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In Ukraine, the US and Europe have limited options

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,277
2,973
126
This is a very well written article from what I consider to be a reputable source!! What options do we have?
Some would say by doing nothing we are becoming isolationists and not a world leader.
I would say do we need to always be at the forefront of world leadership?

http://www.timesofisrael.com/limited-us-european-options-in-ukraine/

Past American efforts to punish Moscow have been complicated by Washington’s need for Russian cooperation on Syria and Iran.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite blunt warnings about costs and consequences, US President Barack Obama and European leaders have limited options for retaliating against Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, the former Soviet republic now at the center of an emerging conflict between East and West.




Russian President Vladimir Putin has so far dismissed the few specific threats from the United States, which include scrapping plans for Obama to attend an international summit in Russia this summer and cutting off trade talks sought by Moscow. Because Ukraine does not have full-member status in NATO, the US and Europe have no obligation to come to its defense. And broader international action through the United Nations seems all but impossible, given Russia’s veto power as a member of the Security Council.

“There have been strong words from the US and other counties and NATO,” said Keir Giles, a Russian military analyst at the Chatham House think tank in London. “But these are empty threats. There is really not a great deal that can be done to influence the situation.”

As if to underscore that point, Putin on Saturday requested and was granted permission to use Russia’s military not just in the pro-Russian region of Crimea, but also throughout Ukraine. Putin’s request came one day after Obama warned that any violation of Ukraine’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing.”

Saturday’s developments follow three months of political upheaval in Ukraine following president Viktor Yanukovych’s rejection of a partnership agreement with the European Union in favor of historical ties with Moscow. Yanukovych fled Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, last week and now is in Russia.

Putin’s moves are sure to deepen tensions in his already troubled relationship with Obama, who has struggled to find a formula for getting the Russian leader to change his calculus on a myriad of issues. The White House said the two leaders spoke for 90 minutes Saturday, with Obama warning Putin that Russia’s “continued violation of international law will lead to greater political and economic isolation.”

American efforts to punish Russia on Ukraine and other matters have been complicated by the White House’s need for Russian cooperation on stopping Syria’s civil war, negotiating a nuclear accord with Iran, and transporting American troops and equipment out of Afghanistan through Russian supply routes.
“We face a difficult choice of punishing Russia by effectively punishing ourselves,” said Andrew Kuchins, the director of the Russia program at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.


Obama has tried to use his travel plans to Russia as a bargaining chip before, in the hopes that Putin might bend under the threat of a diplomatic embarrassment. Last summer, the White House dangled the prospect of canceling a bilateral summit between Obama and Putin as it pressed Russia to return National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to the United States.

When Russia instead granted Snowden temporary asylum, Obama canceled his one-on-one meeting with Putin, but still attended an international meeting in St. Petersburg.

US officials say they are in discussions now with European officials about Obama and other leaders possibly skipping the Group of Eight economic summit scheduled for June in Sochi, the site of the just-concluded Winter Olympics. Obama’s top advisers gathered at the White House Saturday to discuss other options.

The White House appears to be giving no serious consideration to American military involvement in Ukraine. In his carefully worded statement Friday, Obama avoided saying that a destabilized Ukraine would be a national security concern for the US. Instead, he said only that it was “not in the interest of Ukraine, Russia or Europe.”

In Europe, officials expressed concern about the Russian military escalation, but offered few specific options for stopping or punishing Putin. The European Union, dealing with its own internal problems, has appeared reluctant to fully embrace troubled Ukraine or risk the economic consequences of confronting Russia, one of its largest trading partners.

“The world is on the verge of a conflict the outcome of which cannot be perceived yet,” said Polish Prime Minster Donald Tusk, whose country shares a border with Ukraine. Tusk appealed for Europe to send a “very clear signal” that it will not tolerate acts of aggression, but he did not outline specific steps.

Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said Russia’s attempts to “escalate the situation in Ukraine” reminded him of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, which crushed liberal reforms and ended an era known as the Prague Spring.

“We don’t solve and can’t solve disagreements in Europe by force,” Zaoralek said.

The UN Security Council met for a second straight day to discuss the growing crisis in Ukraine, which has asked four permanent council members — the US, Britain, France and China — for help in stopping Russia’s “aggression.” But Russia, as the fifth permanent member, holds veto power, meaning there would be virtually no chance of getting even a resolution condemning Russian intervention.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.
 
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drebo

Diamond Member
Feb 24, 2006
7,040
1
81
Short version: Do as we say, not as we do. The US can go around pissing in everyone else's cheerios, but when someone else does it, they're terrible, terrible people and must be stopped!

We have no business in a dispute between Russia and Ukraine. If Russia wants to annex them, what business is it of ours? Seriously. None. Let Europe police its own if they want to. We're not even on the same fucking continent.

This piss-ant notion that the US is weak if it doesn't intervene is outdated and, frankly, bullshit. Although, the US is weak for other reasons. We don't have the stomach for a real war, so we shouldn't go around poking beehives.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
29,506
3,009
126
NATO should get Kiev to invite them in, as peace keepers to prevent Russian aggression. Works for Crimea.

