In his talk, Cafruny said that though Russia is responsible for “its illegal and barbaric invasion of Ukraine,” it is not alone in creating the situation that led to the attack. He noted that for decades, U.S. scholars and diplomats have warned that “NATO’s relentless post-Cold War eastward expansion would eventually end in catastrophe by provoking a response from Moscow.”
He said that many have “also warned that the neoliberal shock therapy orchestrated by U.S.-led international economic institutions and Russian oligarchs would establish the conditions for the return of authoritarianism in Russia.
“The war in Ukraine is simultaneously a struggle for national liberation and an escalating proxy war between Russia and the United States,” he said, “the former increasingly prone to brutality and desperation, and the latter consumed by war fever.”
According to Cafruny, “the massive provision of weapons to Ukraine absent any willingness on part of Washington to pursue a diplomatic path towards ceasefire and resolution only prolongs the suffering of the Ukrainian (and Russian) people, deepens global economic disarray, and increases the very real prospect of nuclear war.”
Earlier this month, Cafruny participated in two panels at the International Studies Association meeting in Nashville. He discussed “Can the United States — and Europe — Contain China?” as a member of a panel on “The Global Comeback of Industrial Policy.” He also weighed in on “The U.S. Sanctions Offensive: Economic Statecraft and the Transatlantic Relationship” in a panel discussion titled “Inter-disciplinary and cross-regional dialog on the role of economic sanctions in international political economy.”