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Two Words That Could Stop The War In Ukraine

America could come out looking like the great stabilizing force. Washington should call its nominal ally in Turkey, which is yearning for a peace between Ukraine and Russia, and orchestrate the greatest peace conference in decades. 

NATO Ukraine Russia
NATO M270 MLRS. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

A Compromise – Yes, a peace deal on Ukraine is possible: 

 The War In Ukraine Presses On

It’s been a year since the capital of Ukraine, Kiev, was saved from Russian conquest. One year has passed since the battle lines in Ukraine were basically restored to what they were before the Russians illegally invaded Ukraine in February 2022. 

Russia holds the Russian-speaking eastern Ukrainian provinces and the strategic port of Crimea as they have for years. The pro-Western Ukrainian government controls nearly everywhere else.

Neither side can fundamentally alter this balance. Many bloody attempts have been made. None have altered the status quo. 

Escalation is a dangerous prospect, given the fact that Russia is a nuclear-armed power with a leader, Vladimir Putin, that is increasingly committed to achieving victory in Ukraine (whatever that looks like) and is highly sensitive to the appearance of being defeated by the US-backed Ukrainian government. 

Russian Delusions of America’s Threat

What’s more, whether accurate or not, the Russians truly think that a Ukraine that falls into NATO’s orbit will become a base from which NATO can attack the Russian Federation. 

Given these factors, Moscow is unlikely to simply withdraw from Ukraine. To Putin and his autocratic regime, this is a matter of survival

To be fair, if the Russians moved forces into and gave political support to one of America’s Latin American neighbors, Washington would lose its mind and do just about anything to stop the Russians from dominating that country. 

In fact, there is an historical example of when the United States risked a nuclear with the Soviet Union over just such a scenario.

Better known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the United States threatened nuclear world war over the prospect of nearby Cuba becoming not only a pro-Soviet communist state under Fidel Castro, but a base for Soviet intermediate range ballistic missiles and other forces. 

A standoff ensued that could have ended in nuclear warfare but, luckily, ended in a negotiated settlement. For Russia today, the situation in Ukraine is a reverse version of what transpired in Cuba in 1962. Today, it is the West that is moving forces into a Russian neighbor that could be used to threaten Moscow at some future date. 

It is doubtful that this is, in fact, the real objective of the West. 

We’d be so lucky in the West as to have strategists in power who can think. Instead, what we have are two-dimensional-thinking bureaucrats. And NATO has become a bloated bureaucracy less about deterring dreaded Russian aggression in Europe and more about simply preserving its own bureaucratic existence. 

The only reason they’re galvanizing behind Ukraine against Russia is that NATO failed to galvanize behind the mission of counterterrorism in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has lacked a mission. 

Even today, with Russian apparently courting war in Europe again, NATO’s members are at loggerheads at how to deal with Russia—images of unity notwithstanding (just ask the Germans how they feel about the economic fallout from NATO’s war against Russia in Ukraine or the French about how willing they are to risk total warfare with Russia over Ukraine). 

Many assumed that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would be the proverbial kick-in-the-pants that the otherwise listless NATO alliance needed to come together. 

Yet, divisions among the alliance’s key members have never been greater. And the burden of supplying and supporting the war has fallen mostly on the overburdened shoulders of the one country that has other global responsibilities and is an ocean away—the United States. 

Despite its other responsibilities and the fact that it has nearly drained its critical stocks of heavy weapons and other important military supplies that will be needed to help defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion and to better contain an expansionist Iran in the Greater Middle East, America has led NATO as well as can be expected. 

Strategy, Not Virtue-Signaling, is Needed 

But it’s insufficient to simply “stand strong” against Russia in Ukraine. 

For starters, contrary to what many seem to believe, Ukraine is not a member of NATO. What’s more, because there is an ongoing territorial dispute inside the country, it doesn’t technically qualify for membership into NATO. 

Then, there’s the question of cost and the wisdom of seemingly endless military commitment to Ukraine. It would seem that most US and European leaders want to signal to the world their virtue against the obviously villainous Russian behavior in Ukraine (and it is abhorrent behavior). 

