The Path to a More Peaceful Future
Supporting Ukraine Against Aggression
Every country should be free from threats of violent conquest by another country. When the United Nations was founded, the critical commitment of members was to prevent the conquest of weaker nations by stronger ones. But the system of enforcement has a foundational flaw: Any of the five permanent members of the Security Council – the US, Britain, France, China, and Russia—can veto actions to preserve a nation’s integrity. Russia is taking advantage of this flaw in the unjustified invasion of Ukraine. The future of world security depends on taking the correct fork in the road ahead.
If Russia prevails in conquering Ukraine, it establishes precedent that any of the five permanent members of the Security Council may act aggressively without significant consequences. The collective security guarantees of NATO do protect the Baltics, but they do not protect Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Mongolia, China, or Japan, the non-NATO countries bordering Russia’s territorial claims. That list doesn’t include countries bordering Russian allies.
The current Russian government has no compunctions about using its military power for other purposes. For example, if a country chooses not to sign a treaty of economic cooperation with the US, we may be disappointed, but we won’t steal their goods or have our Navy impound their merchant ships. Russia’s allies in the Donbas region of Ukraine are doing just that. Don’t like Russia’s comprehensive program of cheating in the Olympics and other international athletic competitions? If Russia prevails in Ukraine, it seems likely that the International Olympic Committee will fear to sanction them, because Russia has no compunctions about taking hostages to secure cooperation. In short, a Russian victory undermines the rules-based international order that prevents militarily powerful countries from oppressing weaker countries. We would become a world where military might makes right.
If Ukraine successfully defends itself from Russia, a brighter future awaits. A Ukrainian victory shows that, even without a mutual defense treaty, enough countries are willing to assist in defending weaker countries from illegal aggression to shore up the flaw in the UN’s foundation. We will see more actions like Turkey’s willingness to prevent Russia from reinforcing its Black Sea fleet – smaller countries acting collectively to defend each other against aggression, directly and indirectly.
The consequences of a Ukrainian victory include deterring other aggressive countries. North Korean aggression against South Korea or a Chinese invasion of Taiwan becomes less likely. Faced with a collective response from other nations, aggressive states have a greater incentive to seek a peaceful resolution of their differences. I don’t know what the right answer is for China and Taiwan, but I do know that an invasion won’t get them there, while diplomacy and engagement might.
I can’t predict who will prevail in the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Certainly a positive outcome for Ukraine will come at the steep short-term costs of supporting Ukraine’s defense and suffering inflated oil and gas prices. But I also see the long-term benefits of a Ukrainian victory, including a less violent world working more collectively for solutions that benefit everyone, less environmental damage from burning hydrocarbons, and greater trust between countries in our ability to defend ourselves collectively. That would allow us to focus more of our spending on health, education, and social services, and less on defense. That world’s worth fighting for.
As this season of warmer weather continues, please take a moment to review the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat. Muscle cramping might be the first sign of heat-related illness, and may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. This graphic from the Oregon Health Authority explains the differences between the two. More information may be read online here.
From the Oregon Health Authority
COVID-19 remains widespread across Oregon. Consider spending more time outside with friends and family over indoor activities. If you're indoors, wearing the highest quality mask you can find offers extra protection.
Vaccinations (including boosters) are available at:
At-home Test Kits
Each residential households in the U.S. is eligible to order free at-home antigen tests from the federal government. (Each household may place three orders, for a total of 16 free at-home tests per household). Place your online order here.
The Hult Center
RT-PCR test for COVID-19
Results typically within 2 hours
For patients 5+
Patients ages 5 -17 must be swabbed by an accompanying adult
UO's Monitoring and Assessment Program (MAP)
Individuals without symptoms can test inside McArthur Court. Appointments are strongly encouraged for asymptomatic testing. Book online here
Testing for individuals with mild symptoms, similar to the common cold, is available at the McArthur Court ticket booths. Individuals with symptoms should not go inside to test.
Due to increased demand in testing, plan an hour for the check-in and testing process.
MAP test results are available within 2-4 business days. This is not a rapid test
This is available to all community members, not just UO staff and students.
For individuals who are experiencing symptoms and/or had a recent close encounter with a known positive case may access testing through Lane County Public Health or through your primary care provider. Testing locations are updated weekly online and include drive-thru testing options.