(Off-topic indulgence due to the story's importance – promoted by Colorado Pols)
There's been a ton of opinions here about what we should do in The Ukraine. They've run the gamut from essentially nothing (except saying we're upset) to starting WW III. So, let's say Obama asks you to join a meeting of his national security team. What would you suggest.
And why you think it would work?
Here's my idea. We pass a law providing the government with the power it needs to effectively find money laundering. And pressure Europe to do the same. Then focus (at first) on all of the billions the Russian leaders have stashed in our banks.
It's non-violent, good policy regardless, and it will absolutely get the attention of the Kleptocracy running Russia:
Moscow is not nervous. Russia’s elites have exposed themselves in a gigantic manner – everything they hold dear is now locked up in European properties and bank accounts. Theoretically, this makes them vulnerable. The EU could, with a sudden rush of money-laundering investigations and visa bans, cut them off from their wealth. But, time and time again, they have watched European governments balk at passing anything remotely similar to the U.S. Magnitsky Act, which bars a handful of criminal-officials from entering the United States.
Brussels today, Russia believes, talks about human rights but no longer believes in it. Europe is really run by an elite with the morality of the hedge fund: Make money at all costs and move it offshore.
Threaten their money and you will get Russia's attention. It will require our politicians put what's best for the world ahead of what's best for the banks. This might be important enough that a majority might do so.
It definitely beats a Civil War in THe Ukraine that no matter how distant we try to hold ourselves, can easily suck all of Europe into it.