Tag Archives: Ukraine

Rebuttal of Tom Collina’s blatant lies about US nukes

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Last week,the leftist Breaking Defense website published an utterly ridiculous screed by one of the most strident advocates of America’s unilateral nuclear disarmament, Tom Collina, the “research director” of the Arms Control Association, which advocates disarming the US unilaterally and foregoing the deployment of any missile defense systems. (The ACA is funded by several grant-awarding organizations which also advocate America’s unilateral disarmament.

In his screed, Collina makes a lot of lies, all of which, of course, are designed to smear nuclear weapons and mislead the public into supporting that treasonous goal.

Here’s his biggest lie:

“However, at a time of increasingly tight budgets, the more we spend on excess nuclear weapons the less will be available for what Ukraine and NATO need most: economic aid and conventional military assistance.”

Total garbage. Firstly, America does NOT have “excess nuclear weapons” – if anything, it has too few. Russia has a (slightly) BIGGER nuclear arsenal than the US, totalling 2,800 strategic and up to 5,700 tactical nuclear weapons. In fact, Russia has more nuclear weapons (8,500) than the US, Britain, and France combined (8,200). Sources: the Federation of American Scientists and SIPRI’s 2013 Military Balance.

Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal alone rivals America’s in size, and is complemented by “tactical” nuclear weapons, many of which (the warheads of Russian cruise missiles) can be delivered to the US (because the aircraft and nuclear-powered submarines carrying them can travel intercontinental distances). And these warheads are NOT subject to any arms limitation treaty.

Russia’s ICBM fleet alone can deliver at least 1,684 warheads to the US; Russia’s submarine fleet, another 1,400; and Moscow’s bomber fleet (Tu-95s, Tu-22Ms, Tu-160s), another 2,000 if need be.

On top of that, the US has to deter China, North Korea, and Iran. China alone has at least 1,600 nuclear weapons and continues to build that arsenal up.

Not to mention the fact that Russia, China, NK, and Iran are threats to many but protectors to nobody, while the US has to provide a nuclear umbrella to itself and to over 30 allies around the world, many of whom will go nuclear if the US fails to provide an adequate umbrella. (Already 66% of South Koreans want to do that; meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has ordered nuclear weapons in Pakistan and DF-21 ballistic missiles in China.)

No, Mr Collina, the US nuclear arsenal is not excessive at all – if anything, it is too small.

As for economic aid, that is an obsolete, socialist idea. Ukraine needs to revive its economy by implementing free market policies, NOT begging for handouts.

“Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned recently that “tough, tough choices are coming” if the Pentagon is forced to make deep spending cuts, as required by law. He may slash about 30,000 soldiers and retire an aircraft carrier.”

Excuse me? Those are supposed to be “tough choices”? Are you kidding me? Reducing the active duty Army to levels roughly equal to those of 9/11 and retiring a single carrier is not tough – it’s a no-brainer. It’s like picking the low-hanging fruit. (After Hagel’s cuts, the Army will be just slightly smaller than on 9/11, and the American people will have NO appetite or stomach for any more ground wars for a long time to come.)

Aircraft carriers are hugely expensive and extremely vulnerable, and their a/c have very little range. Flattops essentially provide NO return for the huge taxpayer investment they cost. I have already submitted an article dealing with this issue to Proceedings; it awaits the Editorial Board’s review.

It would be far better for the DOD to invest seriously in the single most reliable deterrent against aggression – the US nuclear umbrella – instead of blowing money on oversized land armies and very vulnerable flattops.

“As Crimea shows, these priorities are backwards. We must not allow our increasingly important conventional military forces to be undercut by excessive investments in nuclear weapons.”

Utter garbage as well. America’s conventional forces are not being undercut by the nuclear arsenal, whose total cost (ca. $32 bn per annum) is only 6% of the total military budget (roughly $600 bn in FY2014). Even eliminating it altogether would NOT save America’s conventional forces from sequestration. Sec. Hagel is absolutely right to make the nuclear deterrent a priority for the above reasons. As for conventional forces – don’t make me laugh. The unilateral disarmament movement, of which Collina is an active member, opposes BOTH America’s conventional and nuclear forces. The US nuclear deterrent is merely their first target on their way to disarming America unilaterally.

