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U.S., EU Can Stop the Russian Bully
The U.S. and EU are much stronger than Russia and could stand up to its bullying if Western leaders had the determination to do so.
April 20, 2014  4:50 p.m. ET       online.wsj.com/~

Daniel Henninger's "The Putin Temptation" (Wonder Land, April 10) notes that "They [NATO/eurozone] are too militarily weak, and too economically selfish and politically disorganized to lead as one."  Should push come to shove, the eurozone population tops 334 million versus Russia's 145 million.  Add the U.S. with 318 million and the Western numbers available against Russia grow to 652 million versus 145 million.  The eurozone GDP is $13 trillion.  Russia's is $2 trillion.  Add the U.S. GDP of $17 trillion to that and Western wealth goes up to $30 trillion versus Russia's $2 trillion.  That's just for starters.

But 35%-40% of EU natural gas comes from Russia through pipelines.  So what?  The EU can tap its own vast energy resources in the North Sea and, like the U.S., harvest a brisk flow with fracking.  Hard sanctions and embargoes can dry up Russia economically, possibly leading to the popular overthrow of Vladimir Putin.  He isn't foolish enough to provoke the West into a war.  The U.S. alone has 11 aircraft carriers to Russia's one, and even though Russia has troops and good weapons it knows it can never prevail against a galvanized, determined West.

John Barchilon

Los Angeles