While we debate the proper method for handling Putin's resurgent Russian imperialism, it seems wise to examine one of the 20th century's premier practitioners of American foreign policy for guidance. Even to his most devout critics, Richard Nixon is generally considered one of the more brilliant foreign policy minds of the Cold War. Through his actions opening up China, surrounding and containing the Soviet Union, enabling the Egypt-Israeli peace process, signing the first significant arms control treaty with the Soviets in US history, and ending the war in Vietnam, Nixon helped make the world a more stable place.
Having established his credentials, what would Nixon's response be to the current crisis? What would he do about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea by way of a sham plebiscite?
Obviously, Nixon cannot speak to us from the grave. However, based on my own personal relationship with President Nixon and my knowledge of the man's worldview, I suspect his thoughts would roughly correspond as follows:
First and foremost, the empty threats to Russia must stop. As any informed observe can tell you, western Europe is cripplingly dependent on Russian oil and gas – this is the reason for the perceived "weak" response from western Europe to the Russian annexation. Put simply, the already-fragile economies of Europe's largest countries cannot survive a Russian cessation of oil or gas exports in the near term. For proof of this, look no further than the lukewarm German response to Washington's efforts to impose meaningful sanctions on Russia. Merkel hates Putin (despite, paradoxically, being the world leader Putin most respects); however, she is well aware of German, the German economy's, and the European Union's crippling dependence on Russian energy exports.
While we're discussing Frau Merkel and Russia, let's touch briefly on the arguments from some quarters that now is the time for Ukrainian (and absurdly too, Georgian) accession to full NATO membership. Americans should be pleased that Mrs. Merkel has the strength of character to stand against extending Article 5 protections to Ukraine (Article 5 of the NATO charter being the provision guaranteeing mutual defense against invaders). Those who argue for pushing NATO further east cannot seriously think that if called upon the US, as well as such NATO allies as Germany, Italy, Greece, and Turkey have any willingness to defend Ukraine with military force. To add Ukraine to NATO would be to tempt Putin to undermine the central tenant of NATO.
Having pointed out what should not be done, let us turn to what a Nixon-inspired foreign policy would call for. First, Russia has forfeit any trust from the United States on the issue of missile defense. If Russia cannot be trusted to uphold treaty guarantees, the US must make clear that it will take any and all steps possible to defend its allies from Russian aggression. The renewal of plans for Eastern European missile defense must be a key part of US foreign policy moving forward.
Likewise, while we cannot punish Russia as they so deserve we can maintain the pressure on other rogue states to show the US has not backed off the world stage. Iran sanctions cannot be relaxed until and unless the country has been denuclearized, promises cannot be enough if we are to restore our international credibility. Likewise, North Korea must remain isolated and punished for as long as its leaders flout international conventions on non-proliferation. We should seek not to provoke our enemies, but we cannot appear weak or dithering either.
Finally, we must recognize that the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea is not a sign of strength, but of weakness. A weakness that is borne of fear of losing her traditional sphere of influence, and a weakness borne of falling global power and influence. All the taking of Crimea gains Russia is international notoriety and another poor dependent region, which Russia must somehow find a way to support with their dwindling oil and gas revenue. We must remember that Crimea is neither a rich region, nor one that has capacity to support itself. In fact, prior to its occupation Crimea's power and food have been wholly supplied by Ukraine – now Putin must find a way to replace that infrastructure for his newest subjects.
Nixon would also see that a strong dollar would lower world oil prices -and put intense pressure on the Russian economy. As John McCain said "Russia is like a big gas station". Indeed gas and oil is all they have.
There are those who argue that the Cold War is over, and we should treat the world differently than we did then. And clearly they are correct that Russia of 2014 is not the USSR of 1970. However, we can learn lessons from policies and worldviews that have proven successful in the past. Further, while the Cold War may be over, we must remember that Putin and many of his inner circle grew up as part of the old Soviet security state, and were trained to view the world through Soviet interests. Nixon's successful policies towards the Soviets can and should be extrapolated from for the purposes of formulating a response to Putin's aggressiveness. As the saying goes – time does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.
