The situation with Russia in Ukraine is a great example of the West twisting and turning in the wind to be reasonable with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
All the negotiating in the world will not stop this Russian bear. Conflict resolution literature shows the more reasonable the West is, the more Putin will take advantage of the West’s attempts not to escalate the matter.
But Putin is going to do what he is going to do, and to hell with the rest of the world.
So, what diplomatic literature also shows is that the West must meet a dictator with powerful responses. Unless Putin believes that the West can hurt Russia more than he can gain by protecting Russian interests in Ukraine, he will not disengage his troops.
Putin’s bet is that the West is soft and will do nothing that hurts Russia. The only language understood here is power, not the language of negotiations.
Sometimes, military action to protect western interests is needed. Just the threat to Putin of western military engagement in the matter could force him back.
The West with the United Nations must show Putin they have some backbone.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 26, 2014