March 2nd, 2014
01:44 PM ET

How U.S. should respond to Russia

By Fareed Zakaria

In a strange act of historical coincidence, it is 60 years ago this week that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev handed the Crimea over to the Ukraine. It might not have seemed a big deal in those days – everyone was part of one big, unhappy Soviet Union. But that act has created today’s geopolitical crisis.

Russia has now made its move. It has essentially detached Crimea from the Ukrainian government’s control. What remains unclear is what Vladimir Putin wants to do with it. Incorporate it into Russia? Use it as leverage to negotiate a deal with Ukraine? Both?

In any event, Washington’s response should be clear and forceful. Russia has violated all kinds of laws and norms, including most crucially, a treaty that it signed with Ukraine guaranteeing that country’s borders, in return for which Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons.

For Washington, for Americans, for people around the world, it would be a terrible precedent to allow issues like this to be resolved not through diplomacy, but by force. If Russia could detach parts of neighboring countries with impunity, won’t other great powers like China decide that they too can act in such ways?

So what can be done? Well, for starters President Obama should cancel entirely his attendenace at the G-8 summit to be held in Sochi in June. He should try to persuade the other major powers to follow suit. Russia’s membership in the G-8 should be suspended. Remember,  the G-8 was created to recognize that post-Soviet Russia was behaving like an honorable member of the international community, not a rogue state . If the behavior has changed, Russia’s status should also change.

Militarily there is less that can be done. After all, Russia’s military budget is about 18 times that of Ukraine. But NATO should restart talks on providing assurances to countries like Poland – including perhaps building the missile defense system that was abandoned.

In economic terms, Washington and the EU should consider the only sanctions that would be effective: ones targeted specifically at individuals who could be held responsible for these acts of aggression against Ukraine.

Washington cannot do much to stop Vladimir Putin as he creates facts on the ground in Crimea. But step back and consider what a strategic disaster this is for him. Ukraine has slipped out of his orbit and most of the population there is going to be hostile to Russia for generations. Countries like Poland that had eased up relations with Moscow will now view it with great suspicion. All European countries will put their relations with Russia under review. Even China will surely oppose the brazen violation of national sovereignty, something Beijing is always concerned about. Within Russia people have seen that Putin is terrified of a democracy movement and will brutally oppose it, not really the image he wants to present.

So Putin gets Crimea, which is only 60 percent Russian. Parts of it will be deeply hostile to this Russian takeover – including the population of Crimean Tartars, who are Muslim and getting radicalized. Remember, Crimea is in the Northern Caucasus, the area where Russia has been battling a ferocious Muslim insurgency.

So even as he lines up one more piece – or half piece – on his chessboard, Putin will find that the price he has paid for it will be quite high.

Post by:
Topics: Fareed's Take • Russia • Ukraine

soundoff (1,638 Responses)
  1. Mateo

    Odd that Zakaria seems to be begrudgingly reading from a script and would not mention that the U.S. uses unilateral force not diplomacy and negotiations demarcating borders incongruent with ethnic/racial and other binding essences (i.e. Israel) and we straight punk the whole freakin' world and act like our shyt don't stink. This will be our downfall is anything.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Reply
    • Glenn


      March 2, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • Shawn R


      March 2, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • richard

      We did not use force in Isreal, Isreal did, won the civil war with the palistineans and annexed the land as the new state of Isreal in 1948...Russia has used this force and is attempting to annex lands from a nation that took the lands in exchange for all of it's nuclear weapons...Ukraine should have NEVER turned those missles over to Russia, period.

      that aside, there is no comparison to the US because we are not annexing anything.. we are leaving, after we have attacked, we attacked because there was a violation of an armistice in Iraq , and terrorists in Afghanistan.

      Where we had no business was in Libya or Bosnis/serbia... but democrats let europeans and french govts drag us into those conflicts that have no bearing on US interests at all.

      March 2, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • Chris Bordeman

      Another anti-Semetic nut job.

      March 3, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  2. sdlkalk

    This guy is a plaigarist fraud with no business "advising" anything. He has been full of B S from the start, and Obama carries around his books. Look at where we are now. Trying to play off this weakness and bumbling as some super-intellectual master plan is laughable at best, really scary at worst. What a bunch of bozos

    March 2, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Reply
    • Soco

      That's how you get a job at CNN.