Few in power have dared to ask: to what end?

I was under the impression when Russia invaded that the West wanted only to preserve the friendly Volodymyr Zelenskyy government in Kiev. Mission creep, it seems, is not just a symptom of terrible U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. 

Sadly, it is apparently an essential component to U.S. foreign policy in Ukraine. Russia has maintained control over Eastern Ukraine. The pro-NATO government in Kiev has remains in power over the rest of Ukraine. 

Neither side seems to be able to move too far beyond the current division in Ukraine. Both sides are exhausted, even if they won’t admit it. The Americans, irrespective of what strategically incompetent politicians in Washington think, cannot maintain its level of commitment in Ukraine without risking its obligations elsewhere. 

The basis for a deal is here. Especially with much of the rest of the world’s major powers—including China and India—encouraging all sides to enter a negotiated settlement. 

What the Heck are we doing? 

US Power Elite Double-Down to Death

Washington’s elite have convinced themselves that, with just a few more pieces of equipment and infusions of money (that America doesn’t have), the plucky Ukrainians can not only beat back those pesky Russian invaders, but they might even be able to blast key targets deep inside of Russia.

This isn’t how wars in the modern era, in which nuclear-armed powers are involved, end. However Putin may have imagined the war playing out when he invaded, his carefully laid plans have not survived contact with the Ukrainians. 

At the same time, though, the Ukrainians simply do not have the resources—even with American assistance—to push all the Russian invaders out of their territory. 

Besides, most people in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea (and this is going to aggravate many people) prefer the Russians because they are culturally and linguistically closer to Russia than they are Europe. 

The price for peace can now be had by all sides at a bargain. 

Peace is Good for Business, Too

America could come out looking like the great stabilizing force. Washington should call its nominal ally in Turkey, which is yearning for a peace between Ukraine and Russia, and orchestrate the greatest peace conference in decades. 

Get all parties—including the Indians and Chinese—to come to the conference and achieve a negotiated settlement that cedes Eastern Ukraine and Crimea to the Russians while preserving the proto-democracy in Western Ukraine. 

Then, make the division between Eastern and Western Ukraine the new line of control separating autocratic Eurasia from the democratic West. Spend the next several years resupplying, fortifying, and repairing Western Ukraine. 

But if the Americans start introducing fighter jets into the war, as President Joe Biden foolishly said he would; or if the Russians follow through on their increasingly unhinged threats to use nuclear weapons—no matter how low-yield—on Ukrainian targets, the world will truly be engaged in an apocalyptic world war.

It is time for all sides to set aside their emotionalism, use the coldness of logic, and bring peace. Everyone has made their point. Both sides have been held to a point that prevents either from conquering the other. 

Americans must now dust off their old “Let’s Make a Deal” game and prevent things from getting out-of-control, as they are at risk of getting. But time is not on anyone’s side. 

Are there really any statesmen among us who’d have the gumption to risk their reputations and cushy MSNBC gigs to make a deal, or are they all Victoria Nuland-types?

MORE: The War in Ukraine Is About to Explode

MORE: Does Putin Have Cancer?

A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.

Written By

Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who recently became a writer for Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as a contributing editor at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (March 28), and Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.



  1. Noneya

    May 21, 2023 at 10:33 am

    This guy is an idiot.

  2. Whodunnit

    May 21, 2023 at 11:45 am

    You lost my attention and all credibility at ‘contrary to what many seem to believe, Ukraine is not a member of NATO.’ Really ? Considering the many sources of information detailing this conflict, anyone who’s taken even a cursory interest will be in no doubt about this.

  3. Chuck

    May 21, 2023 at 12:01 pm

    Absolute nonsense!
    Such a settlement would kick conflicts off left right and centre, with every autocrat and their dog rushing to commit a land-grab with the intention that the conflict would then be frozen “for the sake of peace”. If you can nominate a part of your own country you would be happy to cede to the Russians (knowing that any pause will just be time to regroup and prepare for the next land-grab), then perhaps your readers might take you seriously.

