Crimea: U.S. Intervention needed


Viewpoints Editor

Last month, protesters in Ukraine toppled their government after the president decided to back away from a trade pact with the European Union and embrace Russia. Ukraine has had a lot happen since then, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering his troops into Crimea, an area that is steeped in Russian culture.

This past week, the people of Crimea voted to become apart of Russia with over 95 percent of voters approving the secession from Ukraine, according to Reuters. Putin has signed a decree absorbing the area into Russia. Most world leaders, including President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have condemned this vote and will not recognize it.

Something must be done about Russia’s actions.

The most effective way to punish Russia would be to hit it where it will hurt the most — its pocketbook. Economic sanctions will put a lot of pressure on Putin to stop what he is doing and let Ukraine be itself. Of course, this is the man who shot and tranquilized a tiger so there’s not much that will scare him.

The White House just put some of the toughest sanctions on Russia since the Cold War this week.

If economic sanctions do not work, then it may be time to intervene. Any intervention in Ukraine should be led by the E.U. with the U.S. providing support. American troops should not be sent to Ukraine unless it is a last resort.

The most important aspect of this whole situation is China’s stance on the entire crisis. China can be very unpredictable in situations like this. 

If they side with the U.S. and E.U. it would certainly make Russia think twice about its actions, but the same could also be said if they were to side with Russia. China has more to gain to side with America and its allies than with Russia.

Many have said that this is Putin’s way of asserting his power, and the U.S. cannot do anything about it because they have done it in the past with previous wars — this is not a valid argument. There’s a major difference in the ideology of our current commander-in-chief than previous ones; Obama is not a war hawk like his predecessor.

Leadership matters in these situations. One cannot automatically assume that just because a president in the past started a war to show off the might of America that the current or future commander-in-chief will do the same.

Sometimes intervention is needed in certain situations. Right now, military intervention is not needed in Ukraine. However, if Russia infringes even more on Ukraine’s sovereignty then the U.S. and its allies will have no choice but to intervene.