What's needed is a fully functional Ukraine OS 2.0 -- a new operating system that could execute common software: free elections, representative government, tried and true laws and regulations. Without it, there is no way forward.
Before his annexation of Crimea, Putin exercised much of his geopolitical influence through a menacing sort of strategic ambiguity. He could use Russian gas as a weapon one moment, then play geopolitical partner and peacemaker the next. But his seizure of Ukraine has removed all ambiguity.
The current confrontation with Russia over its armed seizure of Crimea is in many ways a repeat of the 1968 invasion. And we Americans are partly to blame for it.
Of course, for the Olympics, Russia put its best foot forward, and everyone accused the Western media of "overreacting" to the anti-gay laws here. If those critics had seen what I've witnessed in Russia, they would think differently. Russia does discriminate against its LGBTI citizens.
On the eve of the GCC summit in Kuwait last year, Saudi-Omani differences came out into the open, with the Iranian issue being the main reason for the dispute.
The West could have held the upper moral hand in the Crimean crisis, but chose not to.
In invading, occupying, and finally annexing Crimea, Vladimir Putin pointed Russia's guns at Ukraine and said: your territorial sovereignty or your life. So far, extortion has worked -- and Putin knows it. Indeed, in his speech announcing the annexation of Crimea, Putin spoke his mind: his regime fears no punishment and will do whatever it pleases. Crimea is just the first step toward realizing his dream of revived Russian greatness.
I've argued against the extreme critique of U.S. policy in Ukraine, one that the Russian foreign ministry regularly trumpets and a small but vocal sliver of the left has embarrassingly embraced. The question remains: Should the United States have been involved in Ukraine at any level?
Why can't one criticize both Washington's foreign policy machinations while also decrying Putin's excesses? Adopting such a position seems clear as day and a "no-brainer," yet the left cannot seem to get beyond the narrow confines of its own ideological fixations.
The idea that the world we create at a personal level can influence if not determine the sort of world we create at the national and international level seems naïve, perhaps, unless one looks at the default alternative, consigned to us by the media: that our role is to be a spectator in the global wrestling arena.
The best way to limit Russian aggression is to strike at their economy, and thus their ability to finance these illegal operations.
The crisis in Ukraine has only highlighted the need for both Europe and Russia to diversify beyond Gazprom's gas exports to Europe.
Russia's brazen annexation of Crimea presents a vexing foreign policy crisis for the Western powers. How can these actions be denounced without pointing a finger back upon their own forays and interventions?
Crimea is gone. Increased sanctions and criticism from the West will not stop Russia's annexation of this largely ethnic-Russian peninsula. As Ukraine now withdraws its troops from Crimea, America and its allies should instead focus their diplomacy on the preservation of a democratic Ukraine.
On the edge of Kabul, Afghanistan, framed by the snowy peaks of the Hindu Kush, lies the Darul Aman Palace, the former home of Afghan King Amanullah Khan.
America's extreme right has long been known for its gratuitous flag waving -- but who ever thought the flag would be Russian? As the crisis in Ukraine unfolds, it is becoming crystal clear that leading social conservatives and their advocacy groups are grappling with a patriot problem.