The Washington Examiner quotes Eurasia Center Director John Herbst on how the Obama administration has responded to the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash:
Experts on the region say Putin is not off the hook yet and Obama could still use the horrific crash to pressure him to change, but they stress that he’ll need to act soon.
“The people who think Putin is backed in a corner are thinking wishfully,” said the John Herbst, the director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2003 to 2006.
If in fact the U.S. and the Europeans were serious about isolating Putin, then the shoot-down of the commercial airliner would have been “a Rubicon for them — they would have imposed serious sanctions,” he said.
The U.S. has the capability of doing far more on its own, Herbst argues. Along with providing lethal support to the Ukrainian and NATO allies in Eastern Europe, the U.S. could prevent banks around the world from conducting transactions in U.S. dollars with Russia.
The U.S. must act quickly to take advantage of international anger toward Russia, Herbst said.
“This is the perfect time to move in this direction,” he said, “but I’m not holding my breath.”