On March 25, Foreign Policy published a biweekly column featuring Scowcroft Center deputy director Matthew Kroenig and New American Engagement Initiative senior fellow Emma Ashford assessing the latest news in international affairs.

In their latest column, they debate European defense initiatives and discuss whether an early peace deal between Russia and Ukraine would do more harm than good.

Any peace treaty will necessarily reward Russia in some sense. But that is the nature of war: Battlefield gains dictate the eventual political concessions… The two sides are still far apart, and a deal isn’t likely to come soon. I’m just saying that it might be better for all parties if it did.

Emma Ashford

An early peace deal might be the worst possible outcome. The world will quickly focus its attention elsewhere, thinking the problem has been solved. Putin will renege on the deal (as he usually does) and resume the war against Ukraine. Zelensky will lose public support after caving to Putin and could be removed from office. And Putin will get his desired regime change the easy way.

Matthew Kroenig

Related Experts: Matthew Kroenig and Emma Ashford