“And we don’t have to. The United States can stay at nuclear warhead levels set by the 2010 New START treaty and still save billions over the next decade by scaling back and delaying new delivery systems.”

Utter nonsense again. Firstly, New START levels are inadequate to deter Russia and China; second, New START is a worthless and treasonous treaty obligating only the US (not Russia) to cut its arsenal while Moscow is allowed to increase its own; and thirdly, Russia has cheated on EVERY arms control treaty it has signed, INCLUDING New START, as Bill Gertz has recently revealed in the WFB.

And “scaling back and delaying new delivery systems” would be utterly suicidal and a recipe for a Russian nuclear first strike. It would mean having far fewer systems (and thus a much less survivable arsenal), and NO new systems coming online for decades – at a time when existing delivery systems are already reaching the end of their service lives! This means, in practice, complete unilateral disarmament!

The Minuteman ICBM and air-launched cruise missiles will go out of service in the 2020s. The B-52 cannot operate in anything but friendly-controlled airspace. The Ohio class will start leaving service later this decade, and even under CURRENT funding projections, there will be a big gap in the SSBN fleet, with a low of just 10 boats in the early 2020s – unless the SSBN replacement program is hastened.

The cost of replacing them is not huge and will likely be far less than the $355 bn Collina falsely claims – but delaying it any further will significantly increase the price tag.

If a superior U.S. nuclear force did not restrain Moscow from annexing Crimea, how would an even larger force stop further Russian adventurism? It would not. The paradox of nuclear weapons is that they are too destructive to be used, so both sides are “deterred” from doing so.”

These are also blatant lies. The US nuclear arsenal, as proven above, is SMALLER and OLDER than Russia’s, and it was never intended or built to deter Russia from annexing… the Crimea, where it already had almost 30,000 troops and dozens of ships anyway. It was never intended to deter Russia from invading the Ukraine, which neither the US nor the EU had any intention of defending or supporting (and Putin knew it), a country the West has kept out of NATO and the EU and has essentially left to fend for itself.

Putin knew that the West would never offer more than verbal protests and tepid sanctions if he went into Ukraine. Which is why he did that. He knew that Ukraine was outside America’s security perimeter.

The US nuclear deterrent is intended to provide security for the US itself and for its NATO and non-NATO allies (e.g. SK, Japan) – and it has been doing that successfully, without any failure, ever since its inception in 1945.

And if nuclear weapons cannot deter Putin in the Crimea or elsewhere, conventional weapons – which have far less striking and thus deterring power – cannot do that, either. Is Collina suggesting the US deploy its soldiers in the Ukraine and used in a shooting war with Russia? Does he envisage US Army BCTs taking on Russian brigades? Because if he’s not, conventional forces are utterly useless in Ukraine.

As former US Strategic Command leader Gen. Kevin Chilton has stated, conventional weapons cannot replace nuclear arms as deterrents, because the former lack the overwhelming striking (and thus deterring) power of nuclear arms.

Collina also approvingly quotes former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans, who has falsely claimed that:

“Nuclear-weapons enthusiasts seem to have an inexhaustible appetite for bad arguments.”

In fact, Western anti-nuke activists, the advocates of the West’s unilateral disarmament, seem to have an inexhaustible appetite for bad arguments, lying, and disarming their own countries unilaterally.

And while nuclear weapons might not be useful in Ukraine, there is little the US can do there anyway (who’s suggesting putting US conventional troops there?). But building up the US nuclear arsenal and accelerating missile defense deployment in Europe would do three good things:

1) Increase US and allied security by finally providing a bigger, more adequate, and modernized deterrent;

2) Finally showing strength to Russia after many years of appeasement and unilateral disarmament – which is what emboldened Russia to take one aggressive action after another, culminating in the invasion of Ukraine; and

3) Be a huge geopolitical, diplomatic, and prestige defeat for Russia, which strongly opposes both. It’s time to stop giving Russia what it wants. It would mean Russia has finally lost the veto on US and NATO security matters that Obama gave Moscow in 2009 by cancelling GBI missile defense deployment in Europe. Russia (and other aggressors and bullies) only understand the language of force, and they respect only those who are stronger than them. To deter Russia and have a better negotiating position vis-a-vis Moscow, the US needs to have stronger nuclear AND conventional forces.