The nation's foremost apostle of economic growth , Reagan Revolutionary Larry Kudlow ended his nine-year run on his CNBC show on Friday by thanking his viewers. Kudlow made it clear his nationally syndicated radio show will continue to rock. See what the most brilliant supply-side economic guru and optimist in America had to say. Additionally his influential WABC New York syndicated radio show "The Larry Kudlow Show," will continue to promote "free men, free women and free markets" at 10 am EST on Saturdays.
Here's How Newsmax reported the story:
Larry Kudlow ended his nine-year run on his CNBC show on Friday by thanking his viewers and declaring at the end of his "Kudlow Report" program, "I am a blessed person."
"Let me thank all the viewers who've stayed with me down through the years and all who have wished me well," said Kudlow, 66, fighting back tears as he continued his farewell. "I am truly grateful. … And to all of you out there, as always, thank you — and God bless you."
The CNBC host, who is regular guest on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV, retired from full-time work at the network on Friday. Kudlow will continue at the cable network as a senior contributor to various CNBC business and news programs. Additionally his influential WABC New York Radio Show will continue to promote " free men, free women and free markets"
"Kudlow Report" began in January 2009 and offered a mixture of politics and business. The program succeeded "Kudlow & Company," which aired from 2005 until October 2008. Before that, starting in 2002, the program was called "Kudlow & Cramer" — with investment guru Jim Cramer as co-host. From 2001 to 2002, the program was called "America Now."
Tributes had been pouring in all week — including many on Friday via Twitter — and the last show followed Kudlow's standard format: There were discussions on business, politics and the economy and interviews with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and magazine publisher Steve Forbes.
Forbes, a former two-time GOP presidential candidate, said that the nation's economy currently reflected "a 70's era," which was dominated by double-digit inflation, high unemployment and skyrocketing gas prices.
"I hope after 2016, starting with the 2014 elections, we're going to get a mandate to do these substantive things" to grow the economy, he added, like strengthen the dollar, simplify the tax code and develop patient-centered healthcare programs."Basic stuff like that, and this economy would come rolling back," Forbes said.
It also showed how Kudlow's programs evolved over the years — including the 2002 coin toss with Cramer that led to their show being renamed "Kudlow & Cramer."
Cramer, now the host of CNBC's "Mad Money," called heads. "Well done, Lawrence," he said afterward.
Then followed clips of some of the high-powered guests Kudlow has interviewed over the years: former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and Timothy Geithner, and billionaire developer Donald Trump.There was even a clip of Kudlow introducing the show from the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
"Great stuff," Kudlow said after the segment. "Wonderful memories." He then began his final comments: "I'd like to take a moment to say a few words of thanks and gratitude and humility."
"It's been my honor to host this show for the past nine years, and before that, with my great pal Jimmy Cramer for three years," Kudlow said before thanking Cramer for the best wishes he had given on Thursday's program.
"You know my credo — 'We believe that free-market capitalism is the best path to prosperity!' — and let me add to that, from our Founding Fathers, 'Our creator endowed us with the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'
"In other words, freedom," Kudlow continued. "Freedom to work, invest, take risks — and the freedom to get rewards and incentives that motivate us all.
"It is freedom that makes this country the greatest in the world, and it is freedom that so frequently keeps me on the optimistic side of life."
He noted that the primary objective of his program was to provide "civil discourse on the issues of the day … salted with some financial market advice — which, sometimes I got right and, sometimes, got wrong." Kudlow praised the "best minds" he had recruited as guests. "Many of them have never been seen on television before. Now, they are going on to their own bright careers — and that makes me proud."
He then thanked CNBC for "not only for the privilege of hosting this show, but for giving me a second chance at life that resulted in a new career."
Kudlow noted his substance abuse of nearly 20 years ago and said that "with the help of many people, I learned to replace addiction with faith — and it is that faith that guides me every day."
He expressed pleasure at his new opportunity at CNBC. "It is the place where I call home."
After a commercial break, Kudlow's wife, Judith, rolled out a cake with "the Kudlow Creed" in frosting — and, by then, surrounded by applauding studio staff and other well-wishers, Kudlow was fully in tears.
The Larry Kudlow Show – nationally-syndicated talk radio-LIVE Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (ET)
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