What To Do About Putin? Is Obama Doing Enough?

POST WRITTEN BY: Andrew M. Silverman (’14)

The Putin Train Rolls On. Did Obama Make America Look weak? So say John McCain…

As Putin rolls through Ukraine by using camouflaged Russian troops or agitating pro-Russian locals, the time has come to reflect on who is to blame. Long past Crimea, pro-Russian forces are now in control of about ten military bases. There are allegations that Jews are now being told to register and identify themselves. A lifelong Democrat, I am in agreement with Senator McCain that United States foreign policy is demonstrating a lack of realism in dealing with at a minimum, a bully and at worse a new Hitler.

America cannot go to war, but it must not reduce its credibility and deterrent strategies. NATO allies in Eastern Europe must not be undercut. A new strategic arms treaty reduced America’s missiles, but not Russia’s conventional arms. This is a highly complex issue requiring caution and diplomacy, but the United States must be strong and must show our NATO allies that we will stand by their side. Additional sanctions were imposed on Russia last Friday night April 25, 2014. This statement was released hours after the Pentagon said that Russian fighter jets had made half dozen incursions into Ukrainian air space over the previous 24 hours.

Philip M. Breedlove, NATO’s top military commander stated,

What is happening in Eastern Ukraine is a military operation that is planned and well organized and we assess that it is being carried out by Russian forces.

So are sanctions enough, will they work to isolate and punish a brutal Russian regime? Certainly, going to war with Putin is not an option. Perhaps, direct communication with our NATO allies as well as possible joint military exercises that serve to show our NATO commitment is the appropriate action coupled with sanctions.



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