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The West has made NATO's military alliance the heart of its response to Russia's power grab in Ukraine.But we may be fighting the wrong battle: The weapons President Vladimir Putin has used in Crimea and eastern Ukraine look more like paramilitary "covert action" than conventional military force. Putin, the former KGB officer, may in fact be taking a page out of America's playbook during the Ronald Reagan presidency, when the Soviet empire began to unravel thanks to a relentless U.S. covert-action campaign. From the beginning in Crimea, Putin ran the campaign there as a "black" operation.Putin's destabilization campaign in eastern Ukraine is riskier than the Crimean operation was, because the Ukrainian government has warned it will fight back if Russian troops invade. Since these cities are largely Russian-speaking, Putin could count on a base of local popular support.How can America and the West fight back effectively against Putin's tactics?
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