Proxy war or not, Ukraine shows why moral hazards matter,

C. Anthony Pfaff, nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and the research professor for strategy

In late April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused NATO of waging a “proxy” war against Russia by supporting Ukraine as it defended itself from a Kremlin invasion. “War means war,” he said ominously, implying that the Alliance is stoking Ukraine’s resistance to advance its own interests.

It is easy to dismiss Lavrov’s claim as another product of Kremlin myth-making, and in reality, Ukraine’s status as a proxy for the United States and NATO may be a matter of interpretation. Yet there is a kernel of truth to it: The Alliance is now engaged in a Cold War-style engagement with Moscow, in which both NATO and its Ukrainian partner risk pursuing their interests possibly at the unjust expense of each other.

That the United States’, much less NATO’s, military support for Kyiv raises ethical concerns is no surprise; states rarely provide military assistance to other parties unless their interests are also served. But even well-intentioned pursuits—in this case, helping a strategic ally beat back a stronger aggressor—can end poorly. Läs artikel