Feb. 10, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Look West, Ukraine | Commentary

We should support Ukraine joining NATO. Their joining is faithful to the principle of collective defense: An attack against one member is an attack against all. There is already a NATO-Ukraine Commission, so why not make it official as soon as feasible?

Of course all of this is easier said than done, especially when we in the U.S. suffer the perception of having abdicated our international leadership, and have leaders who even raise questions about American exceptionalism and taking a leading role in world affairs.

I fear that Putin will only continue to thumb his nose at the economic sanctions thus far imposed, which include sanctions against individuals and companies in Putinís inner circle: energy, financial and mining companies and four banks. Putin is unlikely to find such measures as anything more than a light rap on the knuckles.

Authoritarians like Putin are rarely deterred by limited sanctions. They are deterred when the U.S. projects power and serious resolve. And as long as Putin believes the U.S., the West and NATO are unwilling to fully embrace the Ukraine or vice versa, then Russia will continue to pursue its assault on the country ó and potentially be successful in the end. If Putin succeeds, the world will certainly be a more dangerous place.

Rep. Andy Harris, a doctor , represents Marylandís 1st District.

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