilian centres as a priority, the world has an opportunity to invoke the R2P doctrine. But how that will materialise–in what form and by who–is nebulous at best. The fear of escalation into tactical nukes and broadening of the war into neighbouring countries is a deterrent on direct Western involvement, so Russia has the upper hand in that regard. They will have to suffer large combat losses before they begin to consider the exit option.

  3. Di Trower

    Thanks Pablo. I guess then that using other, less conventional methods to fight the Russians will be the order of the day. I have just read that specialist Ukrainian drone units have been picking off Russian forces as they sleep. Anything they can do to stop the advancing forces is necessary, but it does seem as if this war will go on for a long time. From what you say, it really is a rock and a hard place for the Ukraine and other countries that want to support them.

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