No, but they can do much more short of war. Cut off all trade relations. This time, don’t back off like we did in Berlin back when the Iron Curtain descended. Send tanks and troops into Kiev, Warsaw, and every Eastern European and former Soviet nation willing to take them. Call Putin’s bluff.
Send tanks and troops to Kiev? Ummm.... can I get a “no” in here? Sam, there is no way in Hell we could put enough tanks and troops in Kiev to make a fart of a bit of difference if Putin decides to roll and even trying would ensure he did.
We don’t have the airlift, we don’t have the manpower, we don’t have the equipment, and the Army would probably tell Obama to go piss up a rope if he tried to order that kind of move.
Obama’s defense cuts and the ongoing commitments that we still have worldwide have stretched our conventional forces beyond any possible ability to make a significant contribution to defending the Ukraine, if that was in our best interests, and I do not think it is.
Face it. We’re clapped out. The cupboard is bare. Morale is down the tubes and readiness is now taking a backseat to social experimentation and gay rights. Any troops we moved to Ukraine would be outnumbered, outgunned, out supplied, and SOL.
As I said before, if we were serious about moving Ukraine into the western world orbit, there are things we could and should have done years ago. But we did not do those things, and now it is simply too late. If Putin wants to take the Ukraine, there is not a damn thing short of nuclear war that could stop him — and I don’t want to go there.