Time to call Putin’s bluff
Let’s be very clear. Russian despot Putin is NOT going to launch a worldwide nuclear war. Some argue that he may deploy a tactic nuclear hit with a couple of atomic bombs – much like the United States used to end a real-world war. And even that is so unlikely that it should not be given much credence – and the threat should not deter serious military counter measures to his invasion.
There are several things the United States, NATO and the European Union should do IMMEDIATELY.
- We should maximize the flow of strategic weapons into Ukraine – for the Ukrainian military, the various volunteer para-military groups and private citizens. We should make sure that the Ukrainians have 10 Stingers and 10 Javelin missiles for every tank and rocket launcher Russia has inside of Ukraine.
- Get the fighter jets currently in Poland in the hands of Ukrainian pilots and on their war to the battle zone. Biden trembles that it would “provoke” Putin. We are already providing ground weapons – so why not planes. And provoking Putin should be the last consideration.
- President Biden should tweak his too often repeated statement that America will definitely not respond militarily in Ukraine. This overly emphasized guarantee to Putin — that neither America nor our allies will take any military action against Russian forces in Ukraine — is nothing less than a welcome mat for Putin. Just as Putin dangles the threat of the use of nuclear weapons, the west should dangle the threat of military action – and mean it. He should tell Putin and the world, that in view of the war crimes being committed by Putin, a military response has to be put on the table.
- The west should unleash every unapplied sanction against Russia, the oligarchs, Russian enterprises. Biden promised to throw the book at Putin if he invaded – and even as the war gets more brutal, Biden is still throwing one page of the “book” at a time.
- Biden, NATO and the UN should declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine – to be enforced by a multi-national air force. Once declared, we could give Russia 24 hours to comply. See what Putin does. After that, take control of the skies. We need to understand however, that it is a limited move since Russian aircraft can – and have been – firing from aircraft flying in Russian air space. That is how he attacked the military installations in west Ukraine. And that is how Putin is likely to respond – honor the airspace and launch munitions from inside Russia. But even that would greatly limit Putin’s air power.
- While a lot of American and western companies have stopped operating in Russia, Biden should issue an Executive Order banning all but essential American businesses from operating in Russia. We need to disrupt the Russian internal supply chain in every way possible.
- Rather than just freeze the assets of Oligarch, we should expand seizing their property and bank accounts – and use the money to pay for the munitions being sent to Ukraine. Because the major oligarchs are actually holding Putin’s billions of rubles in their names, it would ironically have Putin paying for the Ukrainian weapons.
- Move to have Russian removed from the UN, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
- Biden is threatening Putin with serious consequences if he resorts to chemical warfare. Coming from Biden that sounds like another empty threat. Biden should be specific as to what those consequences might be. That also begs the question again – why are there still so many tools left in the American toolbox?
We have been told many times, that Putin only responds to force. Like Hitler, he will humor the diplomats and make false promises – and tell audacious lies – but he knows that words and even partial sanctions can be ignored. The Ukrainian people can suffer – the people all over the world can suffer … even the Russian people can suffer … but as long as he can operate in the safety and security of his isolated bunker in the Kremlin, none of that matters.
So, there ‘tis.