sonic.penguin wrote:Typically speaking, the Obama administration is quick to make threats but has been known to not back up its verbage with action. A few examples include:
Threats to Afghanistan over troop withdrawals
Threats to Iran for continuing its development over a nuclear program which were later taken back
Threats to the Soviet Union with trade sanctions (who cares?)
On the other hand, there is little information out there in that respect to the actions of Russia, its more or less, if there is a Russian interest, Russia is there. No threats, just action.
While not agreeing with the Russian position, I do take notice that "threats" don't work, it is merely a time-biding non-action done in a attempt to give a "tough" but useless opinion. The fact is, is that actions speaks much louder than words, and Putin speaks a LOT louder than the current American Govt by not speaking at all.
While I don't necessarily disagree with you here, I think the problem is that it's not really an American issue to begin with. The real conflict is between Russia and Ukraine. Canada, the United States and other countries are merely on the periphery of the crisis, though European states certainly have high stakes in what happens. What exactly do you propose America should do? The only sane military action we could take, if any, would be to send troops to reinforce the rest of Ukraine.
Denouncing Russia for its actions is certainly warranted but for a real resolution to occur here there needs to be understanding of what is at stake on both sides.
Lady Wu's analysis of the issue being one of Putin's prestige is interesting and I think it's accurate. I also think there are other reasons for the invasion, however, that do relate to the history of the region. If there is a solution to the problem, I think it needs to be multifaceted. On one hand, there needs to be a beefing up of military security in Europe. Europe has been demilitarizing for decades and much of the cost of NATO's defense has been defrayed to the United States, which has overextended itself elsewhere. I think this crisis has pointed out that both Europe and the United States need to get their priorities straightened out.
On the other hand, I think that although Putin should be rightfully denounced for his use of military force, his decision to actually use the military has brought to the attention of the world a serious issue with a region of Ukraine. Perhaps the Crimea ought to be autonomous or part of Russia given the long-standing ties it has had with Russia as well as the majority Russian population in the region. I feel that a multilateral diplomatic effort should be made to temporize with Russia, asking them to remove their troops from the Crimea in exchange for concessions. One concession could be democratically held elections in Crimea overseen by neutral UN agents. The people of that region could decide in a vote whether or not they wanted independence from Ukraine, in which case they would become their own sovereign state and could then decide on their own at some later time whether or not they wanted to merge with Russia. Given the slight majority Russian population in Crimea, it is likely that Crimeans would seek out separation from Ukraine. However, it is also possible given the substantial minorities of Tatars and other people that they would vote as a country to remain with Ukraine. Should the people of Crimea decide to obtain autonomy, I believe that UN agents should stay in the country awhile to make sure that non-Russian minorities in the region were treated well by the new government. In addition, there should be free use of the Black Sea ports on the Crimean Peninsula by both Russia and Ukraine. Should the people of Crimea vote to stick with the Ukraine, I believe that similar UN oversight should be done to ensure fairness to the Russian people living in the region. Overall, I believe that a democratic vote by the people of Crimea itself, albeit with certain caveats to ensure protection of the Crimean people, would be the fairest way to resolve the crisis.
In short I think that a solution to the problem needs to use both the carrot and stick. Security in Europe needs to be improved because Russia obviously remains a rogue military threat. To sort out this specific issue, I think there needs to be a deal that deescalates tensions and also does the best thing for the people of Crimea themselves. Any proper resolution to this issue should not shift blame entirely on Russia. Although Putin's use of military force was unwarranted, the current crisis was caused by both Ukrainians and Russians. It is as much a result of long-standing divisions and corruption in Ukraine as it is of Russia's external intervention.