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Punish Putin?
Townhall.com ^ | March 13, 2014 | Cliff May

Posted on 03/13/2014 4:11:48 PM PDT by Kaslin

Sending armed troops into a foreign country for the purpose of seizing territory is an act of war, and a line not often crossed in recent decades. But it’s what President Vladimir Putin has done in Ukraine – in clear violation of the UN Charter, the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, the 1994 Budapest Memorandum (which “guaranteed” Ukraine’s territorial integrity in exchange for the surrender of its nuclear weapons) and the 1997 Ukraine-Russia Bilateral Treaty. If the United States takes no serious actions in response, lessons will be learned – and not just by Putin.

But what can an American president do? No one expects Barack Obama to put “boots on the ground.” Serious economic warfare – using “banks instead of tanks” as Russian dissident Garry Kasparov has proposed – may be impossible because Europeans have grown dependent on Russia for natural gas.

The answer is not to posture. Nor, I think, is it to punish Russia directly. Instead, recognize that Putin, along with Iran’s Supreme Leader, China’s rulers and other dubious international actors, regard the diminution of American power as their strategic goal, a necessary precondition for the achievement of their regional and global ambitions.

So make it clear that the weakening of America stops right here and right now. Do that by implementing policies to strengthen America. That will frustrate our adversaries and enemies, and bolster our allies. Four such empowering policies:

Restore missile defense: Five years ago, President Obama cancelled plans to build a Europe-based missile-defense system. Why? To please and appease Putin who thought it possible – and unacceptable -- that such a system might be used to protect Americans from Russian missiles, in contravention of the Cold War doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).

We should make it clear that henceforth we intend to protect ourselves -- without apology. America has the technological know-how to build a system that could prevent any ICBM from any country reaching its intended victims anywhere in the world. What we’ve lacked is the will to stand up to the self-proclaimed “peace activists” who prefer voluntary vulnerability.

In addition: Cancel the 2010 New START arms-control treaty which was a great deal for Putin (no cuts of deployed warheads or strategic launchers), and a bad bargain for the U.S. (we have reduced our arsenal). And as former Sen. Jon Kyl and other leading defense experts have long urged, take steps to extend the life of America's aging ballistic nuclear warheads. Obama said he would do that. He has not.

Get energetic: Two years ago, President Obama promised “an all-of-the-above strategy for the 21st century that develops every source of American-made energy.” That pledge, too, he has done next to nothing to fulfill.

Energy abundance and diversity should be our goal. That means more fracking. That means tapping petroleum on federal lands. That means ending the ban on “flexible fuel” vehicles capable of running on a variety of liquid fuels. That means eliminating bureaucratic barriers to entrepreneurship and competition -- with investors, not politicians, attempting to pick winners. That means eliminating environmental rules that impose more costs than benefits.

A byproduct of such policies: They would create jobs and reduce poverty – because the poor spend a larger percentage of their income on energy (electricity, gasoline, heating and cooling their homes) than do their wealthier neighbors. Cheaper energy also would stimulate economic growth. And a bigger American economy means a more powerful America.

G8 Minus 1: The Group of Six was founded in 1975 as a forum of the world’s leading industrialized democracies. When Canada joined the following year, it became the G7. Russia was added to the club in 1998 despite the fact that it was not then -- and is not now -- an industrialized democracy. On the contrary, Russia is an autocracy and relatively underdeveloped, with per capita wealth about a third that of South Korea. What riches it possesses have not been created through invention, innovation and productivity but through the exploitation of natural resources controlled by oligarchs.

Let’s return to G7 and, over time, transform it into an association of free market, liberal democracies -- an alternative to the United Nations, a broken institution beyond any hope of repair.

Si vis pacem, para bellum: That’s Latin for "If you want peace, prepare for war,” a doctrine dating back to Plato. President Obama does not subscribe to it. Instead, he assures us that the “tide of war is receding.” But Iran, the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, continues to spin centrifuges. Al Qaeda forces are fighting in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and North Africa. China is throwing around its growing military weight – including a 12% increase in military spending for 2014. And, again, Putin’s troops have seized Crimea, six years after having taken two big bites out of Georgia.

