The West wants to save Ukraine from defeat. But what about victory?

July 8, 2022

Still, there is a limit to the appeal of public goods There is a real difference between “new friends” and making hard choices that risk doing real damage to national security. Countries will take what they’re offered but are likely to remain on the fence in a conflict. Some observers believe that’s impossible, insisting that largesse is a slippery slope, a wedge that leads inexorably to domination.

Elbridge Colby, a former national security official in the Trump administration, has warned for months against the United States overextending itself in Ukraine, while sleeping on the potential threat China may pose to Taiwan. He lamented in a recent essay the zeal among those of his counterparts in Washington who buy into the narrative that the defense of Ukraine is the defense of an entire bulwark of civilizational and political values.

“Many in the foreign policy and political elite seem to view the Russo-Ukrainian War as an opportunity precisely to double down in Europe,” Colby wrote. “Even more, for some, it is a chance to try to turn the foreign policy clock back to the globe-spanning liberal imperialism of two decades ago. Washington must resist this temptation like the plague.”

The Washington Post

Elbridge Colby is co-founder and principal of The Marathon Initiative, a policy initiative focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition.