It is time for President Biden to answer the calls by General Milley, Admiral Mullen, Pope Francis, and U.N. Secretary-General Guterres for a ceasefire and negotiations to de-escalate and end the war in Ukraine. As the war grinds on, the danger increases for a wider war, incalculable deaths and destruction, and even a nuclear catastrophe.
Military might cannot bring victory to anyone. To de-escalate the violence, Peace Action of Michigan advocates for President Biden to prioritize diplomacy by taking independent initiatives.
We call on President Biden to…
- …persuade President Zelensky to be realistic about his war aims, initiate a ceasefire, and offer to have a U.N. team mediate a lasting peace.
- …offer to lift some sanctions on Russia in exchange for President Putin to call a ceasefire and enter into negotiations.
- …revive, publicize, and revise the Minsk II agreement. It would have demilitarized the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine and guaranteed political autonomy to the region while retaining the sovereignty of Ukraine over its borders.
- …publicly reduce U.S. troop strength in Europe, oppose any further expansion of NATO, and initiate dialogue with President Putin to make a new, more stable European common security agreement. We don’t need 100,000 troops in Europe. Ukraine must remain neutral.
- …reduce the threat of a nuclear war by lowering the readiness of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, declaring a No First Use policy of nuclear weapons, and negotiating about the New START Treaty and beyond.
In summary, we call on President Biden to take independent initiatives to end the Ukraine war and establish a verifiable and lasting peace.
There are historical precedents for independent initiatives. Both Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy halted above-ground nuclear testing that led to Russian reciprocation and the 1963 Atmospheric Test Ban Treaty. In 1991, President Bush senior cancelled the MX missile and relaxed the readiness of bombers with the result that President Gorbachev matched those initiatives.
Wars come to an end or are “frozen in place” due to negotiations. The Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved, but we face another nuclear war crisis with too little talk between the U.S. and Russia. We need more talks as exemplified by the deal to get some grain shipped out of Ukraine to countries in African which rely on it.
–Peace Action of Michigan Board of Directors, April 2023