Nation-Building in Ukraine, by Bradley Devin

It’s not going to work any better in Ukraine than it did in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya or any of the other failed U.S. experiments. From Bradley Devin at

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz coauthored an editorial with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung last Monday ahead of an economic forum held October 25 in Berlin. The essay, titled “A Marshall Plan for Ukraine,” delivers exactly what we’ve come to expect from our current class of political and economic elites, inviting European countries, alongside G7, G20, and other international organizations, to dialogue and potentially launch a spending program to rebuild Ukraine. The piece is dripping in corporate language that would make even the most woke tech companies blush.

The “courage of Ukraine” is what inspired European leaders to gather in Berlin earlier this week, the German chancellor and European Commission president wrote, “to discuss with experts how the international community can best help and support Ukraine in its reconstruction.”


It is all so bloated. “European leaders” will have a meeting to talk about starting a dialogue about doing something; then, they will circle back about the meeting about the dialogue. The end product typically is just as convoluted, senseless, and impracticable as the process that created it.

“The shape of the reconstruction will determine which country Ukraine will be in the future,” Scholz and von der Leyen claimed. “A constitutional state with strong institutions? An agile and modern economy? A vibrant democracy that belongs to Europe?” At first glance, the answer to each of these questions from Western Europe’s perspective is yes.

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