      March 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm | Reply
    • Chris Bordeman

      "Obama carries around his books."

      Wow, you would think some of Zakaria's wisdom would rub off.

      March 3, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Reply
  3. Wild Omar

    Hmmm... Canceling the G8 does nothing. Seriously. Nothing. However, freezing or attaching the billions of dollars that the Russians have floating around in the various world banks... much of it completely illegal... would do a lot. Nothing gets a nation's attention faster than going after their money. Putin is a bully and a thug. He cannot be allowed to stoke nationalistic unrest in other countries, and then move in to resolve that most convenient unrest. Can you imagine the world uproar if the US seized northern Mexico because the Americans living there were unhappy with the Mexican President? NATO was designed to restrain Soviet aggression in Europe. Putin has longed for the return of the former soviet hegemony, and President Obama has repeatedly caved to Putin on every front… the latest being Syria. Emboldened, Putin feels he has nothing to fear from the “toothless” United States. The US and NATO cannot allow the invasion of Crimea to stand... and yes, if that means putting troops on the ground, then so be it. Questions?

    March 2, 2014 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    • craig mayfield

      You must have a pretty good Bomb Shelter...

      March 2, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • ELMO

      I can and have seen us Invade Grenada, Panama, Cuba etc. Historically we have done Mexico twice if you count supporting Texas. Not to mention the School of the America's and our support of any group willing to go counter to unfriendly south American countries. Lets just consider this the Vladimir Putin version of the Monroe Doctrine. I'm a very proud American yet not a geopolitical bigot.

      March 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Reply
    • Goose

      The US will send troops over there to defend Ukraine on one condition- you go over there and fight with them

      March 2, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Reply
      • Chris Bordeman

        We can certainly send them equipment and a few hundred 'advisors.' Russia would be crazy to fight back.

        March 3, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
  4. Ola russian

    Fareed Zachariah incompetent. In Russia and China people respect U.S., supported all U.S. operations against terrorists. We like president Obama. No one is going to harm the United States, because then who will help if someone needs protection from terrorists? We hope that the U.S.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  5. info411

    So, Putin claims the right to enter Crimea, like Saddam Hussein claimed the right to Kuwait.

    And Russia can do this because because it has nuclear weapons while Ukraine gave theirs up. Kinda makes you question why anyone would want countries like Iran to come anywhere close to possessing nuclear weapons.

    And Hagel proposes cutting the Army. After all, as some posters have commented, we won't be fighting a conventional battle any time in the next ten years.

    Yep, Obama's "reset" with Russia has certainly paid off.

    So, here's the 3 am question: will Obama, like the first George Bush, declare that this aggression will not stand?

    March 2, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • jaydavid666

      Bush was better than Obama.
      Bush cooperated fully with Putin.
      Obama is bad.
      Obama is not kissing up to Putin like Bush did.

      March 2, 2014 at 3:46 pm | Reply
      • mike

        hahahaahahah!!!!!!obama is not kissing up to putin like bush did????? obama does not have to "kiss up to putin" because putin could care less what obama thinks or does. he's the weakest president we have had since jimmy carter and thats saying something.

        March 2, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
      • The Smart One in the Room

        You're right! This can't be happening!!!
        Bush Number 2 declared that Putin has a "good soul," and Bush Number 2 was never wrong about anything!!!

        March 2, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
      • Patriot Warrior

        Obama is a weak leader that is all talk and no action. Oh by the way your 666 doesn't do anything for your image.

        March 3, 2014 at 6:23 am |
    • Andrew M.

      Completely agree. I think Obama is slowly getting it but he needs to be more proactive and think more geopolitically. After all, he is dealing with a KGB man whose powerful propaganda machine would have turned Dr. Goebels (Hitler's minister of propaganda) green from envy.

      March 2, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Reply
      • Chris Bordeman

        Obama is "slowly getting it?"

        Wow, maybe by year 8 he may even have a freaking clue.

        March 3, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
    • Issy

      You got that exactly right. Rather than cut the military budget, Hagel should increase it a hundred fold. After all, what matters most is that we have a trillion-man military, even if we have to borrow and go bankrupt in the process. Well spoken, buddy!!!!!

      March 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Reply
      • Patriot Warrior

        I rather build up our military than waste money that Obama has wasted in the last 5 years.