  4. Fred

    May 21, 2023 at 12:06 pm

    Agreed, he is an idiot. Minority of people in those regions prefer Russia because they are transplanted Russians. Most others were forced to learn and speak Russian by the puppet previous government.

  5. Vahan

    May 21, 2023 at 12:10 pm

    I generally like 1945, but this guy is your weakest link as far as I’m concerned. Huge generalizations and assumptions.

  6. Nick Rabchevskiy

    May 21, 2023 at 12:26 pm

    The author demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the motivation of the Russian side and its complete inability to fulfill any agreements

  7. Steve

    May 21, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    A lot of folks here are quick to cast the first stone. But only Chuck makes a half hearted attempt to provide any arguments.
    This is one of the biggest problems of this (and the previous) generation- nobody makes even a pretense at understanding the reasoning and the position of their adversaries or enemies, if you will. Dismissing someone as an idiot is easy, going deeper into the reasoning requires reading and thinking… who has time for that these days?
    BTW, how many of you can name 3 Ukrainian and 5 Russian cities without looking at the map in 30 sec? Anyone?
    We need Henry Kissinger, not Vicky “F EU” Nuland.

  8. former russian

    May 21, 2023 at 12:48 pm

    what a moron. or is he on a putin’s payrol?

  9. Dave

    May 21, 2023 at 3:28 pm

    Past behavior can be a reasonable predictor of future behavior. Putin has shown a tendency to invade his neighbors (after making excuses and justifications), then when things don’t go well, calls for a truce while he regroups, rebuilds and reallocates troops, then gets ready to do it again. Sometimes these ceasefires are temporary, sometimes they’re “permanent”…at least until next time. “Logic” would dictate if you give Russia everything it wants, they will eventually do it again.

  10. Walker

    May 21, 2023 at 4:27 pm

    Look at this Trumpy right here. Laying down like he can open the door for Trump and his solution in 24 hours.

    Let me just list a couple of the incorrect assumptions Lil Brandon is making.

    1.) Eastern Ukraine wants to be part of Russia. – He isn’t paying attention to the partisans in Mariupol. He uses the term Russian speaking east to codify a simple solution.

    2.) Russia only wanted to keep Ukraine out of NATO. – by attacking Ukraine, Finland joined NATO. If Russia just wanted to keep Ukraine out of NATO, there were many better ways to do it than attacking. Also that would have been a consistent reason to attack, instead of “cleaning out Nazis”. All these idiots saying this miss the real truth. Russia believes that all the previous eastern block countries of the former Soviet Union belong to it.

    3.) The US can force both to the negotiating table. – The assumption is that if the US stopped giving aid, Ukraine would come to a negotiating table. But that would be bad for Ukraine and Europe and they both know it. Europe would be forced to pick up US slack. The war would drag on even more slowly. Russia also needs a big win to show its people it was all worth it. It’s not ready to deal either. But it would love to see the US drop support of Ukraine.

    4.) if Russia doesn’t get its way it will escalate to nukes. – Russia is always talking about using nukes. If we give in every time Russia uses the word, Russia will take over the world. If Russia uses nukes, it doesn’t escalate until we are all dead including all of Russia. How is that good for Russia? It’s fine for the Russian trolls on here to say and it’s fine for Russian propaganda. But when rubber hits the road, the Russian government needs to know this isn’t an option. Going to the negotiating table over it, is a terrible idea.

    This guy is a great example of knowing nothing being the worst thing possible. No to his solutions and definitely no to a Trump one as well. Their solutions endanger us all.

  11. Tamerlane

    May 21, 2023 at 5:06 pm

    Solid article. Good to see some reason finally triumphing in his mind after a year or so of being partially committed to the self-evidently lunatic pro-interventionism position. Of course it is self evident and a fact that Ukraine ISN’T our American ally.

