Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, both Republicans, have a new op-ed at CNN calling on the United States to punish Russia economically and to aid Ukraine militarily if Russia does not back down:
Putin clearly decided that the benefits of an armed intervention in Ukraine outweighed whatever costs the United States would be willing to impose.
The United States must reset that calculation.
In that spirit, we welcome Obama's call for bipartisan action in the Congress, which will hopefully move to quickly pass a serious package of financial support for Ukraine and to bolster the authorities that the administration already has to pursue and penalize Russian individuals and entities.
The United States must make clear to Putin that by violating Ukraine's sovereignty and violating multiple international commitments, he has made a strategic miscalculation that will lead to severe impacts for Russia's economy and its standing in the world.
Beyond immediate financial actions against the Russian regime and even Putin himself, if Russia attempts to expand its military operations and threatens eastern Ukraine, we and our allies in Europe need to be ready to implement a trade embargo, explore restrictions on imports of Russian natural gas, and cut off Russian banks from the international financial system. We also need to open up exports of domestic natural gas to our allies and partners in the region so that they are less susceptible to Russia's efforts to use energy as a weapon.
If, in the coming days, Russia does not back down, Ukraine will require more than just our moral and financial support, including defense assistance in the form of a military assessment team to examine Ukraine's needs, as well as enhanced intelligence cooperation.
Read the rest here.