In a recent op-ed, a former CIA official suggested the removal of Russian President Vladimir Putin, by assassination if necessary, should be the primary objective of the Obama administration in its strategy for Ukraine.
Herbert E. Meyer, who served as a Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence under the Reagan administration, said the goal of U.S. sanctions against Russia “should be to get the Russians who’ve been keeping Putin in power, or tolerating Putin in power, to throw that knockout punch.”
“If Putin is too stubborn to acknowledge that his career is over, and the only way to get him out of the Kremlin is feet-first, with a bullet hole in the back of his head – that would also be okay with us,” he stated.
To ensure Putin’s removal, Meyer suggested, the Obama administration should strike a wedge between the Russian business elite and the Kremlin that could serve as a catalyst for an attempt on Putin’s life.
“That’s why the sanctions will work if the president and his European counterparts will keep tightening the screws; if they keep making commerce more difficult for Russia’s serious business executives, for instance by blocking their access to capital, and if they keep making life more miserable for Russia’s playboy oligarchs, for instance by canceling their credit cards and denying landing rights to their private jets,” he added. “And if the president and European leaders keep telling these Russians — bluntly and publicly — that all this will end the moment Vladimir Putin leaves the Kremlin for good.”