In the light of the Afghanistan debacle many questioned whether anyone would believe the West again. But it is not just in Afghanistan that the word of the West has been challenged. When Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in 1994, Western powers including the US and Britain signed the Budapest Memorandum guaranteeing security assurance for its borders. Yet they failed to do so in the Crimea and the Donbass, and there is talk of limiting intervention to economic support even in the event of a Russian invasion.
Was it a deceitful mistake to encourage Ukraine to give up its nuclear weapons? Is it essential for countries in general, and Western powers in particular, to stick to their word if they are to retain influence in a rapidly changing world? Or do we have no alternative to avoid potentially catastrophic military conflict than to rely on economic threats alone?