You don’t have to be Clausewitz to see that this is the wrong moment for the United States to take another “peace dividend,” to shrink the military, reduce capabilities and readiness.

The list above is by no means exhaustive. The point is to adopt policies that will make the United States stronger -- economically, militarily and by extension diplomatically. Nothing is more likely to cause Putin to regret his actions and think hard before repeating them elsewhere. Nothing would send a clearer message to Iran, China and other aspiring empire-builders.

“You don’t just in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion,” Secretary of State John Kerry said the other day. That’s true in the sense that top hats and petticoats are no longer stylish. Despotism, however, seems to be making a comeback. In consequence, the United States has 21st century responsibilities. If we’re unwilling or unable to shoulder them, no one else will.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Russia
KEYWORDS: missiledefense; ukraine; vladimirputin

1 posted on 03/13/2014 4:11:48 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin


2 posted on 03/13/2014 4:13:32 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Albert Einstein: The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: Kaslin
But what can an American president do

C'mon, Puti, stop it right now! I really mean it, ya' know!!


3 posted on 03/13/2014 4:18:07 PM PDT by laweeks
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To: Kaslin

Punish Putin? From internet posts alone, I suspect he could win the presidency here. Just goes to show how hungry for an actual leader a lot of people in this country are.


4 posted on 03/13/2014 4:19:32 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: Kaslin
Sending armed troops into a foreign country for the purpose of seizing territory is an act of war, and a line not often crossed in recent decades.

But sending troops into a foreign country for the purpose of turning it over to Mooslim terrorists (Kosovo, Lybia) is just fine.

5 posted on 03/13/2014 4:21:51 PM PDT by Hugin
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To: Kaslin

“Sending armed troops into a foreign country ............ is an act of war, and a line not often crossed in recent decades.”

If you cross out the presumptive line of “for the purpose of seizing territory” then this then the rest of this is absolute BS. I would say this is more about the Russians holding some influence in the area and keeping space between them and the EU and who would not want to do the later?! Is being friendly with the EU really in Ukraine’s interest given the performance of the lesser EU nations through the GFC or is it in fact the EU that is taking over in a less aggressive appearing fashion. The handing over of Sovereign powers is just as likely in signing up for the EU as it is in letting the Crimea vote for their own independence. I am no fan of Putin - he is an Oligarch of the highest order - but we all seem to be ignoring the nation eating socialist machine that is the EU.

Mel


6 posted on 03/13/2014 4:28:54 PM PDT by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong.)
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To: Kaslin
Sending armed troops into a foreign country for the

Oh please, this is a mid level CIVIL war started by a violent overthrow of the legal government by what I suspect were insurgents backed by the West.

Putin can use this very treaty to "restore and/or uphold" the prior government.

Funny how that works out...

7 posted on 03/13/2014 4:33:16 PM PDT by bill1952 (Choice is an illusion created between those with power - and those without)
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To: bill1952

Think Honduras....... except Obama backed the old government

He lost


8 posted on 03/13/2014 4:37:05 PM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: Kaslin
[Art.] Serious economic warfare – using “banks instead of tanks” as Russian dissident Garry Kasparov has proposed – may be impossible because Europeans have grown dependent on Russia for natural gas.

Poland may have huge shale-gas reserves available. Unfortunately, onshore drilling on the Continent has been retarded by an old Roman-Dutch law doctrine (their equivalent of English common law), handed down from the Holy Roman Empire, that defines all mineral rights -- i.e. everything in the ground below 18" -- as what the Spanish call hacienda real, viz. crown property, or state property if you will.

And those countries are almost all socialist in some degree today, so that now the old feudal crown ownership is buttressed by newer socialist ideology.

That is why only France and Romania (and, in the last 40 years, Italy) have had any degree of private development of subsurface minerals and petroleum. Owners of surface rights (only) are reluctant to accept the inconvenience of building roads in to drilling sites, and the sites themselves, if the owners are not participating in the potential discoveries.

Recast the laws in central Europe and jump out of the way -- that would open a very large area to useful energy exploration.

