What would you do to address Russia's aggression? How would you make Putin understand that his invasive actions against a sovereign neighboring nation will cause painful consequences to Russia?
There is so much commentary and analysis on the above questions. I suppose there are no easy answers. But I do know this much--if I were president, I wouldn't waste ninety minutes in one phone call and sixty minutes in another trying to reason with an opponent who obviously doesn't respect a word I am saying.
Instead, I would take about ninety seconds to outline my plan of action--on the first day of the invasion, not a week later. It would go something like this:
"Hello, Vladimir. I realize the Ukranian/Crimean crisis does not directly involve my country. But you're nothing if not a practical man, so I know you'll understand that we can't allow your aggression to stand unchallenged. Here are two steps I'm taking to protect my country's security and national interests:
- Immediate approval of the Keystone Pipeline to carry oil from Canada to the U.S.
- Immediate exportation of natural gas to global markets.
End of discussion. Beginning of common sense. It works for me.