How To Mess With Putin
Hit Him in the Pocketbook
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  • qet

    Wasn’t the West always about the money? Isn’t Russia today all about the money? Isn’t that why the financial strategy is recommended? Besides, capital, even ill-gotten capital, creates jobs, right? If a financial squeeze on Russia further depresses a European (or the US) economy, in an era when the entire global economy is depressed at all levels below the 1%, should we in fact pursue such actions? Back in the 80s the answer was easy, but today? If squeezing Russia makes life worse for the Russian 99%, who don’t seem to have it too good now anyway, and if that leads to more Caesarism there, then is it a good strategy? Some banks are too big to fail, and some countries, are, too.

    • Corlyss

      “Wasn’t the West always about the money?”

      • Jim__L

        At some points it was about spreading the Gospel to every corner of the world, which happened to net the places some pretty significant material benefits as well.

  • Corlyss

    Fanciful delusions all. Color Ukraine gone.

  • rheddles

    Fast track Atlantic LNG terminals.

    Free drilling on the Atlantic coast

    Build the XL pipeline.

  • Jim__L

    If Putin’s going to go all in to keep Ukraine, is there somewhere else we could make him lose?

    Seriously. Ukraine is close, so he’ll fight hard. He’s also got some advantages there. Deep business connections with the industrial eastern Ukraine, plus a non-trivial amount of Russian sympathy in the regions he’s targeting. If he can make the agricultural boycott stick in agrarian western Ukraine, (if the EU can’t lower its agricultural subsidies enough to counteract that) that could net him the whole country.

    Is there a place that is at least somewhat geopolitically important he wants less badly where our position is stronger, that we could take away, to provide some kind of counterbalance?

    Vladivostok, maybe? We’re not necessarily strong there, but are the Chinese or Japanese? The Kuriles are another interesting spot, but less iconic.

    The problem here is there are too many places (Ukraine, Syria, Iran) where Russia can make us lose, but nowhere glaringly obvious (to me, anyway) that we can make him lose. If we want to win anywhere, that needs to change.

  • gabrielsyme

    So, one of Russia’s major economic problems is capital flight. Would anyone care to explain how making it more difficult for Russians to move capital offshore would hurt Russia?

  • Jim__L

    “[T]here are personal consequences that make them very scared. It raises a question, every time there’s a choice, these new consequences effect the motivation to carry out potential abuses.”

    I can just imagine Putin giving a motivational speech to his inner circle, saying, “Stand firm. What are the Western powers threatening us with, really? No trips to London or Las Vegas? No Politically Correct indoctrination for our children? If our will is resolute in the face of such trivialities, they are giving our military a free hand. They will not stop us. They cannot stop us. They are weak, they love being weak, they have forgotten how to be strong. As long as we are careful enough not to remind them how to be strong, we can do whatever we wish.”

    Yes, I think the sort of limp consequences proposed by the article above will probably effect the motivation to carry out potential abuses.

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