The evolution of the support for Ukraine in the West in the last six months is probably the most terrible indictment of democracy I have observed in my life. In 2022, the West sustained an extremely dangerous escalation of military support for Ukraine. There were reasonable reasons to take those risks, among them, the fact that after a short and victorious Ukrainian campaign an enlarged Russia could probably become even more aggressive. But the specter of Nuclear War was more serious than ever since the final years of the Cold War, and I understood (and to some extent support) the calls for accommodation, even straightforward abandonment.  

Those calls were ignored, the risk was accepted, the nuclear saber rattling was proven a bluff, but two years after those astronomic risks were taken, the support for Ukraine is fading for no discernible reason. In America, a coalition of traitors is withholding a 60 billion support package (around 7% of total US defense spending, far less than the money spent in the most expensive year of the Afghan occupation), and in Europe were treason is less widespread, stupidity is even worse: funds for Ukraine are blocked in the EU budget, and put in risk by the Hungarian veto, instead of being directly channeled by the donors themselves.

I do not have anything especially original to add on this issue, but I want to make two remarks here in the EA Forum:

First, in the last two years almost all my charitable contributions have been for Ukraine. In my view, all my fellow Europeans shall consider Ukraine as their main priority. The world can live with a Russian Crimea or Donbass, but if Odessa, Kiev or the whole Ukraine fall into Russian hands, we will have to accommodate millions of refugees and the remaining Ukrainians will re-inforce Russia, that would become formidable. Ukrainian victory was never a realistic possibility, but the miracle of Ukrainian survival shall be supported by all means. I do not directly donate for military purposes (in my view private persons shall not be allowed to do that kind of contributions), but I have supported Caritas, Red Cross and even directly the Ukrainian government. I am perfectly aware that money is fungible and support for the Ukrainian population is also support for the war effort. In my view, Europe is as much a national community as Hellas was in the ancient world, and Ukraine has proven to be not only one of us, but probably it is currently the best of the European poleis. They are dying for our collective security, so anything we do falls short of their sacrifice. 

Secondly, I want to raise a less conventional issue: the current regime of sanctions is extremely general, and have proven somewhat unsuccessful. Of course, the true target of a sanctions regime in war time is to make imports more difficult, so when I say that sanctions have not been effective, it is not their modest effect on Russia’s GDP, or in its balance of payments what concerns me. It is the fact that we do not observe a substantial contraction in the military production. I suspect that sanctions are designed by trade and economics types with a macroeconomic design. While I have not an opinion on the design of those macro sanctions, a product and firm level targeting of critical inputs in the machine tool space is also necessary. Kamil Galeev has two Substack blogs devoted to this issue (his own, and Rhodus), and if any of the readers of this post has any connection to the national security policy makers in Ukraine, US or NATO circles, I suggest her to raise this issue to their consideration. 





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Hi Arturo,

I would be curious to know your thoughts on Brya Caplan's posts on pacifism (you are welcome to comment there).

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