Volume LIII – Number 1

Jacob Loewner

Abstract: Since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, the long-simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine has attracted relatively little attention from western media. The impeachment inquiry into President Trump has shed new light on the country but coverage of the insurgency in the Donbass region remains obscure. Nevertheless, the conflict continues despite multiple ceasefire agreements and sanctions placed on Russia by the United States and its European allies. Ukraine represents the front line of Russian expansion into Western Europe. The United States therefore has a strategic interest in maintaining the sovereignty of Ukraine. This piece examines the strength of the various actors in the conflict and their motivations for joining the fight. Based on that assessment, the work then evaluates potential strategies of intervention should the United States choose to engage more directly in the conflict. The analysis concludes that a narrow special operations force focusing on counterterrorism operations in support of the Ukrainian government is the most practical intervention strategy available to US policymakers.

Keywords: Ukraine, Counterterrorism, US Military Intervention, Russia, European Union, Special Operations, US Foreign Policy, NATO

About the Author: Jacob Loewner is a proud alumnus of Towson University. He received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in political science from Towson University in 2015 and his Masters of Public Policy degree from the University of Maryland in 2019. He currently works as a researcher on the Global Terrorism Database at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) center housed at the University of Maryland.

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