Make Russia Pay

What is impacting many people today is that President Biden has struck the right chords in the Ukrainian tragedy. He is now leading a strong and well coordinated effort to present a front of profound unity in the western camp. It is a sound prediction that this effort will pay off, not immediately, but in the near future.Wars that are unleashed by choice have a tendency to end badly for whomever starts them. It is going to be a slow process but the price for Putin’s Russia will have an effect. The longer the crisis lasts, the worse for Putin. He did not expect what he is getting, facing a formidable array of democratic nations that are determined to make him pay. It is relevant that this alliance is moving in unison against not only Russia but any country that would cooperate with Putin.The operating principle is to make pro-Russian countries pay a heavy price. This applies to an enormous range of economic and political factors, from technology to commercial exchanges, banking and international cooperation. The most important factor is the pain that Russian citizens will pay. It will be huge. For it to play out, however, unity will have to be sustained for a lengthy period of time. The Europeans will have to adjust quickly to the fact that Russian energy products must be severely limited. The Germans will have to make a choice and revisit their Ostpolitik. Among other things they should cooperate in stopping Russian participation in the SWIFT banking system. French and Italian companies will have to find alternate energy and grain sources. And the U.S. should come to a decision about resetting the nuclear deal with Iran and letting the Iranian oil come into the market.Just like Hitler, Vladimir Putin may not be satisfied with altering the reality of the European balance of forces and may push to invade again with the intent of resuscitating the Tsarist order of subjugated nations. What is most troubling is that he has brought up an immensely scary possibility, the use of nuclear weapons. Russia has a large arsenal and his theorists have been playing with various ideas for their selective use. The nuclear weapons can be tactical, for use on land fronts, and strategic, with devastating results on our planet. Just raising this specter is something that expresses the horrendous potential of a mad mind.This is a time for the United States to be cool and to face the events with determination in a united strategic frame. The few voices of disapproval of the current president are patently irresponsible, particularly those who claim that the Russian invasion is the result of disarray blown up by the Afghan surrender. The real danger now is that China may follow in Putin’s footsteps and move against Taiwan that has no alliance behind it but only the long protective arm of the United States. China has a lot to gain from the instability that Putin has created in Europe. Specifically, it will even gain greatly from the European decision to disengage from Russian energy. Russian gas will now go to China at lower prices.In conclusion, Putin has opened a Pandora’s box not just in Europe but in the world at large. The U.S. president has to count his friends and partners and as stated before, punish those who play Putin’s destructive power game.

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