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The Hammer: How to Stop Putin

stop-putin

The U.S. needs a serious foreign policy

Charles Krauthammer writes:  The president of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council challenges critics of President Obama’s Ukraine policy by saying “What are you going to do, send the 101st Airborne into Crimea?” Not exactly subtle. And rather silly, considering that no one has proposed such a thing.

[Charles Krauthammer is the author of  "Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics" Check it out at Amazon]

The alternative to passivity is not war but a serious foreign policy. For the last five years, Obama’s fruitless accommodationism has invited the kind of aggressiveness demonstrated by Iran in Syria, China in the East China Sea, and Russia in Ukraine. But what’s done is done. Put that aside. What is to be done now?

We have three objectives. In ascending order of difficulty: Reassure NATO. Deter further Russian incursion into Ukraine. Reverse the annexation of Crimea.

Reassure NATO:

We’re already sending U.S. aircraft to patrol the airspace of the Baltic states. That’s not enough.

1. Send the chairman of the Joint Chiefs to the Baltics to arrange joint maneuvers.

2. Same for the four NATO countries bordering Ukraine — Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.

3. Urgently revive the original missile-defense agreements concluded with Poland and the Czech Republic before Obama canceled them unilaterally to appease Russia.

Deter Russia in Ukraine:

1. Extend the Black Sea maneuvers in which the USS Truxtun is currently engaged with Romania and Bulgaria. These were previously scheduled. Order immediate — and continual — follow-ons.

2. Declare that any further Russian military incursion beyond Crimea will lead to a rapid and favorable response from NATO to any request from Kiev for weapons. These would be accompanied by significant numbers of NATO trainers and advisers.

This is no land-war strategy. This is the “tripwire” strategy successful for half a century in Germany and Korea. Any Russian push into western Ukraine would then engage a thin tripwire of NATO trainer/advisers. That is something the most rabid Soviet expansionist never risked. Nor would Putin. It would, therefore, establish a ring of protection at least around the core of western Ukraine.

Reverse the annexation of Crimea:

Clearly the most difficult. In the short run, likely impossible. There are no military cards to play, Russia holding all of them. Ukraine’s forces are very weak. The steps must be diplomatic and economic.

First, Crimean secession under Russian occupation must lead to Russia’s immediate expulsion from the G-8. To assuage the tremulous Angela Merkel, we could do it by subtraction: All seven democracies withdraw from the G-8, then instantly reconstitute as the original G-7.

As for economic sanctions, they are currently puny. We haven’t done a thing. We haven’t even named names. We’ve just authorized the penalizing of individuals…Read the rest >>>

National Review Online

[Charles Krauthammer is the author of  "Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics" I's available at Amazon— and is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2014 the Washington Post Writers Group

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3 Comments on “The Hammer: How to Stop Putin”

  1. […] Pundit from another Planet The U.S. needs a serious foreign policy Charles Krauthammer writes: The president of the Los […]

  2. Sounds good but America needs a leader that will actually lead, not vacation whenever a crisis exist.


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