Friday, March 28, 2014

deeply discredited neocon bum frum on a role at the atlantic....,


theatlantic |  Realistically, though, Ukraine cannot successfully resist Russia on its own. It needs help, and the West should provide it. “I really think you are more afraid of Russia than we are,” said the same senior official who told me about the enlistments. NATO’s power vastly exceeds Russia’s, and Barack Obama is right to call Russia merely a “regional power.” Yet when it comes time to make policy, his administration seems to lose sight of the president’s insight.

The Western world’s immediate goal should be to deter further armed aggression by Russia against Ukraine. Ukrainian forces need arms and training, and Ukrainian police may need support even more than the army; it shouldn’t be so easy for bogus Russian “tourists” to cross the border. Western governments must expand their presence in the parts of Ukraine under greatest threat with both consular services and military observers. The more American, British, French, and German bodies stand in the line of fire, the less likely Russia is to shoot. 

The next step is to reassure NATO countries in Russia’s neighborhood that the United States can and will defend them. To mollify Moscow, the alliance has not built much of a physical presence in Poland and the Baltic republics. The invasion of Crimea vitiates those promises. It’s time for NATO troops to deploy in the member countries most likely to experience Russian aggression; an occasional F-16 fly-by is laughably insufficient.

It’s also possible—in fact, probable—that Russia will move more cautiously going forward, reverting to its more familiar playbook of bribery, propaganda, energy blackmail, and trade harassment. (Russia has banned Ukrainian confectionary on purported health grounds. I ate some, and they’re fine—excellent in fact—but the loss of Russian sales has hurt one of Ukraine’s few competitive export industries.)

Ukraine will need a lot of economic assistance, and it will have to accept considerable oversight to ensure that the aid is used properly. Tightening anti-corruption practices and laws in Western Europe would help, too. It’s not just Ukrainian politicians who have been plied with Russian money—these funds have flowed through Germany, Italy, and, above all, Britain. Amid Russia’s fierce media war against Ukraine, private Western foundations should support Ukraine’s fledgling independent media. 

The redirection of George Soros’s philanthropy away from building open societies in Eastern Europe to drug legalization in the United States has done damage to democracy on both sides of the Atlantic.
As a more effective and accountable government takes shape in Ukraine, it will become time to renew its application for NATO membership. This time, the answer should be ‘yes.’

In the long term, the best hope for Europe—and, indeed for Russia itself—is to reduce European dependence on Russian oil and gas. Liquid natural gas from North America can replace pipeline gas from Russia. Carbon taxes—as opposed to goofy carbon-trading schemes—can reduce energy use and enhance the competitiveness of alternative sources of supply. The army Putin uses to bully Europe is an army paid for by European gas consumers. They have it in their power to deprive Putin of his force by denying him their trade.