Putting a stop to Putin

How realistic is war between U.S., Russia?

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Photo by Allyson Smith

A man in a graduation cap prepares for battle. The possibility of Americans being drafted for the war in Ukraine is a concern to many.

Story by Doug Kyles, Editor-In-Chief

Global Pandemic. Riots in cities. Maybe, the possibility of heading toward WWIII ought to have been expected.

UKRAINE­ ­— Feb. 24, 2022. Tanks, armored vehicles and artillery, all painted with a “Z,”  roll through the cities and villages of the Donbas region of Ukraine. Decades of political turmoil has finally boiled over into large-scale combat. Russia has invaded Ukraine.

In the weeks following this, the world has seen an international consensus of condemnation for Russia. The unprovoked, premeditated result is immediately seen as a barbaric flashback to the 20th century, as surely in 2022 diplomacy would prevail over an old fashion invasion?

However, according to Russia’s increasingly aggressive autocrat, Vladimir Putin, Ukraine is rightful Russian territory and has been for centuries.

So what does this mean for the U.S.? Is a conflict nearly 6,000 miles away going to lead our nation into a global war? To put it simply, almost certainly not.

Ukraine is not a member of NATO, not a member of the EU and in no significant way a U.S. ally. While this is supremely unfortunate for those within the country under the heel of encroaching Russian invaders, the average American can rest assured there is no imminent draft coming soon.

So much of this worry comes from a misunderstanding of the Selective Service System (the draft) which is responsible for calling citizens up for warfare. The draft hasn’t been used since 1973. When it is, it carries a long list of possible exemptions for those called to serve.

In the ‘70s, people avoided the draft through a never ending list of exemptions; those enrolled in college, homosexuals, those with medical exemptions and conscientious objectors are all excluded. So for most Americans, should the draft somehow become a reality, there would likely be a way out of serving.

“It’s been said that about 70% of males are unfit to serve,” junior Matthew Delk said. “For that reason, I really don’t think they would use the draft. I’m definitely not worried about it any time soon.”

So far, the U.S. has been careful to limit their role in Ukraine as to not trigger a major military conflict for America. Many believe this is crucial to maintain world peace; however images of those suffering in Ukraine have coaxed some to call for more action.

“We should get more involved,” Delk said. “We should be sending more weapons and equipment. I don’t see any reason we shouldn’t send over our old Cold War era equipment.”

Others, however, recommend more caution in these tense matters.

“I think that the United States has to take extreme caution in its stance,” social studies teacher Hunter Davis said. “I see a lot of Americans call for escalation, but I think that’s a direct result of most Americans not having experienced war in their lifetimes.”

Whatever measures Americans advocate for, they have to remind themselves of the nuclear option that Putin holds.

“I think that fear might be overblown by the media,” Davis said. “Putin doesn’t want nukes to be used even more than we don’t want them to be used. Because to put it simply, no one would win.”