Zbigniew Brzezinski: NATO and the West Must Respond to Putin’s Aggression, Or He’ll Eat Your Children
DF Note: OK, maybe he didn’t say Putin will eat your children, but he might as well have. Both the U.S. and Russia are spinning (lying) about their actions in the Ukraine, but Zbigniew has got to try harder to keep it somewhat believable. I have to give him a poor rating for stating:
If Ukraine is crushed while the West is simply watching, the new freedom and security in bordering Romania, Poland and the three Baltic republics would also be threatened.
The most recent confrontation started when Russia swooped-in with an incentive package to entice (Former) Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych away from the EU agreement. The Ukraine is of the utmost importance to both Russia and the West for geopolitical reasons, and a prize long sought by Zbigniew. In attempt to save the EU deal, the West began mobilizing protestors and continues to support the movement in a big way. In a counter-move, and also to secure vital interests in Crimea, Russia did send in troops, but in no way has Russia indicated they are going to launch a military campaign into Romania, Poland or the Baltic Republics. He might as well have said Putin will eat your children if he’s allowed to maintain influence in the Ukraine. And then he could also sell a few ocean front properties in Arizona.
Neither the West nor NATO will take back Crimea. Russia is not bluffing. The Crimean Peninsula is absolutely vital to Russia…they will not blink. And as much as Zbigniew would like to press it all the way, he doesn’t have the backing to do it. Russia will maintain a presence in Crimea from this point forward. Up to and including a serious military conflict with the West.
What is to be done? Putin’s aggression in Ukraine needs a response
By Zbigniew Brzezinski, Published: March 3
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Zbigniew Brzezinski was national security adviser from 1977 to 1981.
Regarding the Russian aggression against Ukraine, much depends on what Vladimir Putin does next. But what Putin does depends on not only his calculation of the likely NATO (and especially the U.S.) response but also his estimate of how fiercely the Ukrainian people would respond to any further escalation by Russia. And, to complete the circle, the Ukrainian response would be influenced by citizens’ reaction to any repetition of Putin’s Crimean aggression and by whether the nation believes that the United States and NATO are truly supportive.
Putin’s thuggish tactics in seizing Crimea offer some hints regarding his planning. He knew in advance that his thinly camouflaged invasion would meet with popular support from the Russian majority in Crimea. He was not sure how the thin and light Ukrainian military units stationed there would react, so he went in masked like a Mafia gangster. In the event of serious Ukrainian resistance, he could disown the initiative and pull back.
Accusing the West of encouraging an “unconstitutional coup” in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin said that Moscow reserves the right to protect Russians there.
Following a speech on the budget Tuesday, President Obama accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of seeking to exert influence through force over Ukraine.
His initial success may tempt him to repeat that performance more directly in the far eastern provinces of Ukraine. If successful, the conclusive third phase could then be directed, through a combination of political unrest and increasingly overt use of Russian forces, to overthrow the government in Kiev. The result would thus be similar to the two phases of Hitler’s seizure of the Sudetenland after Munich in 1938 and the final occupation of Prague and Czechoslovakia in early 1939.Much depends on how clearly the West conveys to the dictator in the Kremlin — a partially comical imitation of Mussolini and a more menacing reminder of Hitler — that NATO cannot be passive if war erupts in Europe. If Ukraine is crushed while the West is simply watching, the new freedom and security in bordering Romania, Poland and the three Baltic republics would also be threatened.Keep on reading @ washingtonpost.com
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