Russian diplomats should be welcomed back

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Russian diplomats should be welcomed back

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Over 100 Russian diplomats have been expelled from over 20 NATO-aligned nations as a show of solidarity with the UK, who did it as a response to the alleged poisoning of a former spy by Russia. The diplomats should be welcomed back immediately.

This is the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats in world history according to CNN, meaning that it surpasses other similar incidents from the Cold War era. Such escalation over the attempted murder of one man is simply not warranted. This mass expulsion will make communication between the United States and Russia much more difficult as well as inconvenient and is likely to lead to more escalation. Russia is not threatening our nations with destruction, and even if they were, according to nationalinterest.org, a military confrontation between Russia and NATO would certainly be unfeasible for Russia to win conventionally. That would leave the Russians with only one option in any military conflict between themselves and the NATO nations, to launch nuclear weapons. We must not allow humanity to be lead to World War III.

Those in favor of the expulsion argue that Russia has been trying to undermine multilateralism long enough, and that this expulsion was necessary to send a message that the West would not give Russia anymore wiggle room. Many also think that this not going far enough and propose that Putin’s oligarch allies should be internationally sanctioned. Some have even called the Russian diplomats spies. However, they all agree that they’re safe in the assumption that it was Russia who poisoned the spy, and that Russia won’t escalate.

Those basic assumptions however, could easily be wrong. It was American intelligence sources who “confirmed” that Russia was behind the attack, according to the Washington Post, however Russia continues to deny involvement. The problem with American intelligence however, is that it has been historically unreliable. In the Iraq War for example, the CIA was convinced that Saddam Hussein had WMDs. It was only after thousands of people had died after the invasion of Iraq that it was revealed that Iraq had no nuclear weapons. The CIA has not provided the reasons why they believe the attack to be of Russian origin to the public. Therefore, everyone who says they’re sure the Russians did are putting their trust in the same organization that 15 years ago lead the U.S. into a worthless war. Plus, a nation such as Russia simply wouldn’t do such a sloppy attack that would poison not just the spy but his daughter and 21 others, and then take over a month to kill them.

Whether the Russians did it or not, one simple fact remains: If Russia keeps getting kicked into a corner, they will escalate. Russia simply wants to be seen as a world power, much like the United States is. However, Russia is not treated by western nations as the U.S. is. When the United States invaded Iraq, dozens of nations were in support of them. When the Russians invaded Crimea, the international community was outraged. Both were invasions done with little justification by world powers, but one was seen negatively and the other was seen positively. With this in mind, if Russia can be said to be undermining multilateralism, then the U.S. is also undermining multilateralism. As such, if Russia is punished for acting like a world power, then they’re likely to try to continue to escalate in the hopes that the West will finally realize that they must respect Russia and its interests. This course of action is very risky and will probably land us in a nuclear war. With the two main assumptions being unreliable, further escalation is no longer justified, and rather de-escalation remains the only reasonable option.

The diplomats should therefore be welcomed back into their respective nations and diplomatic relations normalized once more. If the West really wants to send a message to Russia, they should just continue to economically sanction them, a method that has less chance of escalation and a proven success rate in curbing Russian aggression in the past.

 

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