Ukraine: Why the hour has passed for Western Military Showmanship
Last week I put together a timeline displaying the transformation of protests into violent actions in Ukraine. This week has ended with reports that the Russian Black Sea Fleet had landed in Crimea. The article is an account given by a professor who wrote papers on the Russian military in the post-Soviet era. The real major concern in moving forward for Ukraine lies in its political functioning.
Unlike the Syrian conflict or the possibility of a Venezuelan one, the protesters have theoretically beaten back the government forces. They have established an interim government, which is looking to enact austerity measures and put Ukraine back on the path to fixing its economy, so that way it can receive financial aid from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and other Western outlets. By far, the best statesman quote of this lifetime, “To be in this government is to commit political suicide and we need to be very frank and open.”
So why the title then? Because all the financial support in the world does very little good when the Russia’s Man of the Hour, Vladimir Putin had promised a $15 billion bailout in exchange for decreased relations with the West. This is even more pronounced in that deposed leader Viktor Yakunovych is still free and is rallying his pro-Russian followers. And having been reported in the last few hours, the Russian Parliament has granted Putin the right to use military force in Ukraine.
How should the West respond to militarization by Putin and Russia?
Opinion of Michael McKinney: Okay, so KGB Putin, President and Sexiest Man Alive in Russia, wants to rebuild the Russian Empire. That’s not surprising, he’s simply collecting all the pieces of the former USSR states that have Russian populations in them. I think at this point it would be better to plebiscite the individual territories of Ukraine. Plebiscite is a 20s-50s term where the popular sovereignty of the province determines what to do with the state. Have each of the provinces of Ukraine vote on whether they want to integrate with Russia, or remain with the Ukraine. Then peacefully let the ones who decide to join Russia, secede and integrate with Russia. THEN, after the concessions made, place a guarantee of protection on Ukraine, like we should do with Georgia, Poland, Estonia, Livonia, and Lithuania. I would purchase a sum of land from each of the states for a small military base, mostly for training these nations’ military forces in national defense. The money would be under $10 billion to each state, and with the ending of most operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the budget should be able to handle such small, limited-scope missions. It’s more about ensuring that these nations can adequately defend themselves from Russian Imperialism than outright American Imperialism.
Opinion of Michael Tagan: I take your military project and take it one step forward. Let’s make some military grants out to these states so they can buy missile defense systems and better war materials. Maybe offer inclusion in NATO if they don’t already have it. It’s not about outright opposing Russia, so much as showing that we will not tolerate the former oppressions of Communism and Russian Imperialism that occurred. If they want to Empire, They’ll have to consider the strong defensive coalition of NATO as opposed to that.
Though I admit, that in this day and age, good old American Warrior philosophy is typically looked down upon. But I cannot see the current leadership actually having enough of a spine to do anything. It literally would take the Showmanship of Theodore Roosevelt’s White Fleet to deter the Russians and maybe that’s still not strong enough. How can you adequate threaten a nuclear nation bent on rebuilding the Empire when you’ve set precedent you’ll sell democracy for flimsy UN observation missions?