Putin Puts Military on Alert While Kerry Urges Caution

Feb 26, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin put 150,000 Russian combat troops on high alert, rattling nerves in an already unstable Ukraine.  The move along Ukraine's border caused U.S. Secretary of State to urge the Russian leader to make "very careful" judgments.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with University of Northern Iowa's Lindsay Cohn, International Affairs Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations and Iowa State University's Steffen Schmidt, University Professor of Political Science about the prospects of Russian military action and the likely U.S. response.  "We can't rule it out," says Cohn, "but I would put the likelihood at less than 50%."  However Schmidt points to Czechoslovakia and Hungary as examples of why Russian military action can't be ruled out.  As for U.S. response, Cohn says "We can't fall into this U.S. trap of warning others to be careful, and then go barging in ourselves."  Other topics include discussion of planned military spending cuts, the prospect for U.S. troops pulling out of Afghanistan and ongoing instability in Venezuela.