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Video: Why Should the US Care About Ukraine?

March 04, 2020
Center for the National Interest
This video was originally published by the Center for the National Interest.

America’s policy towards Ukraine is an important but under-debated issue among international relations experts in Washington. In an effort to expand upon both sides of this vital discussion, the Center for the National Interest and the Eurasia Center co-hosted a debate on March 4, 2020 at the Atlantic Council’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. The topic at hand: “Why should the US care about Ukraine?”

This important debate was spurred by Center Vice President George Beebe’s article entitled “Groupthink Resurgent,” which was published in the January/February 2020 issue of The National Interest and argued that the Washington consensus on Ukraine has produced failed policies based on mistaken assumptions and unobtainable goals. In response to this article, John Herbst, former Ambassador to Ukraine and director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, wrote his own piece which was published by The National Interest defending Ukraine’s current role in American foreign policy. These competing perspectives revealed a meaningful disagreement on how Ukraine fits into America’s national interest and what level of influence it should have on America’s foreign policy towards Europe as a whole, one which merits deeper discussion.


George Beebe, vice president, Center for the National Interest

Dr. William Ruger, vice president for research and policy, Charles Koch Institute

Ambassador John Herbst, director, Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council

Dr. Alina Polyakova, president, Center for European Policy Analysis


Jacob Heilbrunn, editor, The National Interest

Melinda Haring,  deputy director, Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council

Photo by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine