Now that Vladimir Putin's Olympics are over, his gaze has turned inexorably to what he clearly regards as the premier foreign policy priority of the Russian Federation: retaining determinative influence -- if not full control -- over Ukraine...
...Hopefully, there can be high-level diplomatic discussions at the United Nations, European Union, and other international organizations that will lead to full territorial integrity of the sovereign state of Ukraine. And the state of the Russian Black Sea fleet has to be sensibly resolved, as do important trading and energy relations. The hope is that cooler heads will prevail.
However, hope is not a strategy, and therefore further action should be considered. Planning is vital to laying out options to decision makers, and NATO's military planners should have a busy weekend at least.
This is a classic case of a situation where the United States should be working in lock step with our allies around the world, but especially our European friends and most notably the 28 members of the NATO alliance.
NATO should call an immediate emergency session and weigh its options in the political, diplomatic, economic, and military dimensions.
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