BreakingDefense itself approvingly published Collina’s screed and falsely called him:

“Tom Collina, a respected expert in nuclear weapons and arms control…”

Balderdash. Collina is not a “respected expert” on anything, ESPECIALLY not nuclear weapons and arms control. He’s an ignoramus and an ideological advocate of America’s unilateral disarmament. Calling him an expert is an insult to every real expert out there. Being a longtime anti-nuclear activist does not make one an expert. And while I would not call myself one, I know far more about nuclear weapons than he ever will.

Shame on him for lying so blatantly and advocating America’s unilateral disarmament, and shame on BD for publishing his utterly ridiculous screed.

G. Murphy Donovan and the American Thinker Badmouth America, Glorify Russia, And Thus Commit Treason

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and the (now-deceased) North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. Photo by the Kremlin Press Service.

The pseudoconservative “American Thinker” e-zin has recently (on March 18th) published an utterly ridiculous anti-American, pro-Russian propaganda screed by well-known Russophile G. Murphy Donovan.

In his screed, Donovan falsely claims that Russia is not an enemy but an ally against Islamism (with which, in fact, Moscow is allied against the US); that American and European politicians are trying to resuscitate the Cold War to poke Russia; that the crisis in the Crimea is “manufactured”; and that the West, led by the US, bears sole responsibility for the breakdown in Western-Russian relations. In passing, Donovan makes a number of other utterly false claims about Russia designed to paint that country as a cultural brother and a friend of the US.

Below are Donovan’s nine most ridiculous lies and my rebuttals of them:

1)

“Harder still to believe that American politicians, Right and Left, are trying to resuscitate the Cold War — or something hotter.”

No, the West is not trying to resuscitate the Cold War; Russia has revived it, and it did so long before it illegally invaded the Crimea.

Already as of 2007, it was threatening to aim its nuclear-armed ballistic missiles at all of Europe. In 2008, it deployed Iskander ballistic missiles to the Kaliningradskaya Oblast. It has launched a series of cyber attacks and an arms race against the US, flush with oil and gas revenues sufficient for this. It has developed and deployed SEVERAL types of intermediate range ballistic missiles in flagrant violation of the INF treaty. It has repeatedly flown nuclear-armed bombers into US, Japanese, and even Swedish airspace. (By God, what has Sweden done to Russia?)

When asked what their bombers were doing flying so close to Alaska, the Russian Air Force said, “We were practicing attacking the enemy” – and that “enemy”, in their perception, is the US.

Russia is the one who has revived the Cold War, and it bears SOLE responsibility for that fact.

2)

“Russia, the EU, and America also share a common enemy, that insidious fifth column: domestic and global Islamism.”

No, the West and Russia do not share a common enemy in Islam; Russia is an ALLY of that enemy and thus an enemy of the US. It remains the chief weapons supplier, financial sponsor, diplomatic protector, and nuclear fuel and technology provider for Iran and (minus the nuclear parts) Syria. It has withheld from the US information that could’ve been used to prevent the Boston Bombings. It continues to arm and aid anti-American regimes (Islamic and non-Islamic alike) all around the world, from Syria, to Iran, to North Korea, to Venezuela, to Cuba. It also continues to demand that Israel give up its nuclear deterrent and withdraw to indefensible pre-1967 armistice lines.

If you are a friend of Russia, you are an enemy of Israel. You cannot support the appeasement of Russia and still claim to be a friend of Israel.

Had it not been for Russia, global Islamism would lose its only major sponsor, protector, and ally against the US. Syria and Iran would thus lose their only major patron besides China and would be forced to stop threatening Israel, stop building WMDs and stop sponsoring terrorist organizations.

3)

“And the American Right is not blameless; excusing terror, regime change folly, the recent litany of imperial failures. In the 2012 US election campaign, there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between candidates, Right and Left, on US foreign or military policy.”