9 posted on 03/13/2014 4:46:50 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: Kaslin

He’s already being punished. He has to deal with Kerry and Barry.


10 posted on 03/13/2014 4:48:29 PM PDT by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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To: bill1952
Oh please, this is a mid level CIVIL war .....

Not hardly. It's a "war of national liberation subversion". Think Vietnam, Laos, Malaya, the Philippines during the Huk revolt. Think Nicaragua, El Salvador, Cuba.

It's the Communists back at their old grift at the same old lemonade stand, selling the same crap Walter Duranty sold for them back in the 1930's in the pages of The New York Times.

11 posted on 03/13/2014 4:51:16 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: bill1952

The way I see it, it is settling what should have been properly settled back in 1994.


12 posted on 03/13/2014 4:53:33 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Kaslin

I think, its too late.

Cliff May is unde the illusion Obama is Reagan.

The Crimea is lost for good - and the restoration of America’s strength will have to wait a future GOP President.

Obama radiates weakness and neither friend nor foe fears him.


13 posted on 03/13/2014 5:19:18 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Kaslin

Walk loudly but carry a limp di*k. .


14 posted on 03/13/2014 5:27:40 PM PDT by faithhopecharity ("H)
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To: Kaslin
What we’ve lacked is the will to stand up to the self-proclaimed “peace activists” who prefer voluntary vulnerability.

I have a feeling some of these so called peace activists are commies themselves. I was at RAF Greenham Common, England in 1983, when the first ground launched cruise missiles arrived. The peace mongers had been camped outside for months. The Brits told me that much of this peace stuff, was financed by the Soviets. I was not surprised.

15 posted on 03/13/2014 6:36:28 PM PDT by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Vet 70-71 Msgt US Air Force, retired)
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To: Mark17

Did you ever read Caliph Baraq’s piece on cruise missiles in the Columbia student paper?

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/computinghistory/obama-sundial.pdf


16 posted on 03/13/2014 6:41:13 PM PDT by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: Kaslin

Putin planned this the day Obama pulled back the missiles in Europe. Anybody could see this coming, not just Palin.


17 posted on 03/13/2014 6:42:55 PM PDT by ThePatriotsFlag ("There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Kaslin

Town hall’s twisted piece of outright lies is mind boggling.


18 posted on 03/13/2014 7:07:13 PM PDT by eleni121 ("All Along the Watchtower" Book of Isaiah, Chapter 21, verses 5-9)
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To: nascarnation
Did you ever read Caliph Baraq’s piece on cruise missiles in the Columbia student paper?

I had not, but it looks like he is still either stupid, or a commie.

19 posted on 03/13/2014 7:19:05 PM PDT by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Vet 70-71 Msgt US Air Force, retired)
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To: Kaslin
Putin & Russia should receive the same harsh reaction the US got for intervening in Kosovo.
Come on, if his guys in the Crimea sprayed their helmets Blue the media would start to support the peace keepers in the Crimea and it would take them a week to figure out it was the same bunch they were against this week

Putin has no business being there. So what? Blabbering about International law and Putin doing some "19th century" action is just stupid after so many US and NATO moves that you have to split hairs to defend as being any different..

Countries are even less willing to fight over the Crimea than they were over the Sudetenland in the thirties. Given that basic fact, what Putin does in the Crimea depends entirely on what the people there will put up with. So far, it looks like they won't just put up with kissing the rest of the Ukraine goodbye, they're anxious to do so.

The US and EU whining sounds like kids playing Monopoly and insisting little Vlad can't use the same pair of dice all the other little kiddies use.

If the EU is afraid of being over a barrel due to Russian gas prices, fine, sell them all the high grade W Va coal they want. If they prefer their "green" agenda to coal, so be it, pay Vlad the Impaler what he asks or be impaled.

20 posted on 03/13/2014 9:20:09 PM PDT by Rashputin (Jesus Christ doesn't evacuate His troops, He leads them to victory.)
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To: Kaslin

Yeah I see Obama doing those things. RIGHT!!!! Why would he, he is doing his best to weaken America.


21 posted on 03/13/2014 10:26:06 PM PDT by Robert DeLong (u)
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