        March 3, 2014 at 6:24 am |
      • Chris Bordeman

        Create ridiculous straw men much?

        March 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
    • Robadude32

      Yes and everyone knows Putin will never give up the Ukraine and he plays to win.

      March 4, 2014 at 9:56 am | Reply
  6. Lord Toronaga

    Fareed....are you serious ? And I like the only 60% statement... Obama only won with 53% and he acts like a dictator.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • really?

      Obama acts like a dictator..... either you have absolutely no idea what a dictator is or you have the intellectual capabilities of a rock, smart guess is both apply

      March 2, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Reply
    • Banana Politics

      Lord Toronaga: Why do people like you complain that Obama only won with 53% of the popular vote? GWB actually LOST the popular vote to Gore in his first election with less than 48%. He won his second term with less than 51%.

      March 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Reply
      • Glenn

        Bitter much.

        March 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
    • Patriot Warrior

      No actually he acts like a Progressive. He needs to be removed from this land. 53%? Don't believe it. He had to go out and bus people into the Democratic convention just to get a crowd. Numbers cad be manipulated in our current electronic voting system.

      March 3, 2014 at 6:28 am | Reply
  7. TVT

    "Crimea is in the Northern Caucasus"- really??? Have you seen the map?

    March 2, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • dan2

      I'm looking at various maps, trying to follow Z's cartographic calculus. He's going to have to help us out

      March 2, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  8. Jim in Florida

    Zakaria, another mindless left winger trying to give the Commander in Mindless Left Winger advice. Obama won't go to Russia for the G-Whiz meeting. That will make Putin tremble for sure. My goodness.....Putin has already exposed Obama for what he is, an empty suit, weak, we have Zakaria, new found expert in Russian moron

    March 2, 2014 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • mb2010a

      Idiot Republican tea bagger...

      March 2, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Reply
      • Chris Bordeman

        No doubt you had something clever to say but opted for that doozy instead?

        March 3, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
  9. Jim

    Yes, do sanctions, call off meetings, withdraw membership, call names, etc. but, no boots on the ground!

    March 2, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Reply
    • Chris Bordeman

      Surely nothing that would have an actual effect.

      March 3, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  10. Adam Smith

    This is a pure propaganda piece. As an analytical article is next to worthless. I have to agree with posters who stated from what is written, it appears that Mr. Zakaria does not understand this complex issue well.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  11. Igor Romanov

    I am so embarrassed of my country Russia. My leader, Vlad Putin is such a dope. He doesn't understand that Crimea never belong to my people. In fact, what is considered "Russia" right now is conquered lands from other people. My country conquered Crimea over 200 years ago and barely has 58% of the population. Russians in Crimea are recent immigrants and Stalin ethnically cleansed the indigenous Tatars, who are coming back with the Ukrainian brothers.
    To the people of the world, my country Russia is a failed state.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • Ola russian

      Come back to reality! In Crimea will be a referendum with one question: Staying within the Ukraine on a federal basis (international agreement).

      March 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Reply
    • Jessica McGwin

      I would disagree with you. I do not think Russia want nor cares about the Real Estate. In a reasonable amount of time Russia can extract it's people and It's military assets. With the sensitive nature of those assets it is imperative to the international community that those assets are secured and moved safely to Russian soil. The Ukraine people have been heard. They want Russia to get out. That s fine. However the Russian citizens have a right to defend their lives, their wives, their children, elderly, sick and disabled. No time what so ever has been allowed for those people to make arrangements to move to Russian soil safely. They will need a place to live, they will need work and care for their families. Do you know how hard it would be in the US government told my family to just get out of the home we bought and paid for? My grandfather is 101 he has special needs, we have kids, animals all of which require life needs. Moving them all in an over night nightmare? Come on they will all be displaced. The Ukraine government has allowed no time at all and is now mobilizing their military to do what kill any Russian that did not leave when they order the President out? The Russian state is defending their people until they can extract both their assets and people. The Ukraine government has not handled this with diplomacy or reasonable demands. Your Russia has not failed you. They are defending you. I wish I could say that about the US. Whom stood down on their own people in the middle of a terrorist attack. Be glad that at the very least you leadership would value your life enough to defend it. Mine would just stand down at let us die. Even tough that is not what we paid our taxes for.

