"Why did Obama publicly state that aggression in Ukraine would trigger 'consequences'? Clearly he was telling Putin to recalculate the potential costs and benefits of an invasion. But Obama was ignoring a simple fact: Putin would incur almost any risk to avoid losing Ukraine. To put it another way: There are no consequences—none that the United States could credibly threaten—that would keep Putin from doing whatever it takes to hang on to Ukraine," writes CFR Press Fellow Fred Kaplan in Slate.
"Russia is confident there will be no Western economic counterattack. They believe the Europeans will not sanction the Russian oligarch money. They believe Americans will not punish the Russian oligarchs by blocking their access to banks. Russia is certain a military counterattack is out of the question. They expect America to only posture. Cancel the G-8? Who cares?" writes Ben Judah in Politico.
"European and American officials must be clear on the reasons why the international community should band together to condemn Russian actions. It is not because of the violation of national sovereignty—a concept imperfectly defended by Americans and Europeans in recent years—but because Mr. Putin's reserving the right to protect the 'Russian-speaking population' of Ukraine is an affront to the basis of international order," writes Charles King in the New York Times.