Utter garbage! In the 2012 election, there was a WORLD of a difference between GOP and Democrat candidates, ESPECIALLY on foreign and defense policy. In a nutshell, Obama and the Democrats continued to advocate America’s unilateral disarmament and the appeasement of Russia, China, and Iran, with Obama famously mocking Romney that “the 1980s are asking to have their foreign policy back” (to which I’d reply, “the 1930s and Neville Chamberlain are asking for their foreign policy back”).

OTOH, Mitt Romney advocated rebuilding the US military, reviewing the New START unilateral disarmament treaty, and a tough approach to Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, as well as Islamic terrorist organizations around the world. Also, Romney would NOT have tried to impose dangerous “peace accors” on Israel.

4)

“Yes, Russophobia! The pragmatic gains of the Reagan era have been set aside for an irrational fear of all things Russian.”

Utter garbage as well. The American people and the GOP are not plagued by Russophobia or any other irrational fear of Russia; they are merely critical of Russia’s BEHAVIOR – which is highly detrimental to AMERICA’S own national security interests, as well as the security of key US allies (incl. Israel) and the whole world. OTOH, Putin still lives in the Cold War era and he, like his KGB cronies, is still mired in his irrational hatred of the United States, which drives all his FP actions.

5)

“When demagogues like Hillary Clinton compare Russian behavior to Nazi Germany, she mocks Allied history and the sacrifice of 5 million Russians in WWII.”

Utter rubbish yet again! (And it proves that Donovan is well to the left of Hillary Clinton on foreign and defense policy.)

The Soviet Union STARTED World War II together with Nazi Germany in 1939 by signing the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, invading Poland and conquering half of that country. Not only that, but it deported thousands and thousands of Poles in the conquered lands to Siberia and Kazakhstan (where most of them died in the gulag) and executed, for no reason whatsoever, FORTY THOUSAND Polish officers in Katyn – and then LIED about it for the next HALF-CENTURY. The Soviet Union then continued its imperialist binge by invading Finland and taking away one tenth of that country’s territory.

And you know, folks, why the USSR was so surprised by the German invasion of June 1941?

Because the Soviet Army was, at that time, in OFFENSIVE positions, awaiting Stalin’s order to invade Germany and German-occupied Poland. Hitler simply preempted Stalin by a few weeks. Had he not done so, Stalin would’ve invaded first.

6)

“Russian blood chits, we might add, that made the Allied victory over Nazis possible in 1945.”

No, they did not. It was US involvement, war production, and financing of the war (the US alone bore 50% of its cost on the Allied side) that made the Allied victory over Germany (and Japan) possible. And in retrospect, it was a foolish mistake to aid the USSR in defeating Nazi Germany; the US should’ve let Berlin and Moscow duke it out among themselves, just like it’s allowing Assad and Al-Qaeda to duke it out among themselves in Syria today. It’s too bad that someone had to win. It’s a pity the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany could not BOTH lose.

It was more foolish still for FDR and Churchill to insist that the Wehrmacht surrender unconditionally on all fronts. This left the Germans with no choice but to fight bitterly to the very end. Had the Germans been given honorable surrender terms on the West front, they would’ve turned all their resources against the Soviets – and the Soviet occupation and subjugation of half of Europe might’ve been avoided.

7)

“Never mind that the difference between Putin’s Russia and Gorbachev’s Soviet Union is like the difference between caviar and carp.”

Again, a blatant lie. If anything, Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, at least in its latter years, was actually better than Putin’s Russia today. Gorbachev significantly loosened repression in the USSR; Putin has reinstated it. Gorbachev closed the gulag camps; Putin has reopened them. Gorbachev agreed to Germany’s unification, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, and to allowing Eastern European countries to choose their own paths of development. Putin has, for the last several years, been constantly meddling in European affairs and threatening European countries – esp. those that broke off the Russian yoke in 1991 – with nuclear weapons and warning them not to ally themselves with the EU or the US and has deployed nuclear-armed ballistic missiles on Poland’s doorstep.

Gorbachev signed the INF treaty banning intermediate range missiles and dutifully dismantled them before the USSR collapsed; Putin has resumed their development, production, and deployment, in flagrant violation of the INF treaty.

