Putin In the Corner

Here’s where the rubber hits the road. Now is when we better understand the ramifications for demonizing, not engaging, with Putin.

Not that Putin is right, he certainly isn’t, but the approach to dealing with him should not be to isolate. Because he is an insecure person, he will revert to what makes him feel secure, approval ratings at home and the support of Parliament. Never mind that the Duma would never rule against him – that’s a mere detail. He will use this false bravado to further alienate himself, to further propagate a resurrection of the Cold War, to further build upon his success in Crimea. Backed into a corner by the West, he will become stronger than we ever imagined.

The West lost Crimea. Anyone who didn’t see this coming was simply not paying attention. But, this could have been averted. And, future Crimea’s can be averted. The West must drop the sanctions game they are playing because everyone knows the results – Putin’s response will lead to higher energy costs to Europe and a renewed recession. Nobody wants that.

It’s time for diplomacy. It’s time for level-headedness. You can’t expect either of these approaches from Putin now. The demonization is complete. He’s so far in the corner, it’s up to the West to initiate.

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