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A nation must think before it acts.
How should foreign policy analysts understand the American response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014? Despite widespread bipartisan recognition that Eastern European states, from the Baltic States to the Black Sea, were experiencing their most severe crisis since at least the end of the Cold War, the United States responded with little military support to the region. Even though all sides agreed on the need for a larger response, the tepid reaction to the Russian invasion was due to the partisan divide over the means of addressing the issue. This divide foreclosed the two main options for the President: a redeployment of forces from the United States or a larger military and budget. This disagreement over the means, rather than the ends, counter intuitively prevented a response for which both parties expressed support.