Kiev’s credibility is on the line as the central government tries to persuade residents fearful of economic hardship that their future lies with Ukraine rather than Russia. A referendum on March 18, 2014 in Crimea has already lead one Ukrainian province into the hands of Russia. Another breakaway could lead to a civil war, or worse the dissolution of a country, and its incorporation into Russia. But how do political scientists predict the outcome of this war? How will it unfold, especially where U.S.A and European Union are concerned? Well, let’s find out by examining the top 10 predictions for the Ukrainian Crisis of 2014.
10. Vladimir Putin will do something belligerent. He’s already done it, but sources say that this is just the calm before the storm.
9. Republicans will demand that we show strength in the face of Putin’s provocation. Whatever it is that we’re doing, we should do more.
8. Barack Obama will reject all that Putin will do. But regardless of how unequivocal his condemnation is, critics will argue that he’s failing to support the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people. If the people of the Crimea want to be part of Russia, who is America to stop it?
7. Journalists will write a variety of thumbsucking points, looking at how America’s options are extremely limited…with Ukraine being 5,000 miles away and all.
6. John McCain will appear on CNN news chat to critique the fact that Obama is a weak leader and that no one fears America anymore. He would have done a better job running the country, considering his age, right?
5. Having written all the “options are limited” thumbsuckers, journalists and columnists will follow McCain’s lead and start declaring that the crisis in Ukraine is the greatest foreign policy test of Obama’s presidency. It will thus supplant Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iran, and North Korea for this honor.
4. In spite of all the trees that have fallen and the words that have been spoken about the subjecy, nobody will have any good ideas about what kind of plan of attack will work on Russia. There will be scattered calls to impose some random sanctions here and there, introduce a ban on Russian vodka imports, convene NATO, demand a UN Security Council vote, etc. None of these methods will have any sway in Russia’s foreign policy.
3. Obama will continue to denounce Putin. Perhaps he will convene NATO. For their part, Republicans will continue to insist that he’s showing weakness and needs to get serious.
2. This will all continue for a while because the United States and the EU cannot do anything to stop Putin from taking over the Crimea. EU is too dependent on Russia for Natural Gas supply. Many countries, such as Germany, have already acknowledged the loss to Russia as inevitable.
1. In the end, it will all settle down into a stalemate, with Russia having thrown its weight around in its near abroad—just like it always has—and the West not having the leverage to do much about it. Hopefully this stalemate will not last as long the Korean War.