There’s an interesting article at Fiscal Times on the alternatives for punitive measures against Russia. Here are David Francis’s proposals:
- Arm the Ukrainian military.
- Strangle the Russian economy.
- Extend NATO membership to Ukraine.
I think that each of those proposals is problematic in its own way and all fail by the standards I suggested yesterday. Is the present Ukrainian government really one we want to ally ourselves with? Germany in particular has shown few signs of any appetite for further economic sanctions against Russia. As I said yesterday, it’s not a crisis until Europe decides it’s a crisis.
Finally, the Ukraine is not a vital interest for us but it is a vital interest for Russia not only because of its substantial Russian population and historic ties but for its strategic importance. Do we really want to commit to defend the country? Does anybody believe that we would?