Looking at the looming possibility of a renewed Russian offensive against Ukraine from an Israeli perspective, Efraim Inbar writes:
American behavior in the Ukraine crisis also affects the nuclear talks in Vienna. Tehran, already convinced that America is weak, gets even greater leeway and can further procrastinate until an agreement it desires will be offered. Iran could unleash its proxies against American allies in the Middle East. Israel could decide to avoid notifying Washington before acting forcefully. A Russian victory in Europe could precipitate a conflagration in the Middle East.
Similarly, China could learn that U.S. determination is melting away, and its threats can be ignored. An attack on Taiwan could follow.
The Ukraine predicament again demonstrates the uselessness of international guarantees. The 1994 Budapest Memorandum, signed by the Russian Federation, the UK, and the U.S., provided security assurances against threats or force against the territorial integrity of Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan in exchange for giving up their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, the memorandum was not respected when Russia conquered Crimea in 2014.
International institutions failed similarly. The U.S. called a UN Security Council meeting to discuss Moscow’s troop build-up on its borders with Ukraine, knowing that Russia can veto. In Washington, this so-called “preventive diplomacy” ended in futile angry clashes between Russian and American envoys.