With the facts on the ground now established in Crimea — several thousand facts in the form of Russian troops — the question now becomes: Will sustained economic, political and military isolation of Russia work? Will it reverse Vladimir Putin’s adventurism and deter future aggression?
There is a recent historical precedent. President Obama’s “reset” with Russia was designed to end the economic, political and military isolation of Putin’s Russia after the invasion of Georgia in 2008. Russia did not keep the terms of the cease-fire ending that conflict. But Obama was determined to unfreeze the post-Georgia relationship, particularly since Russian cooperation was needed on issues of mutual concern such as Iran and Syria.