Friedman: To Defeat Putin, Kick Him in the Wallet

Globalization can be used to our advantage: op-ed
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2014 12:06 PM CDT
Friedman: To Defeat Putin, Follow the Money
Russian president Vladimir Putin speaks at a Security Council meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 28, 2014.   (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

Some may argue that Vladimir Putin's actions in Crimea prove globalization isn't all that it's cracked up to be; Cold War-style politics haven't been wiped out forever. But Thomas Friedman argues that in order to stop Putin, we need to view him in the context of the world's "economic interdependence." He quotes foreign policy expert Michael Mandelbaum: "Putin is not some strange creature from the past. He is as much a product of globalization as Davos Man."

That means we don't need military action; instead, we need to "follow the money," Friedman writes in the New York Times. "It is a new kind of containment." Putin's "petro state" depends on global energy revenues; that's what we should target. We'll all have to chip in: Americans will have to depend less on international energy; Europeans will need to quit Russian gas; Germans and the French will need to cut exports."We can deflate this guy tomorrow without firing a shot if we’re all ready to do something rather than asking the 1 percent in the military to do everything," Friedman notes. "That is what Putin thinks we don’t have the guts to do." Click for the full piece. (More Thomas Friedman stories.)

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