Despite the difficulties of the West in dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin, I believe he does not have all the cards as some believe. For one thing, the economic sanctions could be sharply increased and more military and economic assistance provided to the Ukraine. But should he continue to wave his sabre, the West ought to remind him that NATO could get Turkey to close the Straits, confining his fleet to the Black Sea to rust. In addition, if he refuses to settle the Ukrainian question peacefully, the West could threaten to squeeze the Russians out of Kaliningrad, a thin territory sandwiched precariously between Poland and Lithuania. The West must be careful, however, to do nothing to precipitate another Crimean War. The last one, best known for the foolish charge of the Light Brigade, did not go well for Britain or France. In any case, Putin must be encouraged to reflect soberly upon the potential vulnerability of his position.
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