Putin wins again | The hill

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Russian President Vladimir PoutineVladimir Vladimirovich PutinTo Understand Russia Read Putin Ye To Meet Putin In Russia Associate Says President Of Kazakhstan Said Russian Troops Will Start Leaving In Two Days MORE will win the class discussions with the United States and demand that the West assert Russia’s sphere of influence – so long as the United States is unwilling to consider using force to deter it from its grand plan to rebuild the Soviet Union.

Eventually, Putin will establish a presence in Ukraine and be welcome in Belarus and Kazakhstan. And it won’t stop there. In the meantime, regardless of the substantive outcome of the talks this week, he will earn higher approval ratings from Russian voters, become a more powerful leader and his international reputation among his American competitors, including China, will soar.

There are two fundamental results of the meetings.

First: US and NATO allies accept Putin’s demands that the former Soviet Union, with the exception of the Baltic states, be considered and treated as part of Russia’s sphere of influence . Essentially, this means that the United States endorses Russia’s right to affect the defensive, political, economic and cultural character of former Soviet republics such as Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan in perpetuity. Of course, this also means that the United States and its allies would be prohibited from conducting military exercises or sending military aid to any country in the Russian sphere.

The United States will never accept that, but the fact that Putin, the leader of a country with an economy as small as that of Italy, can summon the United States and NATO partners with such a demand on the table is telling: Putin has the upper hand.

Second: The West rejects Putin’s demands and imposes far-reaching new sanctions the likes of which the United States has never tried before against Russia.

This could include tougher economic sanctions than those used in several rounds in the past that were directed against the ruling class and ordinary Russians. These measures may include the freezing of bank accounts and restrictions on the export of essential goods to Russia. In the past, actions like these have been ineffective in persuading Putin to change his blatant geopolitical behavior, and they are unlikely to produce different results this time around.

But the new sanctions could also include a widespread cyberattack on Russia’s air and ground transportation systems; communication, including internet, radio and television; banking and capital markets; energy; and everything that makes the country work. The United States has the cyber arsenal to mount such an attack and bring an abrupt end to life in Russia.

Russia has similar technologies that it has already used to intervene in our trade and in our 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. He will have no problem using them again and will play the victim of the capitalist West. Thus, unless the United States is willing to consider using other means of power, it should not launch a cyberattack, as Russia will retaliate with a similar strike.

The United States told the world that war was not on the table, and the Secretary of State Antoine BlinkenAntony BlinkenKim Jong Un’s latest missile hit: US-South Korea relations seems to behave like the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who in 1939 was ready to consider something other than a war against Hitler.

In such a situation, bullies call the shots. Now it’s Putin, tomorrow it could be China’s Xi Jinping.

According to the historian Carl Von Clausewitz, war is politics by other means. Removing war from the equation, as the United States is currently doing in its stance against Russia, is unwise, if not counterproductive.

The United States might be better served by using a page of The Israel Playbook: act as if ready for war and speak as if ready for peace.

It does not appear that the United States and its NATO allies are ready to do so. Their goal seems to be to control the damage Putin can inflict.

Avraham Shama is the former dean of the University of Texas College of Business, The Pan-American. He is Professor Emeritus at the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico. His new book, “Cyberwars”, will be published by 3rd Coast Books later this year.

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