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Professors of political science and international relations from Drew University organize a panel on the war between Ukraine and Russia
The professors discussed the possible evolution of the crisis
March 2022 – Professors of Political Science and International Relations at Drew University hosted a panel discussion to share their thoughts on the war between Ukraine and Russia.
The virtual event featured Timothy Carter, Assistant Professor of International Relations, Jason Jordan, Associate Professor of Political Science, Pheobe Tang, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations, and Carlos Yordan, Associate Professor of International Relations and Director of the New York City Semester on the United Nations.
The group discussed the “why” of war and how we can expect war to evolve in the future.
Carter kicked off the event with his perspective on the loss of Ukrainian civilian life. The apparently unorganized Russian army, which was “too small for its purpose”, focused on more civilian targets in residential areas and towns. “The Russians are suffering and unable to advance militarily as they had planned, and no significant capability with combined arms has emerged evident,” he said.
Furthermore, Carter speculates that the siege tactics employed by Russia are likely to lead to more indirect violence against Ukrainian civilians due to loss of access to food, medicine and shelter.
Fear of Russian escalation – conventional military, cyber or even nuclear – has limited the US response. “Over the past few decades, Russia has adopted a looser doctrine for the use of nuclear weapons,” Carter said. “As a result, the West is limited in what we can do to help.”
“The consequences of a military coup are unknown and quite frightening.”
Jordan discussed possible scenarios that could bring an end to Putin’s regime, which has faced increasing challenges over the past five years, leading to a significant increase in repression.
The Russian regime could be dismantled by popular Russian protests, which is possible “if political elites disagree with the political system,” Jordan said. However, there has been an increase in violence against protesters, open political killings and direct attacks on the media which are becoming increasingly intense. “For two weeks there has been a complete elimination of independent media in Russia,” Jordan said.
Yordan questioned the ability of the United Nations to survive war because the United Nations was not designed to settle conflicts involving permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, which include China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. However, the UN can support Ukraine’s interests by providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine and actively oppose Russia’s war narrative. “The main problem is that the United States and its allies prefer to pursue diplomacy outside of UN institutions,” Yordan said.
“In the near future, Board politics will be more divisive, forcing members to negotiate many resolutions that were considered pro forma in the past.”
Tang explained China’s role in the conflict, referring to the strategic partnership between China and Russia unveiled at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics, but questioned the mutual trust between the two countries . “China’s position is very delicate,” she said. “China wants to mitigate possible collateral damage by presenting tentative peace talks.”
Jordan noted that a military coup could end Putin’s regime. “The consequences of a military coup are unknown and quite frightening.”
The conference was part of the 2022 Janet T. Siler International Business Forum, an annual event made possible by a generous endowment honoring Janet T. Siler G’89.