Truth About Crimea: We Can't Do Squat
What are we even arguing about, asks Michael Cohen
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2014 1:56 PM CDT
President Barack Obama about Ukraine, Monday, March 17, 2014, from the briefing room of the White House.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – If foreign policy pundits agree on anything, "it's that President Obama must do moar to stand up to Vladimir Putin," observes Michael Cohen at the Guardian; (that's "more" plus "roar," he explains for those unfamiliar.) "We need more strong leadership and more retroactive bombing of Syria; less talk and more rock; definitely less projected weakness." Yet, seemingly no one believes the US should actually use military force in Crimea. "Which raises a quite serious and legitimate question: What the hell are we arguing about?"

The "dirty little secret" is that "the US has at its disposal very few levers with which to change Russia's behavior." Yeah, we can impose sanctions and call off summits and joint military training, but these are policies "that largely dance around the margins," and the protracted Iranian nuclear drama has vividly demonstrated "such steps will take time and diplomatic effort to bring results." The "moar" crowd's protestations serve to hide a hard truth: "We are not nearly as powerful as we'd often like to believe." Click for Cohen's full column.