Austin Bay compares Putin 2014 to Milosevic 1991:
Putin has a strategic savvy Milosevic lacked. He also possesses nuclear weapons — this is a major advantage. In 1994 Ukraine signed the Budapest Accord and gave up its nukes in exchange for territorial security assurances by Russia, the U.S. and Great Britain. In 2014, Putin’s nuclear Russia ignored the Budapest Accord and seized no-nuke Ukraine’s Crimea. Hey, peaceniks — no nukes!
Though well-supplied with ammunition, Serbia had limited fuel reserves and no money. The Serb-Croat war stalemated; economic weakness contributed to the stalemate.
Shrewd Putin controls vast energy reserves on which his Ukrainian enemy and European critics depend. Last week, Russia jacked by the price it charges Ukraine for natural gas; one source reported the jack was 80 percent. Forget creeping? That’s a gouging war of economic aggression.
Also, the West could (and did) afford to dither before taking action in the former Yugoslavia. We were also lucky to have a statesman of Richard Holbrooke’s stature to broker a peace deal.
Against a continental power like Russia, there are fewer avenues for obstructing a determined expansionist, and neither of them (expanded ballistic missile defense, expanded energy production and exports) are palatable to the current Administration.
But enough from me — go read all of Austin’s column.