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Obama Forces Putin to Bear the Costs of Total Victory

March 13th, 2014 - 11:51 am

Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom met with Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk at the White House, and you can probably guess the rest:

Obama and Yatsenyuk reiterated their warnings that the world community would reject any Russian encroachment into Ukraine as unconstitutional and unlawful, and that Russia would bear “a cost.”

The two leaders used vivid language to denounce Russia’s threatening posture toward its neighbor. Obama said Russia would not achieve its ends in Crimea as long as “the barrel of a gun” is pointed at Ukraine’s citizens.

“We will continue to say to the Russian government that if it continues on the path that it is on, then not only us, but the international community, the European Union and others, will be forced to apply a cost to Russia’s violations of international law,” Obama repeated.

Pretend for a moment you’re Vladimir Putin. You don’t have to take off your shirt and pose next to a Siberian tiger or anything, but try to get into that headspace for just a moment.

You’re doing your Cost/Benefit Analysis, and on one side of the ledger you have the scolding disapproval of Mr. Red Line himself, which might end up costing you some money and maybe some support in polls you don’t have to pay any attention to. On the other side of the ledger you have restored some of Russia’s lost territorial integrity, fully regained a vital port, and brought millions of your kinsmen back into Mother Russia’s loving embrace.

This is a no-brainer, isn’t it?

I’ll say it one more time: I’d rather we lost gracefully than having to bear witness to these increasingly embarrassing displays of whining impotence. Meanwhile, Russia masses troops on Ukraine’s eastern border. There will be a cost here all right, but it will most likely be paid in full by Kiev.

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All Comments   (5)
All Comments   (5)
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The thing is that right now, Putin hasn't fully regained Sevastopol. Sure, he controls the port, the city, and the peninsula. But he doesn't control the means of getting anything *to* the port. The land links all run through Ukraine - right now not terribly friendly territory for Russia, airlift is infeasable for supplying a city, much less an entire peninsula, and if Russia had the facilites to supply Crimea by water they wouldn't need Crimea in the first place.

As it stands now Putin has won at the tactical level while losing at the strategic. I can't decide if he simply screwed up, is hoping to scare Ukraine back into the Russian sphere, or is measuring the costs of grabbing eastern Ukraine in the future.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ummm...there's a Russian Army (that's a corps to you and me) assembling on Ukraine's eastern border. They're making a point of having artillery exercises, and Russian airlines have filed new flight paths that avoid Ukrainian airspace.

I think Putin has measured the costs, and found them wanting.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'll repeat myself: Let Russia "buy" Crimea ala the Gadsen Purchase.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Pretend for a moment you’re Vladimir Putin. You don’t have to take off your shirt and pose next to a Siberian tiger or anything, but try to get into that headspace for just a moment."

Aww, can I at least take off my shirt and pose next to a female Russian model?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Absolutely, yes.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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