Kerry says no military solution in Ukraine
Perhaps Mr. Kerry should inform Vladimir Putin of that notion.
In truth, Kerry is half right. The rebels will not be able to conquer the entire country and the government will not be able to totally smash the rebellion.
But there are "diplomatic solutions" that depend heavily on military success. And for Putin, that means supporting the rebels so that they can grab enough territory to set up a buffer state of ethnic Russians under Moscow's thumb. It is as surely a "military solution" as can be imagined; fight until the Ukraine government recognizes a redrawing of the map of their country.
Kerry's comments come as some lawmakers have pressed the Obama administration to arm Ukrainian forces. Rebels allegedly backed by Russia have stoked fighting in eastern Ukraine in an attempt to absorb the area.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pushed the White House to resist sending arms to Ukraine. She and French President Francois Hollande are scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week to broker an end to the fighting.
Kerry wouldn't detail what kind of aid the U.S. plans to provide Ukraine. He said that Putin's actions are "leaving the global community with no choice" but to assist Ukraine or impose more sanctions on Russia, which have taken aim at the country's oil and natural gas industry that fund more than half its budget.
[Putin] is doing enormous damage to Russia," Kerry said, adding that the Russian president's actions "will catch up to him."
The remarks come after Vice President Joe Biden expressed skepticism about whether the dialogue between Russia, Germany and France would produce a meaningful and lasting end to fighting in Ukraine.
"Too many times President Putin has promised peace and delivered tanks, and troops, and weapons. We will continue to provide Ukraine security assistance. Not to encourage war but to allow Ukraine to defend themselves. Let me be clear, we do not think there is a military solution," Biden said Saturday at the Munich Security Conference in Germany.
As long as Putin keeps dangling peace in front of Europe and the US, the prospect of NATO giving meaningful support to Kiev is not good. Despite the state of the Russian economy, Putin has time on his side. His supply lines are short, he has made a modest investment in the rebel's success in troops and material, and he is still wildly popular with the Russian people thanks to a relentless propaganda campaign portraying the Kiev government as Nazis.
Meanwhile, the US and Europe wring their hands and engage in wishful thinking that Putin wants peace something short of a separate country for ethnic Russians.
This conflict will depend on which side has staying power. Who do you think will win that battle?