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St. Thomas professor talks war fatigue – KARE11.com

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MINNEAPOLIS — Foreign policy doesn’t always come with clear-cut sides, but the story of Ukraine is a bit different, according to University of St. Thomas political science professor Renee Buhr.
“The situation is one that is very clear where Russian military is intentionally violating every law of warfare that we have — and doing so openly,” Buhr said. “Which usually there’s some attempt to conceal this, and there has been absolutely no attempt to conceal it.”
Whether this kind of clarity makes it easier or more difficult for Americans to genuinely care, it’s unclear.
“I think the question, the issue, may actually be our collective attention span now,” Buhr said. “I do think that having social media, having so much access to so many facts all the time, and so much information as well all the time, we’re used to switching from one topic to the next every few minutes. So Ukraine is the kind of topic that needs constant attention, and it’s very hard for us to do that now because we’re not used to paying attention to something for a long period of time.”
Historically, social media has shown us that it can be a double-edged sword, but it can help drum up more support for a cause, whether it’s spreading awareness or even collecting financial help.
“The best chance that Ukraine has of making it through this, and that the Ukrainian people have — or keeping the largest number of Ukrainian people alive through this — is really going to come down to charitable giving to some extent.”
As more and more days go by without an end in sight, Buhr says sustaining life will be important as the war seems to be morphing into one of attrition, wearing down forces until one of the sides collapse.
“I think that the approach that we have right now, where there is a lot of assistance to Ukraine — both in terms of humanitarian relief and in terms of war material — I think that has to keep going,” she said. “I don’t see us getting directly involved unless it appears Ukraine is going to be completely rolled over.”
The bottom line is: This is going to take awhile.
“As long as the Ukrainians are being resupplied by friendly states like the U.S., then they can probably hold out, so we could be looking at something that goes on for years,” Buhr said. “[That’s true] even with Russia pulling back to a maybe more modest attempt to seize just a part of Ukraine.”
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