There should be no punishing of Russia, they have not done anything wrong.... yet. It's best we work to keep it that way.
 

Anarchist420

Diamond Member
Feb 13, 2010
8,649
0
76
www.facebook.com
i dont understand why the people in Ukraine arent willing to divide the current State into like 6 new States. confederalism works just as well as centralism does and if Ukraine did that then it would also serve as a warning to the ruling class in the west. in other words, were hillary clinton to become president over here with 1/5 or less expressly consenting then secession and confederalism would be necessary.

Short version: Do as we say, not as we do. The US can go around pissing in everyone else's cheerios, but when someone else does it, they're terrible, terrible people and must be stopped! We have no business in a dispute between Russia and Ukraine. If Russia wants to annex them, what business is it of ours? Seriously. None. Let Europe police its own if they want to. We're not even on the same fucking continent. This piss-ant notion that the US is weak if it doesn't intervene is outdated and, frankly, bullshit. Although, the US is weak for other reasons. We don't have the stomach for a real war, so we shouldn't go around poking beehives.
+1:) i am going to add that we are weak if we even need a standing military at all... when the Articles of Confederation was in effect, no one needed a military for their protection (although ~9% wanted one so they could benefit from high taxes).
I would say do we need to always be at the forefront of world leadership?
+1:)
 

dr150

Diamond Member
Sep 18, 2003
6,570
23
81
Short version- Putin outsmarted Obama.
If a bully has a nuclear arsenal to destroy the world 10 times over, there's nothing you can really do but mouth off and play financial shenanigans, whether it's Obama or any other leader of the free world of any decade.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
67,840
2,945
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Unless Norway can fuel Europe then Europe is pretty much unable to apply pressure.

Russia has everyone by the balls.
That's the problem. It certainly isn't a short-term fix. Would take a decade or more.
 

Gigantopithecus

Diamond Member
Dec 14, 2004
7,665
0
71
Political and Economic isolation is really the only sensible option.
Yeah, the part about the EU being entirely dependent upon Russia to meet its energy demands kinda makes that totally impossible.

Edit: this is what happens when you open a thread, and reply to it an hour later without hitting the refresh button. :p
 

AViking

Platinum Member
Sep 12, 2013
2,264
1
0
I might not like Putin but I gotta hand it to the guy...he knows how to win.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
29,506
3,009
126
Political and Economic isolation is really the only sensible option.
Encouraging them to stick to Crimea or loyal Russian provinces is the sensible option.

We need a show of force to match theirs, and an open dialog to speak of preventing further escalation. Not punishment.
 
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Broheim

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2011
4,592
2
76
if the current Danish politicians had the balls we'd be able to put a 5000 troop roadblock in Ukraine. We're self-sufficient with oil and gas so the Russians can't squeeze us there. Even though that's not a match for the Russian Army, Putin would have to be an idiot to attack the troops of a Nato country. Ukraine alone might not be enough to get Nato involved, but a declaration of war with a Nato country would force the hand of the US and everybody else.
 

Bitek

Diamond Member
Aug 2, 2001
9,024
2,920
136
Short version- Putin outsmarted Obama.
That is a very inaccurate short version!

tell us what Obama should have or could have done to prevent this...please be specific...thank you!!
There was never any cards for Obama to play here. Europe has to take the lead on this, and they don't seem like they really want to. Why would Obama go over their heads on this when it an Eu trade deal and pro EU protests that got us here?
 

AViking

Platinum Member
Sep 12, 2013
2,264
1
0
If they take Crimea it reminds me an awful lot of how WWII started.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,277
2,973
126
if the current Danish politicians had the balls we'd be able to put a 5000 troop roadblock in Ukraine. We're self-sufficient with oil and gas so the Russians can't squeeze us there. Even though that's not a match for the Russian Army, Putin would have to be an idiot to attack the troops of a Nato country. Ukraine alone might not be enough to get Nato involved, but a declaration of war with a Nato country would force the hand of the US and everybody else.
YES we are self sufficient, but you stated a 5,000 troops roadblock made up of NATO troops.......don`t be to sure the lengths that Putin would go to......actually there really is nothing unless Putin were to kill all 5,000 troops that would force anybody`s hand.....even then 5,000 troops as opposed to a World war -- sadly, most likely expendable.....
 

Dari

Lifer
Oct 25, 2002
17,136
37
91
US options have always been limited when it comes to big nations. Look at Georgia. We did shit and now those territories are Russian. But Ukraine is far more serious. With Ukraine, Russia is an empire. Without Ukraine, Russia is just another nation. Russia knows this and they will go to war to keep Ukraine in their sphere of influence. But Ukraine is a big country and, while there a lots of ethnic Russians in that country, they do not want to be a part of Russia. So, this conflict will bleed Russia far more in different ways and it'll ultimately make her weaker. In the end, Russia is taking Ukraine seriously to retain something it lost 23 years ago and still cannot deal with reality. This will be a wake-up call to them.

