What the Ukrainian Conflict Might Mean for the United States


Photo by: Brett Sayles

The implications of a war between Russia and Ukraine has many concerned about the potential U.S. role in the conflict. 

According to Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, Dr. Craig Greathouse, the complexity of this conflict is decades old, “Ukraine is a region that has been connected to Russia for hundreds of years. It was part of the Soviet Union until 1991 when it voted to break away, during that period Ukraine was an asset and considered the ‘breadbasket’ to the Soviet Union,” said Greathouse. 

Photo by U.S. Army Europe

This is not the first instance of “Russian aggressiveness” in recent history. “The area of Crimea was taken back by the Russians in 2014. During the Soviet period Crimea held one of the major Russian military bases, traditionally the area was Russian but was given to Ukraine to govern during the Soviet period,” said Greathouse. 

As Ukraine is not part of NATO, it doesn’t have the protections of the mutual defense alliances. This means if Russia were to invade, it would be unlikely that the United States and the European powers would directly fight. Consistently President Biden has been clear that he would not place American troops in Ukraine, says Greathouse. Instead, it is likely that economic sanctions would be used to punish Russia, crippling them economically. 

In Greathouse’s opinion, an invasion of Ukraine would only serve to strengthen NATO, “an invasion of Ukraine would show Russian aggressiveness again and reaffirm the European states on the threat of Russia.”  According to Greathouse, it is very unlikely that the United States in any instance would get involved in the conflict, nor would this trigger any kind of global conflict.