It’s Time to Face Facts: When it Comes to Ukraine, There’s Not Much We Can Do

putin-crimeaFor the last several weeks, the situation in Ukraine has been all over the news.  And along with the continued news coming from Ukraine has been a seemingly endless stream of “experts” telling anyone who would listen to them what we should be doing.

None have been more vocal than Republicans who have taken an extreme interest in what’s going on in Ukraine, because it’s given them a great reason to try to bash President Obama.  Somehow Russia invading Ukraine is the result of “Obama’s weakness,” though I’ve yet to see any of them explain why Russia sent troops into Georgia in 2008 when George W. Bush was president.

But there’s a pressing reality all of these people need to realize when it comes to Russia sending troops into Ukraine – there’s not a whole lot we can do about it.

Sure, we can go the sanction route and work with our allies to do some diplomatic maneuvers to make things less comfortable for the Russian government – but will that stop them?  Maybe in the extreme long-term, but not right now.

Outside of using our military and risking WWIII, there’s not much we can do besides coordinate these diplomatic maneuvers with our allies, none of which are going to bring Putin crashing to his knees.

And Americans overwhelmingly oppose using our military to intervene in Ukraine.  Though several Republicans have either alluded to the fact that they feel it should be an option, or flat out have said that military force shouldn’t be taken off the table.

These are often the same politicians (like John McCain) who seem eager to use our military for damn near every international conflict.

It’s just a bit amusing to me all these “experts” who want to sit around and talk tough about Ukraine when the reality is there’s just not a whole lot we can do that we’re not already doing.  Many of these tougher sanctions aren’t something that you just do overnight.  Especially when you’re working with other countries.

But at the end of the day, it won’t be some singular move by the United States that forces Russia to leave Ukraine.  It will be a coalition of allies working together, using diplomatic sanctions, that puts enough pressure on the Russian government hoping that it will drive Russian forces out of the country.

But outside of that, which will take time, there’s not much we can do that won’t risk open war.  And that’s damn sure not something that should even be a remote option.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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  • terry63

    First we must understand why Putin went into Ukraine. Ukraine was falling into Chaos. Over 100 protester shot and killed. All out brawls in the street’s, people set on fire. For me, I was wondering what took him so long. The Olympics, Thats what took him so long. Today thats all over. His border with Ukraine was growing unstable, inviting terror and trouble. He stopped it. Yet American Media and the White house drew a line, yet again and retreated from it. Hillary called him Hitler. This was not a Hitler move. This was a security problem on Putins Southern border. If it all stops here, I have no problem with what Putin did. Pussy Riot will need to find yet another venue in which to stir up trouble.
    What can America do to insure that Putin does not go on a rampage? Which I do not beleive he has any intentions of. But to be sure. Secure the Baltics. Send stealth bombers to Romania. An f-16 strike force to the area. Not as a threat. But as Insurance . Bring Polands missile sheild up to date. This was Obama’s first mistake.He showed weakness in Poland, trying to be freinds with Putin. Putin has no repect for Obama. He has no reason to do so. Stand your ground in the Baltics and to be sure let Putin know your there for the long haul.
    You have drawn a line. You didnt have to do that but you did. So now back your play.