8)

“Yet, Americans have much in common with Russia: history, religion, art, literature, sports, dance, dogs, music, science, space travel, adult beverages, recreational sex, and almost all things cultural”

Again a blatant lie. The US and Russia could not be any more different. For starters, the US is based on a culture of the rule of law (hence the huge backlash against Obama’s refusal to enforce federal law); Russia, on the rule of men. The US is based on individual and economic liberty; Russia, on a culture of utter and unlimited submission of all to the current ruler (Tsar/General Secretary/”President”). In the US, church attendance is disproportionately high among Western nations (and conservative churches’ membership has SURGED in recent years); in Russia, it hovers around 10%.

The HUGE cultural differences between the US and Russia are best illustrated by this fact: had Donovan been a Russian, writing in Russia, and criticizing RUSSIA’S foreign policy, he would’ve been either assassinated by Putin’s KGB thugs or, at best, imprisoned in a gulag camp.

9) The reason why Ukrainian ex-President (and Putin puppet) Viktor Yanukovych has been ousted from office is because he was an utterly corrupt kleptocrat who was preparing to slaughter en masse his own citizens protesting his policies, as documents found in his former residence have revealed. He was preparing to quell the protests by force, just like Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro is doing today. The US and the EU did not, in fact, lift a finger to support the Ukrainian resistance at that time, and are barely doing anything to help Ukraine today. So for Donovan to claim that the US and the EU orchestrated that coup is a blatant lie – just like everything else he writes.

Shame on you, Mr Donovan, for lying so blatantly, for badmouthing your own country, and for being an apologist for the most dangerous dictator in world history since Stalin.

Ukraine Sanctions With Teeth Instead of Gums Are Still Possible

Putin-laughing-at-serious-steps-memeFor a very brief moment it looked like the White House and I were finally going to be in agreement on the topic of misrule in the United States. Obama’s White House Press Office released a statement with harsh criticism of government actions that threaten “peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets.”

It appeared the president had seen the light and was finally going to stop his abuse of office and his promiscuous use of executive orders. But then I read further and saw he was talking about Vladimir Putin and his beachfront trespassing in the Crimea. I thought Obama likes trespassers. Could it be that Putin rejected his offer of in–state tuition?

Of course there are differences between the strongman’s approach and that of the girlyman. Putin’s misrule is designed to advance the interests of Russian nationalism, while Obama appears content to undermine US standing and interests in the world.

With the result that Russian oligarchs will soon have prime sites for expansive vacation homes within the border of a newly expanded Russia. While our leaders launch deadly cutting remarks that include “wrong side of history” and “19th century thinking” mimicking Harvard faculty lounge habitués criticizing the NFL 1st round draft choice that gets the millions and the girl.

I know this criticism is not entirely fair. The Obama administration has decided to impose sanctions on Russia. Out of a current population of 141,924,000, the Obama administration has singled out seven (that’s right, seven) for punishment. The original intent of White House strategists was to just single out a certain percentage of cells in each of the seven individual’s body for pinpoint sanctions — gas pains, lumbago, toenail fungus, impotence — but the surgeon general informed the White House that either those maladies took to long to manifest or present technology didn’t support the goal.

Instead the administration opted for financial sanctions that make it harder for the Moscow 7 to gain access to any funds they have deposited in Western banks. The Washington Post described the strategy as an attempt “to see whether a symbolic first gesture would be sufficient to give Putin pause….” sorta like the famous “red line” in Syria.

Like much of Obama’s strategy, whether in health care or the economy, this gambit backfired. The Russian stock market went up after the announcement, instead of going down.

But that doesn’t mean the great minds in this administration are going to give up. Much like Robert McNamara carefully calibrating just the right amount of ordinance necessary to bring North Vietnam to its knees, Obama’s financial calibrations have room for expansion.

An administration insider has leaked a plan that will escalate the impact of the next round of sanctions to an almost superhuman level of intensity, while expanding the reach of inconvenience for the Russian Revanchists beyond just the financial realm.

