Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Ukraine: What is to be Done

Vlad "The Impaler" Putin has just carried out, in the words of today's Washington Post, "a naked act of armed aggression" against Ukraine. The armed occupation of the Crimea appears only his first step in dismembering Ukraine as Russian agents stir up trouble in the eastern portions of the country. Putin's obvious goal is to suck the blood out of Ukraine's nascent democracy movement and return it to being a vassal of Russia.

The question is what should the United States and the West do. The time for Obama/Kerry talk is over; it is now a time for action. I would suggest the following steps:
1. The U.S./EU should quickly put together a $15 billion aid package for Ukraine.
2. Place emissaries on the ground in Kiev to negotiate the modalities of the aid package.
3. Expel Russia from the G-8.
4. Deny visas for Russians travelling to the West.
5.Freeze all official and private Russian banking assets in the West. This would squeeze the oligarchs,               especially Vladimir Putin, the richest man in Russia.
6. Impose a trade embargo on all capital goods and technology-related products.
7. Send in NATO reinforcements to the front-lines states of Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and 
    Slovakia. Putin's excuse of protecting Russians in the Ukraine can just as easily be used in the
    mentioned countries. And remember it was Hitler's excuse in going into the Rhineland and Czechoslovakia
    in the 1930's. 

Simply put, aggression has to be punished. Russian forces have to be removed from the Crimea and an indemnity must be paid.

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