WOW!!!
 
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IGBT

Lifer
Jul 16, 2001
17,699
47
91
the Russians are rolling. Putin laughs his ass off at your inept obama. This isn't over. The stench of obama fear and weakness is in the air. There will be more events like this and beyond. Elections Have Consequences.
 

Ventanni

Golden Member
Jul 25, 2011
1,421
127
106
If they take Crimea it reminds me an awful lot of how WWII started.
It does, doesn't it? When Hitler marched into Austria, he was marching into a population that largely supported him. When he marched into Czechoslovakia, he was annexing large portions of German populations. Mind you, they didn't all like him, but the world did nothing because the people he was "conquering" loved him. It'd be like France marching into Austria to stop the Germans, a decision they still probably regretted not doing for some time, and being shot at by the people they were attempting to liberate.

Despite how many YouTube videos there are declaring Russian armor superiority though, no one will be rolling through Europe anytime soon. I think if the last two+ decades of war have shown us, it's that Western hardware is vastly superior to its Russian counterparts, and Putin knows that.

But I digress. The reality is that Putin is one smart man, and I applaud him for that. I don't like him, but I gotta admit, he played his cards well on this one. Europe won't risk their energy supplies being cut, and the United States won't risk their supply lines being cut. Not to mention with Russia handling the Iranian nuclear situation, the west (and Israel) has A LOT to lose if we stand and defend Ukraine.

I don't think this'll isolate Russian economically as much as we think. There are lots and lots of thirsty buyers in the East who would love to get their hands on Russian energy.
 

Whiskey16

Golden Member
Jul 11, 2011
1,338
5
76
if the current Danish politicians had the balls we'd be able to put a 5000 troop roadblock in Ukraine. We're self-sufficient with oil and gas so the Russians can't squeeze us there.
Really? News to me. Denmark is viable and sustainable in isolation? External and neighbouring consequences can't effect you?

No, Broheim, in any domino effect, Russia can dramatically destabilise any state in Europe if it so chooses.

Proactive efforts should have been negotiated and ratified rather quicker in the decades since the fall of the USSR. Particularly after the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, its membership into NATO could have been finalised. Without such a solid treaty and possibly Western allied troops already present in the Ukraine, Russia would not have had so many cards in its favour. The stakes would have been higher. As it is, the current government of Ukraine and lacklustre allegiances of Western sympathetic ears must play catch-up, but they will be unable to deal with the Russian capturing of a great portion of the Ukraine.

The Ukraine has been invaded by a hostile power and has the legal recourse to react if it so wishes. Militarily, it is the Ukraine's call, with whatever forces is has left that have not defected or in conflicting allegiances to those who may very well be pressured or blackmailed to do so. Russian preparation and planning for this operation goes back many years. As it stands, not being part of NATO with past possible allied troops on its soil, it alone has the costs of lives to bear. It's now highly undesirable for any other parties to be militarily involved. Putin has long calculated for such a status quo to remain.

With or without military conflict, all that is left is for a strong and unified economic and monetary embargo against Russia. There will be countering pain, but in the long run that alone will bring greater harm to Putin's Russia, a possible near-term economic collapse, and potentially greater opposition against Putin. Yes, even greater autocracy and fascism (full circle) in Russia and its satellite (Kazakhstan, Eastern Ukraine..etc.) will be presented, but this may ultimately bring them all to yet more revolution, and hopefully another new turn towards the better.

Russia turning to China? Neither are natural allies. Hell, with the protracted follow ups to this week's events, China's economic bubble could burst before a any new expenditure can be borrowed/invested to re-align infrastructure for the importation of Russian resources.....

Putin's Russia is vulnerable. He knows that and this is why he has acted so decisively now -- gambling others will not have the unified and forceful front to as they can against him. South Ossetia was a probing warm-up for Western responses, and this Ukrainian operation has long been prepared for its release.
 
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thraashman

Lifer
Apr 10, 2000
10,898
1,042
126
the Russians are rolling. Putin laughs his ass off at your inept obama. This isn't over. The stench of obama fear and weakness is in the air. There will be more events like this and beyond. Elections Have Consequences.
Of course because the right response is starting WW3 over this you fucking retard.
 

AViking

Platinum Member
Sep 12, 2013
2,264
1
0
the Russians are rolling. Putin laughs his ass off at your inept obama. This isn't over. The stench of obama fear and weakness is in the air. There will be more events like this and beyond. Elections Have Consequences.
I'm not sure why you think Obama has a single thing to do with this. You might want to open up google maps and type in "ukraine".
 

Ventanni

Golden Member
Jul 25, 2011
1,421
127
106
I'm not sure why you think Obama has a single thing to do with this. You might want to open up google maps and type in "ukraine".
I was wondering that myself when I read that. I don't think he realizes that Obama can't be re-elected. US presidents can only serve two terms! lol
 

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