The Russia-Ukraine War Sets Dangerous New Precedents

May 5, 2022

Political scientist Julie George comments on President Putin’s defiance of the West and the U.S. foreign policy response to the conflict.

CUNY Graduate Center · The Russia-Ukraine War Sets Dangerous New Precedents

The Russia-Ukraine war, now in its 11th week, continues to prove analysts wrong. This week on The Thought Project podcast, Julie George, a professor of Political Science at the CUNY Graduate Center and Queens College and a visiting professor at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, explains why the conflict confounds her and other regional experts.

“It's very hard to predict how the war will unfold, in part because we predict the future based on previous events,” George says, “and a lot about this war is unprecedented and very different and reflects a different tactic taken by the Russians and by the Russian leadership.”

George describes President Vladimir Putin’s stance as, "We are not going to accept failures in this war, and when faced with pushback, we will escalate and go on the offensive."

George comments on the U.S. foreign policy approach to the war, including the tight coordination with NATO and the billions of dollars in aid sent to Ukraine. She likens the weapons support for Ukraine to the World War II Lend-Lease Act, and she notes that U.S. leadership is sending a “signal to Putin that the expectation for a quick war, the expectation for an easy victory, the expectation for American acquiescence and European acquiescence to this just brazen occupation of a sovereign state is something that the U.S. will resist.”

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