Here are the ten steps that NATO countries, which will soon be meeting for an emergency session to respond to Russia’s outrageous aggression in Georgia, should take immediately:
1. Admit Ukraine. Arm it to the teeth.
2. Eject Russia from the G-8.
3. Call for Russia’s ejection from the U.N. Security Council.
4. Recall all national ambassadors from Moscow for 90 days.
5. Invite a conference of Russian opposition leaders to Brussels for a formal meeting with the EU, followed by one in Washington.
6. Begin supplying weapons to the rebels in Russia’s breakaway provinces of Chechnya and Ingushetia. Call openly for Russia to free these regions from bondage.
7. Announce a massive new program of military spending, pushing Russia into a lethal new arms race it can’t afford or consigning it to permanent military impotence.
8. Announce a new program to aggressively seek alternatives to Russian fossil fuels, with fixed reduction targets.
9. Announce a boycott of the Russian winter olympics in Sochi in 2014 as long as Vladimir Putin remains in power.
10. Announce the creation of a new information network, much larger and better funded than Voice of America or Radio Free Europe to deliver Internet, TV and radio broadcasts into neo-Soviet Russia so that Russians can learn the truth about their country.
As George Will writes in the Washington Post: “Russia, with aspiring nations within its borders, generally opposes secessionists, as it did when America, which sometimes opposes secession (e.g., 1861-65), improvidently supported Kosovo’s secession from Russia’s ally Serbia.” Russia is deeply vulnerable to internal division because of the latent racism of Slavic population and the nation’s widespread, crushing poverty (Russia isn’t in in the top 100 nations of the world for male adult lifespan). If Russia wants to set the precedent for separation, then Russia must live by that precedent.
Russia is also utterly dependent on purchases of its fossil fuels by the West to keep its economy operating. It suffers from devastating double-digit consumer price inflation and traditionally anemic levels of national production.
And Russia is a very poor country, with a per capita GDP not in the world’s top 50 nations even when raised by “purchasing power parity” calculations. It lacks the resources to impose draconian Soviet-era controls on civil society if truly pressed. A concerted effort to support civil society in Russia will either cause deep disruption socially or economically.
But most of all, Russia stands alone. NATO must emphasize this fact to the Russian people, show them that it risks provoking a legion of powerful, wealthy nations and has not a single country on its side. It must transmit to Russia’s oligarch class that Putin is a rogue leader who risks returning the nation to a Soviet environment in which no profit is safe and indeed no person.
Aren’t we a hysteric little war-monger today. You just LOVE the idea of mayhem, don’t you? Stop watching Batman, or at least stop identifying withe Ledger’s character.
Beautiful. Talk about bad timing. Here you are with your warmongering while Russia has just successfully concluded its peacekeeping mission. Russia’s doing the right thing, and doing it right. It’s time for you to wake up. The Russophobes of this world are losing. The 21st century needs Russia. It could do without you and your miserable hate-ridden lying and scheming.
There are no sane “opposition leaders” in Russia. Russia is not even a Zimbabve in this respect.
Very good and thoughtful editorial. For point #9 I would suggest pressuring IOC to move the Winter Olympics from Sochi to a different country, because it is near Georgia and therefore dangerous.
Huzzah, good sir!
Were that men could be found in Europe to implement such a policy.
The Russian bear must be stopped.
Why am I reminded very strongly of all those pictures of Putin without his shirt, holding a fishing rod? And of the videos of Putin throwing someone to the mat in judo?
The mad dog, crazy Ivan, has bared his teeth, growed, barked, snarled and – bitten. Mad dog Putin/Medvedev has “shown” crazy rooshans inside roosha that it can and will beat up on anyone at anytime for “peacekeeping” – just like the sovok mantra, мир всем. They did not believe it of course, because “peace” meant sovok domination. “Peacekeeping’ means imposing rooshan will wherever they want and whenever they want.
Mad dog roosha has shown everyone that it is a bully, and that being a bully is what makes Putin/Medvedev and the siloviki feel good.
The key here is recognizing what roosha is and is not. Roosha is NOT a democracy. And that is very clear from the swaggering posts of the assorted mad dog rooshans who proudly proclaim roosha’s “peacekeeping” and that roosha is someone to be dealt with.
Roosha has “face.” Roosha feels good because it just beat someone up.
Roosha doesn’t want friends or peace. Roosha just wants to beat people up, to feel like it is the big dog. Not human – but like a big dog to be feared.
Here is what roosha is:
It is neither a back-from-the-dead Soviet Union that must be opposed at all costs nor a partner-in-waiting that simply requires greater attention and respect for fruitful cooperation. Russia is ruled by a profoundly corrupt elite that cares first and foremost for manipulating the machinery of the state to serve its private financial interests, after that for the maintenance of power through a pseudo-democratic system of propaganda-massaged plebiscites masquerading as elections, and only then for the national interest as that is understood in Western democracies. Though the terms are hardly catchy, Russia today could be described as a “kerdocracy” (rule based on the desire for material gain) or “khrematisamenocracy” (rule by those who transact business for their own profit).
These ten steps will be put in practice when hell freezes over. You are insane
All these are all right but I think they are unrealistic in the sense they require co-ordination and co-operation between a large number of countries while they also underestimate the role of Russia in the UN (veto) as well as Russia’s economic ties to countries (e.g. imports from Germany around $280bn).