None of the Seven are now allowed to make wire transfers withdrawing their funds from Western banks, but after the sanctions are escalated, they will be limited to a maximum ATM withdrawal of $40 per day AND the Coinstar machine will be completely off limits.

If any of the sanctioned try to travel to the US it’s also No More Mr. Nice Guy. The TSA’s expedited ‘Pre’ lane will be off limits. The Crimean Criminals will be assigned to the rubber gloves and high–school–field trips line for the foreseeable future and they will always be relegated to the last boarding group regardless of their frequent flyer status.

Assuming the Seven can’t take a hint and come to DC in spite of Obama’s disdain, anytime they attempt to use the Uber app to arrange transportation it will result in a fast busy signal, forcing them to use DC taxis. Even worse their lodgings will be in hotels built by Sochi Olympics construction firms.

Since unrepentant aggressors like these will no doubt try to bypass this sanction, even if they rent a car both the GPS device and their E–ZPass transponder will be jammed by NSA, meaning that even if they can find a toll road, they will be forced to use the exact change booth.

And finally, to show Obama really means business, if any of these Russian Reprobates have more than 15 items in their cart when shopping, they will be ejected from the express lane.

There’s also a role in this for Vice President ‘Uncle Joe’ Biden — a nickname freighted with meaning for Russians. Proving irony isn’t dead in this administration, Biden will be visiting many of the Western nations were Obama earlier canceled plans to install anti–missile batteries after Putin objected.

While looking due East, Uncle Joe will advise these buffer states to buy shotguns and if they see any Russian troops playing footsie with their borders, go out on the balcony, point the muzzle skyward and fire a couple of rounds to scare the bear away.

What Western powers should do in response to Russia’s aggression

 

ReaganPeaceQuoteThe Russian aggression against Ukraine, initiated by President Vladimir Putin, has surprised many but not me, and should have surprised no one.

It is simply an inevitable consequence of the West, and especially America’s, shameless appeasement policy towards Russia combined with a long-running policy of unilateral disarmament (while Russia, under Vladimir Putin, has been arming to the teeth).

For many years, and especially the last five, Western nations have been dramatically cutting their militaries, defense budgets, weapon programs, and ambitions, while Russia has been dramatically expanding its own.

And for the last five years running, this writer has been sounding the alarm about these suicidal policies, warning that they would only lead to Russian intimidation, coercion, excesses, muscle-flexing, and eventually, aggression.

This writer most notably sounded the alarm in May 2009, writing that:

“Unless European states and America suddenly adopt a hawkish foreign policy and strengthen their militaries, Europe will become a mere province of the Russian empire.”

And as usual, this writer was right all along.

Meanwhile, all those who falsely claimed that “the Cold War was over”, “Russia is our friend/partner, not our enemy”, “you are a Cold War dinosaur”, “you need to shed this Cold War mentality”, and “the 1980s are asking to have their policy back” were dead wrong.

All those who claimed Russia was a partner and not a foe, that it should be appeased and accomodated, that Obama’s “reset” policy was right, that the US could afford to cut its nuclear arsenal further – from Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and the Cato Institute, to the CNAS, Michele Flournoy, Michael McFaul, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Henry Kissinger, and Pat Buchanan – were DEAD WRONG ALL ALONG.

These people should now publicly admit being wrong and shut their ignorant mouths up. But we should be under no illusions that they will.

Now Ukraine, a strategically important country and a weak neighbor of Russia, has been invaded by that country under the utterly false pretext of protecting Russian citizens and ethnic Russians in the Crimea – who were not threatened by Kiev in any way – just like Hitler annexed the Sudetenland in 1938, ostensibly to protect the Sudetenland Germans from the Czechoslovakian government.

In any case, what can and should Western powers do to stop Putin from going any further?

The first and most important thing is to immediately and permanently STOP listening to the advice from the Powell-Kissinger-Flournoy-Clinton school of foreign policy, which has once again (but not for the first time) been proven DEAD WRONG.

This means no more cuts in the West’s nuclear or conventional arsenals, no more “arms control” treaties, no more accommodating of the Russians’ demands. By committing such a blatant act of aggression, they’ve forfeited the right to be heard on any issue and to make any wishes or demands.

