Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Your tactical proposal--of moving NATO troops into the Ukraine--is frankly insane, not because it will lead to Global Nuclear War (a separate issue altogether) but because it can only have the opposite effect of its stated goal of keeping the Ukraine a single country.  

At the first hint of NATO movement out of NATO countries the Russians will seize those objectives they consider worthwhile--and do it first.  

Notice that the western Ukraine is not a region the Russians consider worthwhile.  They will never seek to annex it.  

The eastern Ukraine is a different matter--they would rather not, but if annexing it is what is required to keep NATO bases out, they will do it in a heartbeat.  

Putin's strategy is easy to understand, once you understand his goals.  His tactics--well, his tactics are clever, and are deliberately meant to surprise.  

His goals are basic:  The survival of Russia as a nation, which explicitly means preventing its subjugation to the West as a resource colony.  That means no neo-liberalization.  The reference point is the looting out of Russia by the West during the Yeltsin years.  Putin's first job in coming to power was to put an end to that, his second job was to create a regional (thank you, John Kerry) base of political and military power sufficient to prevent a re-invasion from the West.  

The Western response was less than good-natured.  In fact, since the time of Yeltsin the US has steadily pushing forward NATO bases deeper east into Europe.  The Cold War ostensibly being over, these bases have no purpose, but their real purpose is pretty obvious to everybody, certainly to the Russians who are used to the fact that every few decades they are invaded from the West.  

For his success in saving the Russian nation Putin remains immensely popular.  

His tactical success in Crimea could only increase that popularity.  The US attempted a coup to match the coup in Kiev (5 billion dollars, by the US own admission, going into the Kiev destabilization) but Putin anticipated this and secured the Crimea (a strategic necessity) without the use of main force.  

So you see this is not about "power"--except in the sense that for its own reasons (economic failure at home) the US has restarted the Cold War.  

If you were really interested in peace in the Ukraine (not a US objective), you would consider how to reconstitute the remaining provinces into a multi-national, multi-linguistic federation of autonomous regions.  

It is already too late for that.  The IMF austerity is being implemented, fating the Ukraine to become a failed state.  

The Russians may yet be forced to peal off the East and South for their own protection.  The privatization of Ukranian agricultural lands will not go as well as Western oligarchs think.  The remainder will sink it into open chaos.  


The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Apr 2nd, 2014 at 02:37:09 AM EST
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