We are all familiar with the concept of gunboat diplomacy. But Harley diplomacy, as practiced by Vladimir Putin in the present crisis, is something new. As reported by Terry Golway at Reuters:
Russian President Vladimir Putin calls them his “brothers” — this group of burly motorcyclists who see themselves as road warriors fighting for the greater glory of Mother Russia. They’re known as the Night Wolves, and Putin himself has ridden with them on that icon of American wanderlust, a Harley-Davidson.
Even as Russia was preparing to send troops to Crimea to reclaim the peninsula from Ukraine’s new government, the Night Wolves announced that they would ride to the troubled region to whip up support for their powerful brother and Harley devotee.
The State Department is, doubtless, considering a range of options.