"This war never should have occurred."
Stopping the War
Four months into the war in Ukraine, 20 weeks of radio talk about it, feels like time for a deep breath: an hour to look hard at a painful stalemate, a poisonous war that bodes hunger, maybe famine, surely economic wreckage, on top of grotesque pain and death and the smashing of Ukraine itself. “Painful stalemate” can be translated as ripe for resolution. What we see, though, is more money for more advanced US weaponry, blank-check spending for a proxy war with Russia. Western Europe is impatient with the war, but unready for peace until Vladimir Putin has been punished for a monstrous and illegal invasion. Only Pope Francis says loud and clear that war is not the way, that the time to talk is now.
Who’s winning? What’s working? Do we get it yet? Can you read a scorecard on a grain war, arguably an insane war, a proxy war, a war to revalidate war as a way to decide things—a war that doesn’t know how to stop itself, a war that was nearly negotiated away just before it broke out, a war in which nobody now is calling for ceasefire or talks? How much trouble has Ukraine been drawn into? How much can Ukraine take? This is the wrap-up hour 20 in our broadcast / podcast series, In Search of Monsters, in collaboration with the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. We’ll be testing the Quincy watchword of “restraint” in foreign policy before the hour is done, and we’ll get the tart Russian-American commentary of Nikita Khrushchev’s great-granddaughter on the Russian and American history hanging over the players today. We begin with the dauntless Jeffrey Sachs, development economist and lifelong trouble-shooter at large: with the blessing of Pope Francis and the United Nations, Jeff Sachs led a conference on Ukraine at the Vatican two weeks ago and issued a global call for peacemakers.
This is the latest installment of In Search of Monsters, our limited-series collaboration with the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.
Economist at Columbia University.
Professor of international affairs at the New School.
President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.
Fellow with the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.
Pavel Polityuk and Vitalii Hnidyi