Charles Krauthammer has suggested a plan should Czar Putin fail to live up to the terms of the cease-fire agreement with Georgia. His simple but elegant measures include
1. Suspend the NATO-Russia Council established in 2002 to help bring Russia closer to the West. Make clear that dissolution will follow suspension. The council gives Russia a seat at the NATO table. Message: Invading neighboring democracies forfeits the seat.
2. Bar Russian entry to the World Trade Organization.
3. Dissolve the G-8. Putin’s dictatorial presence long made it a farce but no one wanted to upset the bear by expelling it. No need to. The seven democracies simply withdraw. Then immediately announce the reconstitution of the original G-7.
4. Announce a U.S.-European boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi. To do otherwise would be obscene. Sochi is 15 miles from Abkhazia, the other Georgian province just invaded by Russia. The Games will become a riveting contest between the Russian, Belarusian and Jamaican bobsled teams.
There’s a lot to like here including the lack of military measures. Given how much Czar Putin must crave the world stage, implementing the above would be a blow he can survive though not soon forget and he does seem more than willing to go it alone. Unfortunately, the impact might not be as great as one would hope.
Still it could work but only with full participation of European countries that seem to have little stomach for medicinal measures. Time they realized that a spoonful now could avoid a full-blown cancer later.