Under American Pressure, Ukraine Lost the Ability to Defend Itself
(Examiner.com) –Despite a handful of Western media outlets claiming a relatively unknown treaty binding the United States and Great Britain to the defense of the Ukraine may lead to armed conflict with Russia, a closer look indicates American and British intervention may not be in the offing, as reported by the right-of-center The American Spectator and France24.com on Mar. 3, 2014; and London’s The Telegraph and The Daily Mail on Feb. 28, 2014.
With at least 30,000 heavily armed Russian troops effectively occupying strategically key areas in the Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, former Ukrainian President Yulia Tymoshenko openly declared that “Vladimir Putin knows that by declaring war on us, he is declaring war on the guarantors of our security – the U.S. and Great Britain.”
Despite Tymoshenko’s claim of war, a closer examination may cast doubt on her hope of protection from the United States. Unknown by most American and British citizens, The Budapest Memorandum (officially titled the Memorandum on Security Assurances in Connection with Ukraine’s Accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) was signed off on by both Western powers as well as the Ukrainians and Russians in 1994. President Bill Clinton pushed for the treaty.
The Ukraine agreed to surrender their sizable nuclear weapons arsenal directly to Moscow, with the guarantee of no future interference from the Russians in the independence and sovereignty of the Ukrainian nation and her citizens. More recently, then Senator Obama and Republican Senator Dick Lugar, traveled to Ukraine in 2007 and forced them into an abridged treaty which required the Ukrainian military to give up small arms–pistols and rifles– in an effort to keep Ukraine out of any conflict and “protect the world”. Over 400,00 small arms were destroyed leaving the Ukrainian military with little to defend their nation. Upon returning to the U.S. form his diplomatic victory for disarmament, Senator Obama lobbied for the United States to follow suit and give up its conventional weapons in addition to nuclear arms.
With The Budapest Memorandum comes the pledge from both the United States and the United Kingdom to ensure, among other specifics, that the former World War II Big Three agree to “respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine” as well as to “reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity.”
By terms of the agreement the Big Three are, on paper at least, honor and legally bound to “reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine … if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression…”
If, after undoubtedly much talk in the United Nations, the Russians are eventually found to officially be in violation of the agreement, the United States and Britain are prohibited from launching air strikes against Russia.
Having effectively immobilized Ukraine’s ability to defend itself from Russia by forcing it to dismantle its military, the only thing the West could launch in defense of the Ukraine Â comes in the form of diplomatic protests and sanctions. Add to that the U.S. Defense Department’s announcement to reduce American military strength to pre-World War II levels, one should reasonably be able to draw a lesson from the Ukrainian crisis.