Everyone knew Russia was going to invade Ukraine. The Biden-Harris Administration, told us for weeks. They were predicting when Russia would move into Southern Ukraine, when they would launch an all-out offensive, when they would march to the capital Kiev, and so on.

If they knew what was going to happen and when it was going to happen, why have they been so flat footed on a response? If the Administration knew that no American military would be involved, why weren’t they ready from hour one of day one to impose the harshest most wide-ranging sanctions possible?

In the Gulf War, “Shock and Awe” was coined. The actions America took were so overwhelmingly clear and with a defined purpose that no one, friend or foe, could mistake our intentions and our plans. We knew what we were going to do, and we did it.

Twenty years later, “Shock and Awe” does not have to be military.

Whenever President Biden opens his mouth, he clarifies that American forces and military assets won’t be used to fight Russia. Every time he says it, Americans cringe, and Putin laughs. Because every time Biden says it, he tells the world what he won’t do, not what he will do.

“Shock and Awe” can be economic, diplomatic, cultural, and political. It can be done by our national government and by our state governments, and by our businesses.

Here are some examples:

Drill. The best thing America can do is start drilling again. Yes, resurrecting the Keystone XL Pipeline would be a good start. It may be years away, but it would be a hugely symbolic shot over the bow. Start drilling now and ease the restrictions that the Biden-Harris Administration have put in place. Yes, we should strike a balance that recognizes climate change and the need to reduce reliance on oil without abandoning our immediate needs. But the anti-oil extremists are out of step with the realities of geopolitics. To cut off the head of the Russian beast you cut off the oil market that Russia dominates.

SWIFT Boot. Throw Russia out of SWIFT swiftly and completely. We already have taken too long to act, which is an excellent example of doing something half-ass. Yes, America and the EU have finally decided to ban some Russian financial institutions from SWIFT, but we didn’t go all the way immediately. We didn’t ban all Russian financial institutions, and we didn’t ban the Central Bank of Russia, their largest bank, until recently. Wasted time equals lost lives.

Sacrifice. Yes, we need to sacrifice. After watching what Ukraine people are doing every day to protect their country — turning breweries from making alcohol to making Molotov cocktails, road construction companies changing signs to confuse the Russian military, a Ukrainian farmer using his tractor to steal a Russian tank- let’s do our part.

Right now, innocent people in Ukraine are being killed for no reason other than a dictator has run amok.

The United States government should stop waiting around and start acting like a superpower and lead the way to bring “Shock and Awe” in every way imaginable on Putin and Russia, even if it means no military intervention.

California wants to lead the world, and as our Governor says, California is nation-state, so why aren’t we stepping up? While Biden telegraphs his every move, Governor Newsom has not said anything about acting. As the leader of the world’s 5th largest economy in the world, here are a few things California can do:

  • I don’t want to pay more in gas taxes so that Gavin Newsom has more money to fund his bullet train to nowhere. The Governor of California should step up and say the state is eliminating the state gas tax of about 54 cents per gallon for the next few months to keep the already outrageous prices stable. I don’t know about other Californians, but if I must pay $5.00 a gallon, I will do it to help make our state and nation more energy independent against tyrants like Putin. And with a $27.5 billion dollar surplus in 2022, on top of the $60 billion dollar surplus in 2021, does California really need more?
  • CalPERS and CalSTRS, the two largest public pension funds in the United States, have almost two billion dollars investments in Russia. They should announce they are freezing those assets, discontinuing all further investments, and begin divesting their portfolios of all Russian assets. Sound radical? Not really. The Governor of New York has started.
  • Some states have started prohibiting the purchase of any Russian goods and services that the state pays for. States that have state alcohol stores are doing it. Considering the purchasing power of a state that claims the 5th largest economy in the world. Let’s cut off our purchasing of Russian goods and services.
  • California is known for its’ entertainment industry. How many American entertainers are planning things like sporting events or concerts in Russia this year? Cancel them immediately. Netflix, founded by Reed Hastings, a major contributor to Gavin Newsom and a major contributor to opposing the Recall has a deal with Russia. On March 1st, according to contracts signed with the Russian government, Netflix must start carrying Putin’s state propaganda on their platform. Reed Hastings and Netflix should cancel those contracts, not become pawns of Putin for money, and take the hit on closing off the Russian market to Netflix until this invasion stops.
  • Private businesses should stop doing all business with Russia for the time being. If you’re doing business with Russia, you are fueling the machine that is attacking Ukraine and killing innocent men, women, and children.
  • Not only public pension funds, but private companies with investments in Russia should divest immediately. Again, any investment in any portfolio that helps Russia is fueling an assault by a tyrant.
  • Aeroflot has canceled flights to the United States because Canada revoked their fly over rights. Why didn’t America cancel Aeroflot?

Some of these measures are happening, piecemeal and over time. But here’s the problem. Every single day brings Putin closer to the take over of Ukraine. Every single day more freedom loving Ukraines are killed. America should have had the rest of NATO and the international community ready on day one with a “Shock and Awe” response from the moment Putin invaded southern Ukraine. Lost time is lost lives, and lost leadership by America.

Hector and Mike are political experts with 50+ years of experience who look at politics, society, and government decisions and give their take on what is missing, lacking, or what is done right. They provide common sense solutions in an uncommon world. https://hectorandmikeexperience.com