      March 2, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Reply
      • There you have it

        Take your meds. Gosh yes, by golly, Putin just wants to send troops in to retrieve assets and save grannies...maybe even kiss a couple of babies and teach the world to sing. Perhaps, you should consider relocating to say, oh- Russia or China, Somalia, Afghanistan some other nation for a time.

        March 2, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
      • Chris Bordeman

        Mmmm...that's some tasty government propaganda!

        March 3, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
  12. mb2010a

    The Russian propaganda machine is alive and well in this message board. Amazing how you can read their comments and they all even have a slightly bizzare Russian accent...

    March 2, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Reply
    • jaydavid666

      America's propaganda machine (ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC) are pathetically incompetent.

      March 2, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Reply
      • Chris Bordeman

        Do you have the slightest shred of evidence our thousands and thousands of completely free news outlets are in any way controlled by our government? Thought not.

        Of course, Putin controls all media in Russia with an iron hand, imprisoning dissident (citizen and journalist) and political enemies en mass. Of course you believe that tripe; it's all you hear every day!

        March 3, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
    • Adam Smith

      The funniest thing – this 'crisis' is U.S.-made and paid. Had the West not tried so hard to undermine the existing government in Ukraine, none of that would happen. But, I guess, the consequences of U.S. interference and sabotage in Georgia did not teach Americans anything.

      March 2, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Reply
      • Bob

        What are you talking about? Do you have any evidence to back up these accusations you are making?

        March 2, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
      • Chris Bordeman

        The U.S. is not responsible for the uprising, the people of Ukraine saw Russia taking over their democracy and stood up to stop it. The Ukrainian people do NOT want to live under the oppressive thumb of your evil dictator!

        March 3, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
    • Mime

      the Western propaganda is alive for sure

      March 2, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Reply
      • Chris Bordeman

        Woo, good one! As if it was OUR press that wasn't free, not yours.

        March 3, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
  13. J R Brown

    I hope Fareed is paid well for being the Bagdad of the left-wing in America.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Reply
    • J R Brown

      *Bagdad Bob*

      March 2, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  14. Hentgen

    I think it's a joke to say that the Crimea is "only" 60% Russian. It's only a quarter Ukrainian. As for the Muslim Crimean Tatars, I don't think it's so simple to count their allegiance with the Ukrainians. Russia has a large muslim Tatar population deep in its heartland – Tatarstan, with its capital in Kazan, a major Russian city – who have been staunch allies and friends to Orthodox Russians for centuries.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Reply
    • Shalom

      Muslim tatar? are you serious? Muslims and Tatars are 2 different things......

      March 2, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Reply
      • Hentgen

        Yes, genius, they are. A muslim is a member of the religion of Islam. Tatar is an ethnic group, like Han Chinese or Greek. The Tatar minority of Russia, where they number 5.5 million, are, largely, muslims. That's what's meant by "muslim Tatar."

        To learn more about something you're clearly ignorant of, you can start here:

        March 2, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
    • Andrew M.

      Crimean Tatars are different from Russian Tatars. In 1944, the whole Tatar population in Crimea (about 300 thousand) was deported by Stalin and around 50 thousand of them died in the process. They were allowed to go back to their native land only after the break-up of the USSR. They are currently the most reliable allies of Ukrainians in Crimea despite the fact that Tatars are Muslim and Ukrainians are Christians.

      March 2, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Reply
      • Hentgen

        I understand that they are not the same as the Tatar groups that live in Russia today, I was just merely pointing out that the fact that they're muslim doesn't preclude co-operation with the Russian state.

        I find it ridiculous that you claim that the Crimean Tatars are closer allies of the Ukrainians, as the interim government contains far-right Ukrainian nationalist movements and whose first order of business was to restrict minority rights. I'm sure the Crimean Tatars are very comfortable with that...

        March 2, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
      • Chris Bordeman

        Exactly, so why the original comment if the 'other 40%' are, in fact, solidly anti-Russian?

        March 3, 2014 at 7:44 pm |

    We almost nuked the world when Russia placed missiles in Cuba, our backyard, our sphere of influence. Now Swift Boat Kerry and our 1st black president are sticking their noses into Russian affairs in their own backyard. We have little currency to object after our aggressions against Mexico. Jeepers, half the U. S. rightfully belongs to the drug cartels. So be it.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Reply
    • Andrew M.

