No Cold War Working Group Statement on the War in Ukraine

The United States, its NATO allies, and Ukraine have termed the current military conflict in Ukraine an “illegal act of aggression by Russia against Ukraine”. Russia has termed it a “legal special military operation” aimed at securing the safety of the people of the Donbas, demilitarization of Ukraine, and deNazification of Ukraine. Whatever terms one wants to use to characterize the conflict there are four undeniable immediate causes of the current conflict:  

  1. The refusal by the United States and its NATO allies to seriously consider Russia’s concerns for security.
  2. The Ukraine government’s refusal to implement the Minsk II Accords that would have provided safety and relative autonomy for the residents of Donbas, as part of Ukraine.
  3. The willingness of the Ukraine government to allow itself to be used by the US and NATO as a proxy in a war against Russia.
  4. The conclusion by the Russian government that there was no way of achieving its own security and the security of the ethnic Russian populations of the Donbas without taking matters into its own hands militarily.

Where has this led us? Today the Donbas is no longer under the authority of the Ukraine government.  Billions of dollars of weapons are being poured into Ukraine in an effort to weaken Russia through a war of attrition. An array of economic sanctions have been leveled against Russia that are rebounding on Western Europe and creating serious economic problems and political instability. The world inches closer and closer to a nuclear war that would likely be the end of humanity. All this while the problems of climate change intensify and are unattended to in any meaningful way. 

This is the disastrous situation into which US foreign policy has led the world. And it is not as if this situation was not predicted. More than one farsighted US diplomat who was seriously concerned about peace warned us that this was where we were heading. George Kennan and Jack Matlock are two such diplomats.

We must halt this process and turn in a completely new direction. In order to do so we call  on our government to do the following.

  1. See to it that the US, NATO and Ukraine declare an immediate ceasefire, with a call for Russia and the Donbas forces to join the ceasefire.
  2. Initiate serious good faith negotiations in the UN to end the military conflict without preconditions.  These negotiations would involve the US, NATO,Ukraine, the Donbas republics, and Russia.

We understand that what we are calling for would involve an acknowledgement on the part of the United States that the policies it has been pursuing internationally for the past thirty years have been wrong. But there is no way for the US government to truly represent the interests of the American people without coming to grips with this reality. The American people along with all people everywhere need peace, disarmament, the abolition of nuclear weapons, and international cooperation in turning our spiritual and material resources to the protection of nature and a just international order based on equality.

Along with this process, we call on the United States to rejoin the numerous arms control and security treaties that it has abrogated in recent years such the INF Treaty, the Open Skies Treaty, the ABM treaty, and the Iran Nuclear Agreement.  We call on the United States to join the UN Treaty on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, and advance conventional disarmament measures that will encourage other nuclear powers to also sign the treaty.

Finally, what has been called for here is a policy that is in line with the true interests of the American people and of people throughout the world.   We call on the American people to organize themselves to see to it that their political representatives recognize these true interests.  Where the people are unable to get their political representatives to recognize these true interests, in such situations, we call on the American people to peacefully remove these representatives and replace them with others who do.

The above statement on the War in Ukraine is being issued by the No Cold War Working Group of Massachusetts Peace Action.  It is noted that this statement differs in some respects from a statement issued by Massachusetts Peace Action’s Executive Committee on March 1, 2022, which can be found here.