Since the beginning of the war, there have been repeated discussions about how Ukraine and Russia can negotiate a common peace. The US historian David Frum thinks this approach is wrong and gives five reasons why striving for negotiations is not effective.
The historian and journalist David Frum thinks little of the fact that Ukraine should negotiate an end to the war with Russia. Frum was a speechwriter for George W. Bush in the early 2000s and is credited with inventing the phrase “axis of evil.” This is what Bush called states that support terrorists and strive for weapons of mass destruction.
On Twitter, Frum describes in five points why the pursuit of negotiations does not lead to an end to the war.
Frum argues that Ukraine and the West need to be clear about Russia’s priorities. First, the Russians want victory, then a “frozen conflict” in the sense of a deadlocked war. Even the continuation of a hot war is still before a possible negotiated solution for the Russians. Unless all three of the previous options are impossible, Frum said, Russia would never enter into negotiations.
“The status quo is acceptable for post-Soviet Russia,” writes Frum. Pushing for a negotiated settlement would only promote policies “that give Russia an acceptable victory and leave Ukraine broken and vulnerable to Russian aggression.”
The historian explains that there is only one way to bring Putin to the negotiating table: “Russia really has to fear losing the war against Ukraine. Losing so disastrously that negotiations become an alternative for the Russian leadership.”
Frum also has concrete ideas about how Ukraine’s position can be strengthened. The country must be “armed to the point where the Russian leadership fears defeat.” Even clearer: “The way to thwart negotiations is not to deliver weapons to Ukraine.” And so the Russian leadership believes that they could get away with their illegal attack again.