      Ukraine is not Russia's "backyard", as Ukrainians recently demonstrated. The US has to fulfill its obligation towards Ukraine to protect its territorial integrity according to a memorandum in 1994 when Ukraine voluntarily gave up its nukes. I am not saying that US should declare war to Russia but sometimes a little demonstration of force is useful (simply sending a few warships close to Crimea). After all, bullies like Putin respect only force or a credible threat of force.

      March 2, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Reply
      • pbinca

        Got a problem...warships are vulnerable to sinking by smart missile. So why even risk such a demoralizing spectacle as the sinking of a U.S. warship in the Black Sea? The who carrier doctrine is obsolete. The more so if it's actually demonstrated by sinking one, drowning thousands of sailors and 100s of billions of aircraft. One smart missile or torpedo can do the job. That's why Obama is not putting these warships in the Black Sea.

        March 3, 2014 at 12:19 am |
    • Chris Bordeman

      Please go away. This should be a serious discussion, not some 9 year old who read some moronic conspiracy web site and now believes he understands all of history.

      March 3, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  16. Unlce Sam

    Amazing that the liberal left that wants to gut military funding is now taking positions that wouldn't have been needed otherwise. Kerry was wrong, this is cold war Russia. Has he forgotten that Putin is an ex-KGB agent or has simply been duped? I would say that I wish Reagan were here, but on the other hand, the Russians never would have done this if Reagan were President.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Reply
    • jaydavid666

      Amazing how the S T U P I D right is even s t u p i d e r than the liberal left.

      March 2, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Reply
      • Unlce Sam

        Sure, that was real smart. You have no tangible argument so you resort to name calling. Brilliant Einstein.

        March 2, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
      • scranton

        When the brain fails hurl insults.

        March 2, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
    • The Smart One in the Room

      You should first learn how to spell "Uncle."

      And, are you saying Reagan would have gone to war with Russia over Ukraine? Even Reagan wasn't THAT stupid.

      March 2, 2014 at 3:50 pm | Reply
      • Unlce Sam

        Of course not, what I'm saying is that Russians never would have tried this if Reagan were President. The Russian bear has been hibernating, collectively, we've been fools to think that they would change esp. with a KGB agent as their leader.

        March 2, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
  17. jaydavid666

    We should expel the Russian ambassador and recall our own ambassador from Russia, although this will complicate Syria and Iran.
    However, realistically there is little else we can do.
    We didn't have an effective plan for such a situation.
    We probably couldn't have had an effective plan for situation.
    We don't leaders in either party that are smart enough to develop a plan to deal with Russia.
    We do not have the ability to push Russia around militarily.
    And Europe has even less of everything than we have.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Reply
    • Andrew M.

      "However, realistically there is little else we can do."
      US can do a lot. Putin is looking for a short and victorious war and he will proceed if he does not meet resistance. Some US Navy presence close to Crimea, economic sanctions, arms supply to Ukraine may deter him. He is not ready for long and bloody war. And the anti-missile defense system in Eastern Europe should be re-kindled.

      March 2, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Reply
      • Chris Bordeman


        March 3, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
  18. rytis

    Why doesn't this Zionist dingbat Zakaria tell us who exactly is this what CNN calls Ukrainian's "NEW LEADER"? – he is unelected Zionist banker. Who is the ousted president? – a democratically elected president. Zionist BS exposed plain and simple.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  19. The Smart One in the Room

    Some of you are really really funny!

    To all you yahoos who are calling Obama "weak," I ask, well, what would YOU do? ANSWER: the same thing.

    Publicly threatening Putin would only FORCE him to dig his heals in. Face it - there's not a whole lot the U.S. can do alone. Russia has oil, a huge military, and nukes. And, their "president" is a dictatorial jerk.

    So many of you are screaming SEND IN TROOPS!!! But, do you REALLY want to go war with Russian over Ukraine??? No, you don't. Sending in troops would require that Putin respond militarily to save face. Putin doesn't care about Ukraine or even Russia itself, and that's what you all must come to understand. Putin cares only about his own power, and he would sacrifice his own people to gain more power or hold on the the power he already has. And, eventually, he will claim that current events give him special war powers. He'll declare martial law, dissolve parliament, and take control of all media outlets. Yes, Russians will protest, and they will be declared terrorists, and then they will be shot or locked up. This IS Russia's future. I could almost imagine that Putin engineered the situation in Ukraine as a means for he himself to grab more land and power with Yanukovich being a convenient fool.

