John J Mearsheimer to the United States: Focus on China instead of Ukraine

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John J Mearsheimer To the United States: Focus on China instead of Ukraine

John J. Mearsheimer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, one of the most prominent figures of the realist foreign policy movement in the US, said that the US should focus on China, the biggest threat to itself, instead of the war in Ukraine.

John J Mearsheimer To the United States: Focus on China instead of Ukraine

Speaking to Al-Jazeera television about the war in Ukraine, John J. Mearsheimer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, argued that the US has not followed a successful path in terms of strategic priorities.

“The reality is that China, not Russia, is the biggest competitor of the United States, and the United States should try to contain China rather than engage in a major confrontation with Russia in Eastern Europe,” Mearsheimer said. We are in big trouble for taking our eyes off the most important threat we face right now, China, and instead helping to create a new threat in Eastern Europe.”

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“Ukraine and NATO were the thickest red line for Russia’s foreign policy elite”

Mearsheimer stated that US President Joe Biden did successful things against the Chinese threat in the early days after taking office, but argued that a “fatal mistake” was made by pursuing a hawkish policy against Russia and insisting that Ukraine join NATO.

Mearsheimer continued:

“Ukraine and NATO were the thickest red lines for the Russian foreign policy elite. Nevertheless, they continued to press for Ukraine’s accession to NATO. This led to the mess we are in today. And that’s why I say that the United States and NATO are mainly responsible for creating this crisis because Ukraine was forced to join NATO. If this issue had been taken off the table, then we would not be in the mess we are in today. I believe that the integrity of Ukraine would still be intact, and that would even include Crimea.”

“This war will continue”

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Mearsheimer stated that the Biden administration, instead of creating a neutral Ukraine by giving up its NATO insistence and creating a neutral Ukraine, has done the exact opposite on this issue and has found itself in a deep war:

“At this point, the US is so deeply committed to the war that there is no going back in the foreseeable future. As an existential threat, the Russians cannot afford to lose this war in Ukraine. So we are not only deeply committed to winning the war in Ukraine, but we are also committed to using sanctions to weaken Russia to the point where we can kick it out of the ranks of the great powers. So we cannot lose this war and they cannot lose this war. So there is no way in the foreseeable future to reach any meaningful agreement. As a result, this war will continue.”

Warning that Russia might consider the use of nuclear weapons in response to an existential threat, Mearsheimer said, “These are pushing the Russians to the point where they are giving them a very strong incentive to at least consider, if not use nuclear weapons. In my opinion, this is just irresponsible.”

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Meirsheimer argued that Russia, which he pointed out is a country with thousands of nuclear warheads, will not allow the US to “try to remove it from the ranks of the great powers” with economic sanctions, as well as its role in the war in Ukraine.


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