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Time to call Putin’s bluff

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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Move to have Russian removed from the UN, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
  1. 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.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Frank stetson

    Old men engage in wars the young man have to fight.

    I’m not sure that I’m ready to accept prudence sanity over whether or not too long to a world in a in a nuclear fashion.

    That said, I think at this time, given how long Ukraine has stood up, it is time for some action. Giving them planes seems like a no brainer. Given the more arms, I think that’s already being done But we could give them better arms to defend against the type of war Putin is launching. Drones that Biden is thinking about should already be there. Setting up a no-fly zone, only if we can do it via a consolidated coordinated worldwide effort. Be really cool to include China…

    The one problem at all this is that the more equipment we send over, the more equipment we give Putin. Clearly, his people need to reverse engineer some of our stuff since their equipment seems to be pretty old. I’m just not seen smart bomb written all over their attacks. I know they have drones, but we don’t see many of them either.

    The other thing I wonder about, whether under Biden or under Trump, is why Ukraine does not seem to have any missiles capable of striking Russia, more importantly, Moscow.. I mean I think we all know the answer, that would be the equivalent of allowing Ukraine to join NATO, but I’m still surprised that we didn’t sneak a few in. Sure would be nice to see Ukraine launch one over the Kremlin… The Russian certainly deserve it.

    Also, one last fly in this ointment, is that Puden must know that if he does not take Ukraine, that Ukraine will create an iron dome like Israel making the next time very different, but also putting missiles in play that they can attack Russia with. I don’t think Ukraine will just go simple defense in the future. If they have a future..

    • Austin

      They would have had a future if the election wasn’t stolen

  2. Frank stetson

    Fair nuff, sorry.