Draft – Developing This is a draft of an article on fast-breaking events related to Ukraine. Please check back for updates and additions, “We are…
Russian invasion of Ukraine
Obama’s non-lethal aid to Ukraine in 2014:
The White House says it is still reviewing other items on Kiev’s wish-list, including medical kits, uniforms, boots and military socks.
“‘You want to calibrate your chest-thumps,” a senior military official said of the step-by-step American response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military moves. “He does something else in Ukraine, we release the socks.'”
One has to wonder what universe the Germans are living in with their non-lethal aid of 5,000 helmets. The world of Obama’s socks? We all saw how that worked out, with Russia invading the Eastern Ukraine in August, 2014.
The biggest questions are whether Germany is going to close ranks by declaring now it will block authorization of the Nordstream II pipeline if Putin invades Ukraine, and whether Germany and other countries will commit now to expelling Russia from the SWIFT international payments system if Russia intervenes in Ukraine.
Anything short of current commitments, made public, any agreements to merely consider or talk about these measures, will not deter Putin from invading Ukraine.
Deterrence must succeed. It is time to take Putin’s threatened invasion to the U.N. Security Council and the General Assembly
In the battle for freedom against tyranny, in the war between advocates of upholding the U.N. Charter and international law, on the one hand, and the advocates of “might makes right”, on the other, a “good try” in seeking to deter Russia is not good enough.
Putin and Russia must be successfully deterred from military intervention in Ukraine.
It is time to go to the U.N. Security Council and to lay out the legal case against Putin for all the countries in the world to see, and to force them to take a position by voting in the Security Council and the General Assembly.
The defeatism in the air is palpable, with American officials apparently resigned to a Russian invasion of Ukraine, and now talking about increasing the “costs” to Russia if Putin invades.
Worth recalling is the fact that Barack Obama used similar language about “costs” to Russia if it invaded Ukraine, back in 2014. Such threats of unnamed “costs” did not deter Putin then, and they are not likely to deter him now. This is particularly true in view of the fact that the two greatest “costs” that might be imposed on Russia are illusory, and are not really on the table.
It is now time for the U.S. to play hardball with the German government, which is the weak link in the West’s deterrence strategy against Putin.
If Germany won’t make sacrifices for NATO, Biden should withdraw American troops from Germany and re-station them in a country which takes standing up to Putin and Russia more seriously.
Germans and business keaders in Europe, the U.S., and elsewhere need to understand that if Russia invades Ukraine, it will not be some minor thing like the Russian military intervention in Georgia in 2008, or even tbe invasion of the Crimea and the Eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Such an intervention would in the intermediate term destroy business relations between the West and Russia, and entail significant risks of escalation to a much wider war, one involving NATO members and the potential invocation of Article 5 of the NATO treaty.
The U.S. could be drawn into defending one or more NATO countries under the mutual defense obligation in Article 5.
If these events were to unfold, the risk of a nuclear confrontation would become great, with the attendant risk of something accidentally setting off a nuclear conflict.
In short, if Russia invades Ukraine, the world as we know it is likely to change, in drastic and unforeseeable ways.
Cuesta and Gómez quote Zbigniev Rau, the new President of the OSCE (and Polish foreign minister), as saying after the OSCE meeting in Vienna on Thursday, January 13, “The risk of war is the region in now greater than at any other moment in the last 30 years.”
Developments appear to confirm previous analyses that Putin is merely going through the motions of attempted diplomacy to bolster his case that he tried everything and had no alternative other than to invade Ukraine.
It now appears that he is doubling down on his threat and plans to invade Ukraine, in what may be in his mind a giant game of “chicken” with Joe Biden and the U.S.
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