With His only Option being Escalation, this is How Putin’s War Must End

Vienna, Austria – March 30, 2014: Protesters gather in the main square in Vienna to protest the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Police are watching the protests carefully in the background.

By Rob Dannenberg

Rob Dannenberg served as chief of operations for CIA's Counterterrorism Center, chief of the Central Eurasia Division and chief of the Information Operations Center before retiring from the Agency.  He served as managing director and head of the Office of Global Security for Goldman Sachs, and as director of International Security Affairs at BP.  He is now an independent consultant on geopolitical and security risk.

EXPERT PERSPECTIVE — Vladimir Putin wanted this war. The “special military operation” launched in Ukraine, is just another step toward confrontation and conflict with the West for which Putin has been preparing for almost two decades. He announced his view to the world in his alarming speech to the Munich Security Conference in February 2007, in which he strongly criticized the rules-based world order led by what he called a “monopolistic” United States.

He went on to cite alleged broken promises made to the Soviet Union about the eastward expansion of NATO and continued with strong criticism of US plans to build a missile shield in Europe. Putin followed his words with actions, withdrawing from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and then invading the Republic of Georgia in August 2008. He invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014, and shortly after, supported secessionist forces in Ukrainian Donbas. 

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