  12. jim

    May 21, 2023 at 5:29 pm

    This ‘former’ congressional staffer (duh!!!!) writes in 15 minutes and it shows…I read the whole thing and still can’t find any emphasis on any “Two Words” that support his headline….and, as for that biased ‘MNBC’ sentence, readers can just substitute ‘Fox’ or the ‘Washington Times’ into the story and that will tell you Weichert’s main motivation here….thanks 1945….jj

  13. Greg W

    May 21, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    Please let us avoid a costly 20 year war ending with a humiliating retreat due to lack of clear strategic thinking.
    – What is the outcome one can realistically hope for in Ukraine ? A nuclear power will not be defeated, Putin will not be removed from power or step down – and even if he did, he’d most likely be replaced by far worse.
    – What are we fighting for ? Ukraine was hardly a model democracy with functioning institutions and division of power. It was and is anything but an egalitarian, corruption free country. As it is, it has no place in the European Union.
    – Russian atrocities in Butcha have certainly stifled any effort for a negotiated peace. And yet, peace is the only outcome one can now wish for. So indeed, instead of sending more and more weapons without any strategy, NOW is the moment to show leadership, talent, creativity and diplomatic skill to forge an alliance of countries to reach a peace deal.

  14. Nick Kaz

    May 21, 2023 at 6:31 pm

    This would be a second Munich. Did the first one work ?

  15. Tamerlane

    May 21, 2023 at 7:25 pm

    Nick, I understand how you want us, the American armed forces, to fight for you Ukrainians, but those of us who actually do the fighting are particularly not keen on WWIII with a 6500 nuke armed Russia, particularly over an attrited non-ally marginal proxy like Ukraine.

  16. Oksana Kulynych

    May 21, 2023 at 8:18 pm

    Russia is the aggressor. The war will stop when russia gets out of every inch of Ukraine!

  17. Billy Defish

    May 22, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    What a complete load of tosh, the argument for stopping Nato expansion , doesn’t hold much water when Putin has done nothing about Finland joining.

  18. Zakari Abdulmalik Aminu

    May 22, 2023 at 2:58 pm

    Mr Walker, take your hat off and write about your wet dream about sizing and seizing of Russia broken pieces. Twenty little countries emerge and annexed by NATO states. Dismissed!

  19. Richard N

    May 22, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    Neville Chamberlain could have written this article.

    If, in the name of “peace”, the international community stands by while a powerful aggressive nation invades its neighbor, it signals to aggressors everywhere that they can take over the territory of smaller countries with impunity. History also shows us that it emboldens the aggressor to move against even more neighboring countries as part of its expansionist goals.

    Russia launched an unprovoked attack on Ukraine under the guise that at some time in the past Ukraine was dominated by a Russian empire and later by the Soviet Union. If this line of reasoning is justification for an aggressor to seize territory from another current sovereign nation, virtually every autocratic country in the world can make a similar claim.

    I fully understand the desire for the killing and destruction to cease, but ceding Ukrainian territory to Russia under duress at gunpoint can in no way be called “peace”.

  20. GhostTomahawk

    May 22, 2023 at 3:37 pm

    The people who 1945 has brought in lately really suck. It used to be just Harrison Kass who served as the resident oxygen thief. Lately it’s been everyone.

  21. Paul

    May 22, 2023 at 3:51 pm

    Wow, “Americans must find back to the old Let’s Make a Deal game”.
    Except eastern Ukraine is not yours to give away and the people who live there are not cattle to be traded.

    Someone is clearly looking to get a pat on the head from a genius x-president and dreaming about a place in a future administration
    Probably found some inspiration from The Art of the Deal.

  22. TotallyNotBiased

    May 22, 2023 at 4:00 pm

    “.. but those of us who actually do the fighting..”,
    since when do Prigozhin’s bots serve in US military? lul

  23. jim

    May 22, 2023 at 9:25 pm

    Greg W…..

    You gonna give up one fifth of Ukraine to Putin’s planned expansion….then Moldova, right?….then Georgia a little later, yes?….then perhaps we’ll be having the same conversation about Estonia….get real, dude….:):)

  24. Steven Naslund

    May 23, 2023 at 5:30 am

    Good thing this author is writing articles and no longer a staffer.

