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Mark Hardie
Lawyer, Military Veteran, and Philosopher

Rasler Doctrine: Peace Between Russia and Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine erupted on February 24, 2022, when Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” to ‘denazify’ and ‘demilitarize’ Ukraine.

This invasion has been condemned by many in the international community as a war of aggression.

President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, declared a general mobilization of all male Ukrainian citizens between 18 and 60, who were banned from leaving the country.

According to The New York Times, as of February 2023, “the number of Russian troops killed and wounded in Ukraine is approaching 200,000”.

There should be a Russian-Ukrainian Peace Conference in Tel Aviv to bring about a negotiated resolution of this bloody conflict.

During my first year of college at the University of California (Riverside), I was inspired by my foreign policy instructor, Professor Karen Rasler. Rasler is now a professor emeritus at the University of Indiana Bloomington in the department of political science.

Professor Rasler’s intricate lectures on conflict resolution and international relations were a delicate balance of diplomacy and new frameworks of conflict resolution. This idea for the Russian-Ukrainian Peace Conference was inspired by Professor Karen Rasler’s ideas.

I view the conflict through three levels of analysis—the individual level, the nation-state level, and the international systemic level. These levels of analysis must be synthesized into a new, multilateral conflict resolution framework at the peace conference.

Conflict resolution is theorized as the processes and methods of facilitating the peaceful de-escalation of conflict. Cognitive resolution involves the way adversaries view and understand the conflict with their attitudes, understandings, perspectives, and beliefs. This cognitive resolution is often partnered with behavioral resolution which is reflected in how the disputants act.

This proposal suggests both a cognitive and behavioral de-escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Protracted conflicts such as the Russian-Ukrainian conflict de-escalate when adversaries assume new expectations, interpretations, and understandings of their opponents. A key aspect of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is its ‘intractability’ or its resistance to conflict resolution.

There is a multi-layered difficulty based on entrenched generalized expectations that each side has in terms of tactics, strategies, and past actions. The Rasler Doctrine seeks to influence the adversaries to re-evaluate their prior assumptions and take concrete actions to de-escalate the conflict.

De-escalations occurs when each side questions the viability of existing conflict patterns and adopt new ways of thinking about their adversaries.

The Rasler Doctrine, which I developed based on the ideas of my former professor, is a new breakthrough to bring about a peaceful resolution of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict by organizing a multilateral peace conference in Tel Aviv.

As President John F. Kennedy once said, “Humankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to humankind.”

About the Author
Licensed Attorney. I earned a Doctor of Law at the University of California, College of the Law, San Francisco (Hastings) . I earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Riverside. I was an international student at the University of Costa Rica Faculty of Law and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law. I am a military veteran of the United States Air Force and United States Army. I am a laureate of the National Defense Service Medal from the Pentagon. I am a financial donor to following: Harvard Law, Yale Law, Stanford Law, Berkeley Law, UC Hastings College of the Law, UC Davis Law, Columbine High School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Phillips Exeter Academy, Sidwell Friends School, Viewpoint School, Beverly Hills High School, Eton College in the United Kingdom, Special Olympics, Children's Defense Fund, Obama Foundation, Clinton Foundation, Barbra Streisand Foundation, Princeton University, Florida A&M, Howard University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and the British Red Cross. I am former special assistant and staff attorney to Governor Pete Wilson of California. I was public affairs assistant to US Senator Barbara Boxer. I am a member of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
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