by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Western world’s “total failure of deterrence” is largely to blame for Russian president Vladimir Putin’s ongoing war in Ukraine, former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in a foreign policy speech Wednesday in London.
The West’s decades-long failure to confront Putin and other malign regimes like China and Iran should serve as a warning that prompts a “fundamental shift in how the West approaches our enemies,” Haley said, according to an early transcript of her remarks obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. She said it is time for the Western world to cut economic ties with Russia and China to send a message to these regimes that their subversion of the international order will no longer be tolerated.
Haley, who is positioning herself as a Republican prospect for the 2024 presidential election, previewed how a future Republican administration would handle the globe’s most pressing foreign policy matters. She harshly criticized the Biden administration’s appeasement of countries like Iran but also said Europe shares blame for the world’s instability—criticism that is usually expressed behind closed doors when a foreign leader travels abroad.
“It was Western weakness that convinced Putin he could get away with attempting to swallow Ukraine,” Haley said. “He saw America as too internally divided and distracted, and Europe as too bureaucratic and soft to stop him. And sadly, I have to say he wasn’t wrong.”
Decades of appeasement—and fears about directly confronting the Russia-China-Iran axis—led to the worst European war in nearly 80 years.
“We should have made crystal clear to Putin the full implications of his actions ahead of time. We didn’t,” Haley said. “And now we have the worst war in Europe since the Second World War. This dereliction of duty was years in the making.”