The Putin Doctrine: his version of the Monroe Doctrine

My guess is that Putin wants to assert his own version of the Monroe Doctrine.

In other words, he wants Russia to be seen as a regional hegemon.

Part of why the US is the world’s hegemon stems from the reality that we are the unquestioned regional hegemon in the western hemisphere. We don’t let other super power states establish military beach heads on our border, or even in our hemisphere!

The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs Invasion were both part of our efforts to maintain regional hegemony in the western hemisphere.

Oh, and BTW, China wants to be seen as a regional hegemon, too.

My guess is that Russia, China, and maybe Iran will start to work more closely together in the days, months, and years to come.



Did the rush to expand NATO post-Cold War actually help boost an authoritarian like Putin and hurt chances for an even quasi-democratic Russia? If Friedman is right, the US and NATO played checkers when they should have employed chess.


Hi MichaelJ,

Thanks for the Thomas Friedman article.

Here’s one sentence from that article that I do have some questions about:

“And he [Putin] has dined out on it ever since, even though he knows that NATO has no plans to expand to include Ukraine.” – Thomas Friedman

I’ve read others (e.g. John Mearsheimer) who do think that Putin is justified in thinking that NATO plans to include Ukraine.

I’ve appended a reference to a long article by Mearsheimer from back in 2014.

It’s a few years old, but very detailed. Mearsheimer is an expert on international relations and a poly-sci Professor at the University of Chicago.

His conciliatory views on Russia are at odds with the mainstream thinking in our State Department.

Like Friedman, he’s critical of NATO’s eastward expansion after the fall of the USSR. He’s concerned that we may drive Russia and China closer together by trying to take them both on at the same time.

In Mearsheimer’s view, which goes back to 2008, NATO and Russia should agree to make Ukraine a buffer state between these two powers. However, now that the crisis is upon us, he thinks his preferred approach is highly unlikely.


Beshears, Fred

The Great Delusion of Liberal Hegemony
by Fred M. Beshears
12 December 2021

The blog post above has my notes on a video of lecture given by John Mearsheimer on 21 January 2019

Two Opposing Expert Views on Ukraine
by Fred M. Beshears

FMB: The blog post above suggests that we see more educated discussions (debates) between experts such as Dr. Fiona Hill and Professor John Mearsheimer.

John Mearsheimer’s Realist Theory of International Relations
by Fred M. Beshears

Reading List of Videos and Books by John J. Mearsheimer
by Fred M. Beshears

Chomsky, Noam

Noam Chomsky: After Dangerous Proxy War,
Keeping Ukraine Neutral Offers Path to Peace with Russia
Democracy Now Interview
2 March 2015

The recent ceasefire in Ukraine continues to hold after a shaky start, days after Secretary of State John Kerry publicly accused Russian officials of lying to his face about their military support for separatist rebels. The United Nations says the death toll from the nearly year-old conflict has topped 6,000. This comes as tens of thousands rallied in Moscow to honor the slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who had accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of authoritarian rule. “It’s fashionable in the United States and Britain to condemn Putin as some sort of distorted mind,” says Noam Chomsky, but he notes no Russian leader can accept the current Ukrainian move to join NATO. He argues a strong declaration that Ukraine will be neutralized offers the path to a peaceful settlement.

Chotiner, Isaac

Why John Mearsheimer Blames the U.S. for the Crisis in Ukraine
For years, the political scientist has claimed that Putin’s aggression toward Ukraine is caused by Western intervention. Have recent events changed his mind?
by Isaac Chotiner
1 March 2022

Interview of John Mearsheimer by Isaac Chotiner

Friedman, Thomas

This Is Putin’s War. But America and NATO Aren’t Innocent Bystanders.
Thomas L. Friedman
21 February 2022

Greenwald, Glenn

The War in Ukraine
by Glenn Greenwald
25 February 2022

Hill, Fiona

Fiona Hill on the Ukraine crisis: What are the best & worst case scenarios?
Germany TV interview with Fiona Hill
Interview posted to YouTube on 12 February 2022 (before the invasion of Ukraine)

Dr. Fiona hill is one of the premier experts on Russian foreign policy. Formerly she was the Senior Director for the White House’s Nation Security Council Europe and Russia Department. She made headlines after testifying against former President Trump during his second impeachment trial. Lately she has been extremely critical about how the new German government has addressed the growing crisis at the Ukraine border, potentially leading to a new and deadly phase of this decades old conflict.

Mearsheimer, John

Russia-Ukraine War – Who is responsible?
John J. Mearsheimer
4 March 2022

In this video, John J. Mearsheimer explains who is responsible for Russia-Ukraine conflict, it’s history and how this conflict will play out in the future.

Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine
John Mearsheimer and Ray McGovern
2 March 2022

Sponsored by the Committee for the Republic

To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To an empire, everything looks like a crisis to justify a multi-trillion-dollar military-industrial-security complex as dictatress of the world. The crisis du jour for the American empire is Russia‘s aggression against Ukraine. The political establishment and the mainstream media assign responsibility to President Putin’s megalomaniac ambition to recreate the Soviet empire. The Committee welcomes Ray McGovern and John Mearsheimer as a breath of fresh air. They shoulder the United States with a fair share of the blame: the never-ending expansion of NATO cheek by jowl to Russian borders provoked the invasion; Russia fears nuclear weapons on its borders as more menacing than the Cuban Missile Crisis was to the United States. Ray and John will offer some thoughts regarding how to bury the hatchet and move forward. We all look forward to what we know will be a robust discussion.

University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer
The Situation in Russia and Ukraine
King’s Politics
21 February 2022

Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault
The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin
By John J. Mearsheimer
1 October 2014
published: September/October 2014 issue of Foreign Affairs

Why is Ukraine the West’s Fault
Professor John Mearsheimer
25 September 2015 (posted to YouTube on this date)

UnCommon Core:
The Causes and Consequences of the Ukraine Crisis
John J. Mearsheimer
Alumni Weekend
June 4-7, 2015

John J. Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science and Co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago, assesses the causes of the present Ukraine crisis, the best way to end it, and its consequences for all of the main actors. A key assumption is that in order to come up with the optimum plan for ending the crisis, it is essential to know what caused the crisis. Regarding the all-important question of causes, the key issue is whether Russia or the West bears primary responsibility.


Is the West to Blame for Russia’s Invasion? (no)

FMB Note: This video discusses Mearsheimer’s 2014 article in Foreign Affairs: Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault. They say he had a fairly good argument prior to Russia’s invasion of Crimea, however, afterwards they say that Mearsheimer’s argument falls apart.

Varoufakis, Yanis

How to end the war in Ukraine: with Yanis Varoufakis, Volodymyr Ishchenko and more
by Yanis Varoufakis
1 March 2022

February 24, 2022 will be remembered as a dark day for Europe: Russia has attacked Ukraine. The geopolitical games between Putin and NATO have led to war, and Europe’s peoples are the great losers, as the EU has, once again, proven itself powerless and irrelevant.

Given this situation, what needs to happen for this war to end? And what role should the EU play?


Bay of Pigs Invasion

Cuban Missile Crisis

Monroe Doctrine

Russo-Ukrainian War

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