Posted by Jack Heslin on 13:26:23 06/28/22
They are worthless unless enforced.
Today, there are countless articles written about the possible outcomes for the Ukraine/NATO Russia conflict with much pontificating by world political leaders as to what ought to happen to stop the bloodshed. We are watching posturing on a grand scale like we have watched many times during past conflicts. We hear of off ramps and any number of possible scenarios mostly by people who have absolutely no say in the outcome. Some people live in the world of ought while others live in the world of is .
The wreckage of peace agreements/treaties throughout history is a clear warning to any sovereign power that without an ability to enforce the words on the paper, the carnage will continue. So how are these agreements to be enforced? Who is responsible for enforcing them? Who will be the guarantor of the peace?
For example, we know that there is still no peace agreement between North and South Korea but the conflict ended in 1953 with an armistice agreement. We know that there are about 30,000 American military personnel still in South Korea to insure the armistice agreement remains in effect. What would happen if all American military personnel withdrew from South Korea? Does anyone really expect that the relatively peaceful state between North and South Korea would continue?
Who guaranteed peace after the 1973 Paris Peace Accords were signed between North and South Vietnam? Did anyone really expect that North Vietnam would not invade South Vietnam when it was clear that America would not be the guarantor of the Accords?
I remember being in Frankfurt Germany in the mid 1980 s while on active duty as an American Army Lieutenant Colonel. I remember being at a small dinner party with some influential German civilian leaders who expressed great concern because there was talk that America might start to withdraw our military presence. They wondered aloud about how many Americans might be left in Germany. I told them that I had absolutely no idea and made clear that information was well above my pay grade. Some said that it needed to be enough that if the Warsaw Pact invaded there would be enough Americans killed to guarantee America would commit to Western Europe s defense. They saw America as the guarantor of peace in Europe.
Who were the guarantors for the Minsk I and Minsk II agreements? Did the leaders of the European Union/NATO try to enforce the agreements with the Ukraine? Did the United Nations play a role as peace keeper to enforce the agreements?
We look at the current conflict in Ukraine and wonder what Russia will do in the coming months to ensure their success in achieving their political objectives on the battlefield are not lost, yet again, through meaningless words on a paper. Who would guarantee a peace agreement ? If history has taught us anything, it is that agreements may not last past the current political administrations if there is no guarantor of the peace. It is likely that Russia will be the guarantor of the peace to end this conflict and they may have to keep a significant military presence in territory that formerly belonged to Ukraine if the agreement is going to last. Russia lives in the world of is .