    1. What makes you think the war is in a stalemate? The Ukraines position is getting stronger and Russia is getting weaker by the day. Outside of a nuclear escalation it sure seems like Russia is doomed to lose. Their big winter offensive consisted of losing 100,000 troops to capture a strategically unimportant bombed out evacuated city of 70,000 former residents. Do you realize the scale of that loss? Russia lost almost TWICE the number of troops that the US lost in the entire Vietnam war taking Bakhmut. Of course that town is in the process of being encircled by Ukrainian forces.

    2. What do you expect Ukraine to give up in a peace deal? Would we give Florida to Cuba to resolve the missile crisis.

    3. Being a nuclear power does not guarantee a win. The US and the Soviets lost plenty of conflicts throughout the cold war.

    4. If Ukraine does not want a peace deal and neither does Russia, why would the US dictate one?

    5. If the Ukraine feels lime they can continue to fight why would you want them to stop weakening one of our biggest global adversaries? Think like an American and not a globalist. Not everyone thinks freedom is negotiable like we USED to. Its a shame that some Americans need to learn this from a European nation.

  25. Tallifer

    May 23, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    Two words to the Russians that could stop the war in the Ukraine: “Go home.”

  26. David Chang

    May 23, 2023 at 12:53 pm

    God bless people in the world.

    Two words:

    Law and Order of God.
    Justice and Freedom of God.
    Love and Peace of God.

    God bless America.

  27. Tamerlane

    May 23, 2023 at 1:57 pm

    Paul, you write: “Wow, “Americans must find back to the old Let’s Make a Deal game”. Except eastern Ukraine is not yours to give away and the people who live there are not cattle to be traded.”

    Actually that’s exactly/precisely what it is. Ukraine is our proxy, and will do as we tell them. Their fight goes on solely as long as we dictate. We have repeatedly compelled countries much more valuable to us to do our bidding under much harsher situations than this. In foreign policy the strong do as they will, and the weak suffer as they must.


    The Russians can no more do that than we Americans would be able to do so were communist China to foment a coup in Mexico and then attempt to bring Mexico into a Communist Chinese alliance. We wouldn’t tolerate that loss of a buffer neutral state on our borders on our own continent, and Russia cannot either, particularly after having committed here. Russia is not Iraq bud.

  28. phil stacy

    May 23, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    Donald Trump

  29. Roger Bacon

    May 23, 2023 at 4:48 pm

    Translation of the entire article: Give Putin everything he wants because that’s the only way to make peace.
    Why must America play “Let’s make a deal”? Why can’t Putin make the first gesture toward peace? If he cared about Russians he would do so.
    Why should we give up everything Ukrainians have fought so hard for: to keep their country united? The only reason the eastern part of Ukraine is Russian-speaking is because the Communists starved the native Ukrainians to death and imported Russians onto their land a hundred years ago. Let’s not reward that sort of behavior.

  30. Johnny Ray

    May 27, 2023 at 3:27 am

    I am sorry I wasted my time reading this idiotic drivel.

  31. Dave Nelson

    May 27, 2023 at 4:09 pm

    There is a deal that might work: Think Austria right after WWII. It could have been a big problem between the Allies but they struck a deal: Austria would be neutral, no alignment with either east or west, self governing.

    Might that work in Ukraine?

    Like Austria, the foreign troops were required to withdrawal; that means all of Ukraine returns to governance from Kyiv, including Crimea. Of course that would stick in Putin’s throat but perhaps a quite word on the side about what would happen if he didn’t agree (we can fill in whatever blanks that is but what comes to my mind is full NATO intervention).

    No interference by either side in Ukraine’s politics, etc. etc.

    We all know Putin’s word is no good and that Ukraine, given the opportunity to control its own destiny would reach with every limb to hug the west it all might just be a respite. But should that last several years odds are good Putin would be dead.

    The only other option is to arm Ukraine to teeth and help them beat Russia. That probably would result in at least one nuclear blast — the ultimate way of yelling STOP. But it would be an end, depending on what got turned to glass.

  32. Fred Leander

    May 29, 2023 at 5:20 pm

    Veeery wise words!

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