by Steven P. Bucci, Nile Gardiner, Luke Coffey
The Heritage Foundation
March 04, 2014
On February 28, Russian troops, aided by pro-Russian local militia, began violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity by occupying important sites across the Crimean Peninsula. Under the pretext of “protecting Russian people,” the deployment of Russian troops into Crimea demonstrates a blatant disregard of Ukraine’s national sovereignty. Understandably, Moscow’s behavior has made many NATO partners nervous. Ukraine does not enjoy the security guarantees afforded to America’s NATO allies, nor should the U.S. give any impression that it does. However, America’s leaders can act by following the example of President Reagan three decades ago: demonstrate American commitment to Europe, guarantee unparalleled American strength, and confront tyranny when it threatens American interests. With strength and consistency, Russia’s recent actions could have been prevented or at least mitigated. It might be too late for Crimea, but the U.S. cannot allow the contagion to spread.