By Tomasz Wroblewski & James Jay Carafano
Putin Could Be Biggest Loser in Ukraine Crisis: Russian President Vladimir Putin is like a compulsive poker player who can’t stop testing his luck. Every time he gets a good card, he can’t help but raise the bet.
This is what he’s doing in threatening Ukraine. And he may wind up over-betting his hand and losing badly.
Putin holds two good cards: force and energy. If the transatlantic community commits to strengthening its deterrent forces—strategic as well as conventional—and building real energy security that allows Europe access to affordable and reliable energy, Putin will be left with a losing hand.
Confrontation and Crisis
The Ukraine crisis is not just about Ukraine. The Russians have told us so. On Dec. 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry delivered an ultimatum demanding that NATO guarantee it would never admit Ukraine… and Belarus… and Sweden… and Finland as member nations.
The ultimatum, as well as subsequent Russian communiqués, have been economical with words but rich with demands. Moscow seems convinced it has the upper hand in negotiations with the West. Apparently, it has come to believe in the moral decline of the West and that NATO has no political will to help defend Ukraine from invasion.
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