News Release

End Ukraine War, and Perpetual Wars: Call for a Transnational Citizens’ Movement



Publisher and editorial director of The Nation, Katrina vanden Heuvel just wrote the piece “We must end the war on Ukraine — and put an end to perpetual wars” for the Washington Post.
She writes: “Commentators argue that Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine has overturned the post-war world order. But the reality is perhaps more dangerous than that. …

“Putin has simply (and brutally) reasserted Russia’s role. The old order — with its Cold War attitudes, militaries, alliances and enmities — is reclaiming center stage.

“NATO … now claims new purpose and energy. Hawks in Russia and the United States alike are emboldened. Weapons-makers are drawing up plans to profit in the coming arms buildup, and ideologues and demagogues are dusting off familiar rhetoric. China, clearly helping Russia mitigate its sanctions, now weighs heavily in the balance.

“As this old reality settles back in, we will pay a continuing price for ignoring George F. Kennan, the grand strategist of containment who warned that expanding NATO to Russia’s borders after the collapse of the Soviet Union was bound to lead to ‘the beginning of a new Cold War’ — and all its folly.

“So what can stand in the way of this wasteful Cold War revival? In Ukraine, the hope is that the global outrage will lead Russia to negotiate a cease-fire. The Minsk Accords, terms hammered out in 2015 but never implemented, could offer the outlines of a settlement. They essentially guarantee Ukraine independence in exchange for neutrality.

“What’s needed above all is a courageous and transnational citizens’ movement demanding not simply the end of the war on Ukraine but also an end to perpetual wars. We need political leaders who will speak out about our real security needs and resist the reflex to fall into old patterns that distract from the threats we can no longer afford to ignore.”