Why isn’t the Crimean peninsula worth defending?

(The Washington Post)

She is certainly worth stealing and taking by force, which is what the Russian Federation appears to be doing as we write up this pithy blog post …

If you were an advisor to Oleksandr Turchynov, the new (and unelected) prime minister of Ukraine, what advice would you give him? Would you counsel him to stand up and go to war over the Crimea or to sit down and negotiate with the Russians? If you favor using military force in defense of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, what is the probability that Ukraine’s armed forces (or NATO’s, for that matter) would be defeated in a direct confrontation with Russian forces? Does this probability inform the advice you would give?  Now, imagine you are a close advisor to Russian president Vladimir Putin. Same questions. Also, do these sanctions really scare you?

Hat tip: Adam Taylor of The Washington Post.  Note: this post was revised and expanded on the evening of 22 March 2014. For additional game theoretic analyses of the Crimean conflict, see this post by Tyler Cowen (Master of the Internet): Crimea through a game theory lens.

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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