Russia and Ukraine should prioritize diplomatic efforts.

According to White House (president Barack Obama press) The U.S. President spoke this morning with Ukrainian President Petro Porshenko about the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine.

Blaming the Ukrainian government for its inability to protect its people from pro-Russian terrorists, Putin establishes full control over the Ukrainian territory and leaves Russian troops Ukraine´s territory to break up and control Ukrainian government, its populations and interests.

The U.S President Obama expressed his strong support for Ukraine´s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The two leaders agreed that Russian intervention in Ukraine without the formal, express consent and authorization of the Ukraine government would be unacceptable and a violation of international law.

There is a high probability Russia could intervene militarily in eastern Ukraine, says NATO SG Rasmussen to Reuters.

War is destructive:

In light of the ongoing violence and instability all parties should prioritize diplomatic efforts toward finding peacefully a political resolution to the crisis.

However, the threat of war limits the number of possible settlements acceptable to both parties and the threat of war provides an enforcement device for whatever settlement that the parties may arrive at.

War is typically destructive in output, resources, and the use of arms beyond those that would be necessary for a negotiated settlement.

  • Because war is uncertain, a settlement is not.
  • If they were to settle, the payoff  is strictly higher than the expected payoff under war.

In the vast majority of cases, one source of uncertainty of war is who will win and who will lose, long enough,  in the shadow of the future (expressed by “probabilities” analysis, which are common knowledge). And that is a lot of knowledge to possess and in its absence there would be additional sources of uncertainty.

Negotiated settlements take place only with the backing up of each party´s guns. It should be noted however,  that, even though more guns are produced under settlement, both sides receive higher payoffs under settlement than they have expected payoff under war, as the higher costs of arming under settlement are lower than the lost part of the contested resource in the case of war.

Putins strategy is to “divide and conquer” Ukraine. Historically, wars of conquest, including these of ranging from Alexander the Great, and the various of absolutist European monarchs of the Habsburgs, Napoleon, Hitler, and many others, summarize the combination of the inability to make long-term treaties that reduce arming and effects of  long shadow of the future. Therefore, Putin could well be accounted for the inability to make credible peace commitments on the part of these rulers.


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