How JFK Would Have Handled the Ukraine Crisis

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There is no doubt that President Kennedy would have handled the Ukraine crisis totally different from the way that President Biden has handled it. Unlike Biden, Kennedy would have resolved the situation so that there never would have been a Russian invasion of Ukraine, which would have meant that all the death and suffering being wreaked in that country today would never have occurred.

Kennedy had a unique ability to step into the shoes of his adversary to determine why he was taking a particular position or course of action. In the case of Ukraine, he would have easily realized that all that Russia wanted was a guarantee that Ukraine would not be admitted into NATO. He would have understood Russia’s reasoning that admitting Ukraine into NATO would have entitled the Pentagon and the CIA to install their bases, missiles, weaponry, tanks, and troops along Russia’s border. He would have understood why Russia would find that unacceptable.

Therefore, Kennedy would simply have issued the guarantee that Ukraine would never be admitted into NATO. He would have concluded that that would be a preferable outcome compared to a Russian invasion of Ukraine, which he would have known would have entailed massive death and destruction of innocent people. He also would have known that there would be a grave risk that such a war could turn into a nuclear conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. He would not have believed that such a risk would be worth taking. In his mind, it would have been much more preferable to simply issue the guarantee, no matter how much pressure he would have been getting from the Pentagon and the CIA to do the opposite.

How do we know that this would have been how Kennedy would have resolved the crisis? Because that’s how he resolved the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

After the debacle of the CIA’s invasion at the Bay of Pigs, the Pentagon and the CIA were constantly exhorting Kennedy to initiate a full-scale military invasion of Cuba. They maintained that the communist regime in Cuba posed a grave threat to “national security.” The Pentagon even presented him with a plan called Operation Northwoods, which was false-flag operation designed to give Kennedy a pretext for ordering an invasion of Cuba.

The Cubans knew that the Pentagon and the CIA were hell-bent on invading the island and effecting regime change. Thus, once Kennedy discovered that the Soviets had installed nuclear missiles in Cuba, he began trying to figure out why they would do that. He concluded that the missiles were intended to deter a U.S. invasion of Cuba or, in the case of an invasion, to enable the Cuban regime to defend itself. He also learned that the Soviets were chagrinned that the Pentagon had installed nuclear missiles in Turkey pointed at the Soviet Union.

Thus, to resolve the crisis, Kennedy simply issued a double guarantee to the Soviets. He guaranteed that the U.S. would not invade Cuba and he guaranteed the removal of the Pentagon’s missiles in Turkey. In return for that double guarantee, the Soviets removed their missiles from Cuba and took them home. The crisis was over.

Needless to say, the Pentagon and the CIA were livid. They looked on Kennedy as an incompetent coward who had guaranteed the permanent existence of a grave threat to national security. One member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff compared Kennedy’s actions during the crisis to those of Neville Chamberlin’s appeasement of Hitler at Munich. He called Kennedy’s resolution of the crisis the biggest defeat in U.S. history.

By that time, Kennedy didn’t care what the Pentagon and the CIA thought because he held the entire military-intelligence establishment in deep disdain. Unlike Biden, he was willing to confront and oppose the fierce anti-Soviet and anti-Russian animus that characterized the national-security establishment. In fact, in his Peace Speech at American University the following year, he effectively announced an end to the Cold War and the establishment of a peaceful and friendly relationship with the Soviet Union. 

Unfortunately, unlike Kennedy, Biden lacks the intestinal fortitude to oppose the fierce anti-Russia animus that still characterizes the U.S. military-intelligence establishment. As we have seen in the Ukraine crisis, Joe Biden is no John Kennedy. 

The post How JFK Would Have Handled the Ukraine Crisis appeared first on The Future of Freedom Foundation.

* This article was originally published here


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