But the West must do much more to convince Vladimir Putin that it’s serious. Mere promises of toughness, verbal condemnations, and “dialogue” won’t stop him from committing further aggression.

Therefore, the US, Canada, and European countries should, until such time as the Putin regime collapses:

1) Immediately institute a TOTAL embargo on ALL Russian products except raw minerals.

2) Hasten the deployment of all stages of the European Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense in Europe, and build an East Coast missile defense site.

3) Immediately withdraw from the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Partial Test Ban Treaty, the New START, and the CFE Treaty.

4) Ban the Russian national air carrier, Aeroflot, from flying into US, Canadian, or EU airspace.

5) Warn Russia that any of its military aircraft that venture into US, Canadian, or EU airspace will be shot down without warning.

6) Expel Russian ambassadors from Western countries.

7) Boycott the upcoming G8 summit and Paralympic Games in Sochi.

8) Reverse all defense (budget, programmatic, force structure) cuts undertaken in the last 12 years and start building Western militaries up. In particular, the US should reverse all the cuts in its nuclear arsenal and fully modernize it; revive the MEADS, Airborne Laser, Kinetic Energy Interceptor, and Multiple Kill Vehicle programs; cancel the F-35 program and resume F-22 Raptor fighter production; develop the Reliable Replacement Warhead and the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator; increase its inventory of MOP bombs; reintroduce S-3 Vikings into service; improve its Navy’s ASW equipment and skills; build a Conventional Prompt Global Strike system; develop ASAT weapons; order more THAAD brigades; speed up naval railgun and laser development and deployment; and make more Aegis-class warships BMD-capable.

9) Lastly, and most importantly, Western countries should strike Russia where it is weakest: its economy. Specifically, Western countries, led by the US, should:

a) Impose total economic sanctions, including a total embargo and asset freezes, on Russia; and

b) Start freeing itself from Russia’s oil and gas domination by opening the Outer Continental Shelf, the ANWR, the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, all shale oil and gas deposits throughout the West, and the reserves in the Everglades; liquifying coal; using methane in lieu of natural gas; cancelling the South Stream pipeline; authorizing the Keystone Pipeline; and building the Nabucco Pipeline instead (and as quickly as possible). In addition, the US, which is already a net oil and gas exporter, should immediately start exporting these fuels to Europe to help it wean itself off Russian hydrocarbons.

The Russian economy is terribly dependent on raw minerals exports; 66% of the Kremlin’s revenue comes from these exports, while manufactured goods exports account for only about 10%. Moreover, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has already caused significant unrest at the Moscow stock exchange, whose main index has seen a 10% fall (and a 20% decline in the Russian currency’s value to the dollar) just today (as of 8:24AM ET, 18:24 Moscow time).

Moreover, Putin’s totally incompetent interference in the affairs of Gazprom, the Russian gas producing and exporting company, has driven it into a debt of $50 billion – equalling its turnover of one year.

This invasion, and Vladimir Putin’s entire buildup of the Russian military, would NOT have been possible absent the boon provided by high oil and gas prices (oil now stands at $105/barrel) and Russia’s stranglehold on their supplies to Europe. If that stranglehold is broken, and if these prices decline dramatically and soon, Putin will have no choice but to withdraw his troops, and his wannabe Evil Empire Redux will fall like a deck of cards.

Those who advocated the ridiculous policy of appeasement and unilateral disarmament that brought us into this mess in the first place now falsely claim that the only alternative to dialogue with Russia is war with that country. That is completely false.

No one wants war with Moscow. And since the Russian military is already more than strong enough to defeat the US military easily, it would be ill-advised.

But as stated above, Russia has one great glaring weakness – its economy – and as Sun Tzu wisely counseled, the right way to defeat your opponent is to strike his weaknesses, not his strengths.

Just as Ronald Reagan (who was vilified as a warmonger who would cause nuclear war) won the Cold War without firing a shot, the West, if it applies the right policies, can defeat Russia today, also without firing a shot, by pulling the economic lever. It absolutely can do so. The question is whether Western leaders will now have the intellectual courage to acknowledge the utter failure of their appeasement policy.