Yesterday, Michael McFaul, who was until recently the U.S. ambassador to Russia, tweeted two very noteworthy observations. The first was this: “If Putin can arm rebels, why can’t we arm Ukraine?” The second was this: “West has to stop trying to change Putin’s mind, and focus more on helping Ukraine succeed, including on the battlefield.” Before assuming the ambassadorship, McFaul was a member of Obama’s National Security Council (NSC) and also the architect of the so-called U.S.-Russian “reset” in bilateral relations, a major premise of which had been trying to change Putin’s mind about many things. McFaul’s volte-face in particular should be registered with Obama’s remaining NSC members.
They should also realize that now is the time to convey an entirely different message to Vladimir.
Let’s give Putin a clear choice: Either he can continue subventing and enabling the bloodletting in eastern Ukraine, or we can expose the enormous global network of offshore bank accounts, dummy companies, and real estate holdings that belong to him and his criminal elite. A mafia state should be treated as such. And information should once again be weaponized as it was during the Cold War. Moscow has already gotten a head start, by leaking compromised telephone calls between members of our State Department and between Eurocrats and NATO-allied state officials.