    War with Russia would end badly for both sides. But, since it's fun to rant like a lunatic when you have no real skin in the fight, keep right on screaming because you make yourself look really really stupid.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  20. Serge

    Prior to this stupid observation I mistakenly considered Fareed Zakaria as one of the experts in international relationships. Not anymore since his argument of Crimea being part of Northern Caucasus is abslolutely ridiculous and cannot be more far from the truth. Please study at least middle school geography before making such a statement.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Reply
    • dan2

      I'm thinking FZ has some kind of arcane viewpoint or definition. Did he mean 'near' the N. Caucasus? Is it a typo?

      March 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  21. Igor Romanov

    I feel sorry for the Russian military in Ukraine, they will soon experience death while Putin is in the Kremlin watching gay adult entertainment and sipping champaign.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  22. realist

    We should all band together with Obama and do nothing, and blame the invasion on a small uncoordinated protest against how muslims are portrayed in some film, just like Benghazi. Obama lets all sort of illegal aliens into the US, what's the difference with Russia doing the same in Ukraine.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  23. DSF

    Putin is a thug and robber. When will the west draw lines and stand up. He ( and the people around him) should be isolated like the Iranians, and should have been long ago. And the Swiss and other European banks should have their cover of him exp[osed by their governments.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  24. Mr. Balls

    It is quite perplexing why anyone listens to Zakaria. A fraud of the highest order which may explain why so many seem enthralled with his analysis (or is it someone else's?).

    March 2, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  25. Mark

    "So Putin gets Crimea, which is only 60 percent Russian. Parts of it will be deeply hostile to this Russian takeover – including the population of Crimean Tartars, who are Muslim and getting radicalized."
    So once again the Administration and its mouthpieces place their hopes on radicalized Muslims/jihadists. Good to know where you stand, Fakaria.

    March 2, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Mark

      Sorry, Zakaria.

      March 2, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  26. brian

    We don't have to "respond" to every little thing. Remember how we "responded" to those WMD in Iraq?

    March 2, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  27. im

    there´s a saying in Finland: never trust a russian, and my late grandfather, in reference to finland´s ewstern neighbour, used to say to me to always have a valid passport.

    This surely must be the end of the beginning for vp as the currency will sooner a later crash, and thereby vp will one way or another disappear,

    March 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  28. mike

    Fareed, now you want to go back and restart the process of putting the missile shield back into places like Poland?? what about the "reset"?????? obama gave the missile shield away for free already. if i was poland i would be a little weary about that plan. obama would say we wanted the missile shield again, putin would play him like a fool, and obama would call of the missile shield plan because dear leader had been able to talk putin into rejoining the peaceful community of nations once again. all hail obama!!

    March 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  29. K Edwards

    Sanctions and G8 meeting cancellations, whatever... This is a violation of Budapest Memorandum of 1994 that was signed by US, Britain, Ukraine and Russia. Everyone, says the US, Britain can't do anything, well they should. Start moving troops into Ukraine and establish a defense to insure that no more of Ukraine is taken by the Russians. This counters Putin actions and gives the Western nations a better position to start negations for Russia's withdrawal. There is nothing stopping Russia from moving troops into the entire eastern part of Ukraine at this point. No body wants war, including Russia but if Putin can get some new territory for free, and it only costs him a missed G8 meeting and some minor sanctions then it is worth it . If I was him I would have done this too, so far it has been a good move on his part especially since all the talking heads have everyone convinced that this situation is irrecoverable and he should just get Crimea.

    March 2, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • Andrew M.

      Sanctions and expelling Russia from the G8 are good first steps, this would send Putin a strong message and he is not an idiot. But you are right, US and UK should be prepared to do more. Not necessarily troops in Ukraine, but say a strong naval presence near Crimea and serious help to Ukraine with effective arms (especially anti-aircraft and anti-tank).

      March 2, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  30. realist

    I know, let's raise the minimum wage. That will hurt Russia for certain!

    March 2, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Reply
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