Hammering Russia for Hammering Georgia
What the United States can do.
Charles Krauthammer had an interesting article at Town Hall today about the same subject. While I agree somewhat to what Charles has written, I find it doesn't go far enough. Here are Prof. Krauthammer's. proposals:
We are not without resources. There are a range of measures to be deployed if Russia does not live up to its cease-fire commitments:
1. Suspend the NATO-Russia Council established in 2002 to help bring Russia closer to the West. Make clear that dissolution will follow suspension. The council gives Russia a seat at the NATO table. Message: Invading neighboring democracies forfeits the seat.
2. Bar Russian entry to the World Trade Organization.
3. Dissolve the G-8. Putin's dictatorial presence long made it a farce but no one wanted to upset the bear by expelling it. No need to. The seven democracies simply withdraw. Then immediately announce the reconstitution of the original G-7.
4. Announce a U.S.-European boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi. To do otherwise would be obscene. Sochi is 15 miles from Abkhazia, the other Georgian province just invaded by Russia. The Games will become a riveting contest between the Russian, Belarusian and Jamaican bobsled teams.
The most crucial and unconditional measure, however, is this: Reaffirm support for the Saakashvili government and declare that its removal by the Russians would lead to recognition of a government-in-exile. This would instantly be understood as providing us the legal basis for supplying and supporting a Georgian resistance to any Russian-installed regime.
These are all fairly good steps, though not strong enough. We should immediately work with our allies to freeze Russia's ability to actively participate in EVERY international organization they and we belong to. When they veto that resolution in the United Nations, we simply pull out of the United Nations completely, leaving it a hollow shell of dictators and tyrants, capable of doing nothing.
Instead of boycotting the 2014 winter olympics, we should render Russia's membership in the Olympic Games null and void, with the ability to reconsider in 20 or 30 years.
Place a 100% tariff on ALL Russian goods, services, or raw materials. This will make them so expensive they won't have any buyers, even China.
Build a new pipeline from Iraq through Turkey to the Mediterranean. This will really put a crimp in Russia's shorts, as it will open up a new path for oil to flow that Russia will have a hard time controlling. Assist the Turks and Iraq in controlling the PKK, the Russian tool on the Turkey/Iraq border.
Agree to assist every nation in NATO to upgrade their armed forces, and to create a "resistance army" should Russia attack them.
Return to the Moon in force - not to militarize it, but to ensure that no other nation does (especially Russia and China).
Reduce Russia's ability to influence European decisions by helping Europe reduce its dependence on Russian oil and gas. Do that by expanding production in the United States, especially of natural gas, to the point where there is a surplus that can be exported to Western Europe. Increase domestic production of electricity from nuclear energy, renewable energy, and clean coal, and reduce the use of natural gas to generate electricity. Reducing our demand for imported energy would allow more oil and natural gas to be diverted to European countries.
Rebuild our military to 16 Army divisions, 6 Marine divisions, and whatever Air and Navy assets are needed to support them. Our reduction in force following the collapse of the Soviet Union gave the world the idea that the United States was weak and an easy mark. Georgia is paying part of the price for that draw-down. Rebuilding will take time, but it's necessary.
Teddy Roosevelt had the right idea: in order to get people to listen to you, speak softly, and carry a big stick - larger than the one they have. Unsupported words accomplish nothing.