Which war is more geopolitically important to the US and the West: Russia/Ukraine or Israel/Hamas?

If Ukraine loses the war to Russia, would that be more negatively impactful to the US (and the West in general) than if Israel loses to Hamas/the Arab nations?

I’m assuming that if Russia succeeds in Ukraine (esp. if they manage to take the whole country if/when the West stops providing aid), they will likely get an appetite for more (Baltic states, Transnistria, etc). Maybe not immediately, but after a few years of recuperation. If this were to happen, it would have devastating effects on Europe, and possibly cause high risk for world war if NATO decides to protect the Baltic states.

If Hamas & the Arab states win over Israel (likely will never happen as the US likely will never let that happen, but assume this is the case to play out the effects), what geopolitical impact will that have on the US and on Europe?

My assumption is that if Ukraine loses the war to Russia, that would be much more negatively impactful to the US (and the West in general) than if Israel loses to Hamas/the Arab nations.

What do you all think? No need to be snarky. If I’m missing some major points that reverse the geopolitical importance of these two situations, let me know.

I propose Russia/Ukraine is the more important, on the basis that Russia would likely try to take over as much of the planet as they are able, whereas Hamas and other powers against Israel mostly just want to destroy that one country and people. Hamas isn’t making much Islamist noise, and even if they did, other Islamists would compete for power.

That, and the chances of the Arab world getting their act together both politically and militarily enough to actually defeat Israel are slim at best. If Israel somehow loses here, it’ll be because they effectively chose to do so. But the only way they can really “lose” is if they lose in the court of public opinion- both internally and internationally. Militarily, they’re going to crush Hamas.

And if they do crush Hamas, the West will probably just wag our fingers and shake our heads, but we collectively won’t do anything, and the Arab/Islamic world isn’t going to get any more angry that Israel exists in the first place either. So no real change, except that Israel removes what they consider a threat in Gaza.

Ukraine on the other hand, is the first time that anyone’s actually stood up to Putin directly and been effective about it. And it’s in response to a naked war of conquest- the Russians didn’t even really bother with all the separatist garbage like in Georgia and Chechnya; they just attacked with some flimsy pretext about Nazis or something.

Standing up to Ukraine both stops Putin and sends a larger message that the West/NATO won’t tolerate this kind of thing in Europe. That might actually effect longer term change in world politics than anything going on in Gaza will.

I don’t know if we’d be so eager to support say… Kazakhstan if they were invaded by Russia, unfortunately.

Definitely Russia-Ukraine, primarily because the Israel-Hamas is just an escalation of the same conflict that has been going off-and-on for 70+ years. Its a dramatic escalation, and not many people would have predicted how and where it would escalate but no one was surprised there was more conflict to come between Israel and the Palestinians.

Whereas the Russian invasion of Ukraine is like nothing that has happened in Europe since WW2. A few years ago you’d hear plenty of policy wonks claiming that kind of thing will never happen again in the developed world (possibly naively but plenty of influential people would have claimed that big conventional wars of attrition between industrialized western nations, with big armored armies slogging it out among trenches were a thing of the past). Its a seismic shift in world foreign relations.

Ukraine is far more important, not least of which being that Israel is strong enough that it could do what it wants to Hamas with or without US help, and that the outcome of the Israel war doesn’t really affect anything in the West.

So’s Russia/Ukraine, which has been going on rather longer than that. “This sort of thing doesn’t happen in Europe” is a pleasant sort of delusion, but untrue. It dies down from time to time, and then comes back up, often aided by too many people assuming that ‘this sort of thing won’t happen in Europe.’

I think they’re tied in importance – and also that they’re tied together, in that if Israel lost I think it would strengthen Putin’s faction/allies, and that I think Putin/allies are very happy to encourage moderate levels of war in the Middle East as an excellent distraction from what they’re up to elsewhere. Trying to pit the issues against each other in the fashion being done in this thread walks right into what they’re trying to do.

There is, obviously, history between Russia and the Ukraine but thats not the same thing as an ongoing conflict. Post-WW2 it was just that, history, no one was shooting each other. Unlike the Israeli-Palestinian conflict where even between the numerous shooting wars there was continuous rocket attacks, shootings, mass protests, terrorist attacks, etc.

There is no way the 2019 invasion of Ukraine was just a continuation of an ongoing conflict. That’s a bit like saying it wouldn’t be a huge deal if Britain invaded France tomorrow as the have a history of conflict.

Except it’s really not. A major world military power conducts a massed armored assault its neighbors and is dragged into an industrial war of attrition? The last time anything like that happened in Europe was WW2.

Hell it’s only happened occasionally outside Europe since WW2, off the top of my head: Korea, Iran-Iraq, maybe the India-Pakistan wars?

Yup. It happened in WW2. It’s happening now. That’s twice in one long lifetime.

Because the previous time is now out of most people’s recollection, most people said ‘This can’t happen in Europe!’ That’s one of the reasons that it’s happening now.

(Also, in the meantime, other countries in Europe have attacked each other and torn each other apart.)

That’s a long time. There is no way you can consider a war fought by the great grandparents of the young people in the frontlines in Ukraine a continuation.

The Ukraine war has blown away the status quo that three generations have grown up with. That’s a big freaking deal. Way more than new chapter in a conflict that 10 year olds are old enough to remember the last chapter of.

Putin was raised by the generation active in WW2.

And for much of the time since WW2 (and much of the time before it), Russia (in the form of the USSR) effectively owned Ukraine. They weren’t fighting to take Ukraine because they already possessed it. They’re not trying now to take Ukraine out of nowhere; they’re trying to take it back. Of course it’s a continuation.