Among the most fervent war hawks in America today is Alexander Vindman, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and a former member of the NSC, who now works at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies Foreign Policy Institute. His previous claim to fame was as a witness who testified about former president Donald Trump’s call to Ukrainian officials in the second impeachment trial of Trump. He became an instant hero to the crowd at MSNBC and other anti-Trump major media (is there any other kind?). Vindman also reportedly claimed that Trump “bears an enormous burden of responsibility” for the Russia-Ukraine war, even though Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has occurred during the Obama and Biden administrations. There was no Russian aggression against Ukraine on Trump’s watch.
Vindman has now taken to the pages of Foreign Affairs to urge U.S. policymakers to “embrace the goal of Ukrainian victory” against Russia by throwing caution to the wind. The United States, he writes, is not doing enough to help Ukraine win this war. We should forget about building a stable relationship with Russia and instead provide Ukrainian forces with sufficient military weaponry to take the war to Russia’s territory, Vindman counsels. We need to “discard the desire” to seek a compromise with Russia for a negotiated peace.
Vindman writes that our aid thus far has been too “incremental.” Too many of our policymakers, he says, are acting based on a “flawed assessment of the risk of escalation and the potential consequences of a Russian defeat.” The United States should provide Ukraine with weapons that can reach far inside Russia to destroy “militarily relevant targets” there. “There can be no return to business as usual with Russia,” according to Vindman, “as long as Putin rules from the Kremlin.” In other words, our policy toward Russia should be regime change.