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View Diary: The Crimean Conflict is a Global Crisis (254 comments)

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  •  There is a 2. (13+ / 0-)

    Our interests are as follows.

    1. Security of our allies, as you mentioned.

    2. Guaranteeing that the biggest oil and gas pipelines into Europe stay stable. 66% of Russia's gas exports to Europe go through Western Ukraine.

    3. Guaranteeing that we mean what we say on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. It's going to be a lot harder for us to convince the Iranians, North Koreans, Indians, and Pakistanis to give up their nuclear weapons if we can't Guarantee Ukraine's sovereignty.

    4. Avoiding an ethnic conflict that will make Kosovo look like an ice cream social. I don't think you realize the scale of the disaster that will happen if this turns into the kind of quagmire you suggested. There are old, old ethnic hatreds here. Russian against Ukranian, Tatar against Russian, you'll have death squads, ethnic cleansing, not to mention the fact that this can spill over into nations which are our allies.

    I'd say that we have a lot of interest in making sure that the Ukraine situation doesn't spin out of control.

    Because if it does, then we really will have no options. I certainly wouldn't support sending American troops into that kind of mess. And I don't think anyone else would, either.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:35:10 AM PST

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    •  Re: Identifying the ally in this scenario (6+ / 0-)

      Because I'd love to know someone Western was making some serious plays helping out the good guys in this mess.

      But even if one excludes Russians... there's a lot of bad guys who happen to be Ukrainian to choose from.

      And I can't help but speculate that anyone in a rush to get some military action present in Ukraine, post haste, isn't being especially particular about who in Ukraine is being helped...

      ...or doesn't actually mind helping people who are easily framed as neo-Nazis in the Russian press.

      Not you.. but it's the sort of thing that makes me want to ask "Can we help the ultranationalists if and when we absolutely have to?"

      Because that day's not today.

      •  I hope we wont. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cskendrick, gramofsam1, Railfan

        I don't want America anywhere near an armed conflict in this region. I would hope our involvement would be entirely economic.

        Sanctions work. If we can hurt Russian oil and gas exports, if we can degrade their ability to fight, that's what we need to focus on.

        Sending troops into that mess will be another unaffordable war with no end in sight. We're talking about a permanent peacekeeping mission if we go in.

        That's NOT something I want to see happen.

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

        by OllieGarkey on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:57:14 AM PST

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        •  I think if the Russians want Crimea so much (5+ / 0-)

          They should pony up some cash for it on top of the referendum.

          Even at $150 billion bucks or so, it would be a steal...and one could accuse Putin of stealing it.

          That's a kind of cash that the Russians could (cough) suggest the West help with respect to financing terms...because that's going to have to happen as Russia isn't particularly flush with cash.

          So... say a deal comes through.

          1. The Russians can say they paid full sticker price
          2. The West grumbles and breaks out the checkbook
          3. Russia pays goods-in-kind for the next 20 years in form of seriously discounted natural gas
          4. Because low prices, move to alternatives slows down which pleases not just Russia but other exporters of carbon
          5. not coincidentally, it quashes profit motive to exploit the worst/most marginal sources of fuel like tar sands and shale
          6. That kind of sticks it to the Americans and Canadians that little bit more (rather the Ones Who Currently Matter)
          7. Ukraine gets in the clear financially, has resources to get its crap together without violence or enabling of factions that like to get their violence on
          8. One big and easy concession - ditch the Must Speak Ukrainian proviso. Russia as second official language. That way, Russia gets a wider blue ribbon to pin on its chest
          9. Tweak to plan: Less cash and gas and promises change hands but Russians get freer hand moving military in and out of Crimea.
          10. NATO will probably have to accept Ukraine status as buffer state, could argue for fortifying basing in Poland...to safeguard the region from future neofascist (sic?) threats. The Poles are credible watchdogs in this respect AND diligent emerging rivals to Russia.

          Probably left something out..or covered previously-covered ground. I kinda went at it just now.

          •  That doesn't help the Tatars or prevent them from (0+ / 0-)

            going Dagestan/Chechnya on Russian ethnics.

            Adding support for a right of return for Crimean Tatars would probably help.

            An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

            by OllieGarkey on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:32:33 PM PST

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