The Crisis in Ukraine: What Can Be Done?

This is a repost of a few key parts of Prof. Floyd Rudmin’s post of the same title, with a recommendation that you read the whole thing:

The crisis in Ukraine is serious. At some point soon, reality needs to become the priority. No more name-calling. No more blaming. If there are any adults in the room, they need to stand up. The crisis in Ukraine is going critical, and that is a fact. … 

The Ukraine has 15 nuclear reactors loaded with a 1000 tons or more of radioactive fuels. … Plus, there are the 4 Chernobyl reactors, still leaking radiation, still needing constant attention. A rational world cannot tolerate chaos, or a collapsed economy, or a civil war, or any kind of war, in a region with nuclear reactors. … 

[Adding to the danger,] the ability to start a war has now been distributed across hundreds of relatively low-ranked individuals, on both sides. … In the Ukraine, large numbers of anti-Russia militia are eager to provoke Russia to invade Ukraine [so the West would have to respond militarily], and equal numbers of anti-Kiev militia are also eager to provoke Russia to invade Ukraine [to come to their rescue]. War now waits on hair-triggers, hundreds of them. If an incident turns into a war, it would quickly turn into a missile war, and maybe into a global nuclear war. …

As in 1914, so in 2014, war is not for repelling an attack, but for loyalty to an alliance, even when some members of the alliance are belligerent. The 1914 war was supposed to be over by Christmas, but went on and on and on for years, killing 9 million people. The 2014 war, if its starts in earnest, will be over in one week, maybe less, and could kill a 100 million people depending on how many nuclear reactors break open and how many nuclear missiles are launched. The 1914 war was called “the war to end all wars”. The 2014 war will be that.

We need proposals that have some prospect of resolving the Ukraine Crisis. Here is my list: [See Rudmin’s article for the list.]

About Martin Hellman

I am a professor at Stanford University, best known for my invention of public key cryptography -- the technology that protects the secure part of the Internet, such as electronic banking. But, since 1982, my primary interest has been how fallible human beings can survive possessing nuclear weapons, where even one mistake could be catastrophic. My latest project is a book, co-written with my wife Dorothie, with the audacious subtitle "Creating True Love at Home & Peace on the Planet." It's on Amazon and a free PDF can be downloaded from its website:
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