Well in the UK, Hague
said some vague warning that there could be war if Russia enters still more
parts of Ukraine, while appearing to rule out military reactions just over Crimea. And I don't recall exactly where I saw it, but some reporters have noticed that at least so far, few of the American legislators famous for being hawkish have asked Obama to actually send in the military (at least, not in public).
I didn't mean so much that no one thinks Russia might deserve
to be kicked out, precisely. And no I didn't mean to say the Cold War spirit dies easily -- though whether it's more shared history or new pressure is hard to tell in this case. But simply, I'd be surprised if the US actually deployed something that would do that, just over Ukraine.
With Cuba, the US had huge conventional and nuclear advantages in numbers. And the US thought
it had even more advantage than it did, apparently not being aware there were already nukes in Cuba. If there had been a large conventional invasion of Cuba, it wouldn't have had that far to travel. I think the US could still whop Russia conventionally if push came to shove, but the rest is all different. I can't imagine Obama right now, telling Putin he'd start bombing Russian cities, if necessary to secure all of Ukraine.
And stuff is just not in place
to do it conventionally. Takes forever to ship armor around first if they were going to do it with the usual "big war" force protection -- that is, if they really mean to be prepared to repel reinforcements. If you read Tom Clancy or the like, sure there are neatly imagined scenarios about air wings and maybe some light cavalry, special forces and cruise missiles scurrying around shutting down hulking old armor columns all across Eurasia... That was vaguely the Rumsfeld Doctrine I think too, which worked nicely at the start
in Afghanistan when someone else
("Northern Alliance") was happy to provide the tanks and divisions to occupy territory. But dislodging infantry already in place in cities with a mix of some civilian and paramilitary support working with it? Eyeing numerous potential other Russian forces not far away? Nah.
Adding a dozen fighters
in Poland and about half that again in the Baltics
doesn't change things much for Crimea yet. Now if anyone were talking about a blockade
or some other naval mischief, and if Nato's Eastern Euro members wanted to play hardball with their own forces in the Black Sea participating, then maybe a destroyer or two
would matter more to Russia's calculations. Even then, it'd be betting Russia doesn't want to keep feeding in forces (initially air units, in particular) and face the US perhaps doing the same.
The economics of it are getting more open discussion so far. Still lots of rumbling about sanctions, some apparent divisions as Germany and a couple other large Euro players are seen as reluctant
to soak serious costs there. (Though it could be great business for the US fracking
industry, which is another controversial dimension perhaps! I've already passed an occasional conspiracy claim that the US encouraged the Kiev opposition mainly to help push fracking through on American soil...)
Democratic and Republican senators are crafting a bill that would impose sanctions on Russian government officials and export industries such as petrochemicals, but want to coordinate action with European governments.
"Really this comes down to whether Europe is willing to join us," said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who heads a Senate subcommittee focused on the region. "Europe is not where they need to be right now. I think they are willing to give Putin a much longer leash than we are."