The Ukrainian crisis has the potential to become a major embarrassment for Obama and the US. Here is why.
1. Russia is not nearly as weak as it was in the 1990’s after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Oil money has buffered Moscow and strengthened Putin’s grip on power.
2. America is not nearly as strong as it was in the 1990’s. The debacle in Iraq and the economic meltdown have damaged America’s standing in the world and its ability to act. Add to this the recent Obama administration’s drastic military cuts and it makes it clear that America should not be feared.
3. This is in Russia’s backyard and they deem the Crimea (which has a heavily Russian population) as Russian territory even though technically it is a part of the Ukraine.
4. The Ukrainian president that was just forced from office was elected democratically to office although I am sure that it was corrupt. This, along with the fact that the Crimea is heavily Russian provides Putin with the justification to intervene militarily.
5. The West encouraged the demonstrators in the Ukraine but nobody should be fooled here. There is no chance of the US or Europe putting boots on the ground to protect the Ukraine.
6. The only thing the US and the West can do is talk tough and hope the Russians don’t call their bluff. Putin knows this and he will call the bluff humiliating Obama and America by default.
7. Obama’s much hyped “Russian reset” has been a total failure. A pattern has developed here with Russia playing a major role in problems around the world. Syria, Iran, and the Ukraine all have one thing in common, Russian interference.
Today Russia has alerted over 150,000 soldiers to test their readiness to invade the Ukraine, the Syrian Civil War rages on supported by Russia killing tens of thousands. Iran , once again supported by Russia, is racing to build nuclear weapons and threatening to wipe Israel from the map. The US is committed by treaty to defend South Korea against the nuclear armed North Korea, which just so happen to share the world’s most heavily armed border in the world with over 1.2 million on either side of the border ready to kill each other. The US is also obligated by treaty to defend Japan and all its territory. Recently the Chinese have begun laying claim to Japanese territory. To intimidate the Japanese and America the Chinese have routinely in the last year sent ships and planes to continuously provoke the Japanese. The exact same has happened with the Philippines, which just so happens to have a treaty with the US.
None of the above even mentions the ongoing battle with islamic extremists around the globe. On top of all this current Sec. Def. Hagel has admitted that the US stands to lose military dominance if investments aren’t made to ensure continued US technological advantages. However in spite of everything I just listed, what can only be described as a world spinning out of control, this administration has decided to make drastic cuts to the American military. In essence we are communicating are lack of resolve and weakness to our many adversaries around the globe. Unfortunately for us and the world as a whole they are listening.
Over at www.autoblog.com they recently had a story about how a 3rd Korean automaker was trying to enter the market and start exporting cars to the US. It got me thinking about how bad our foreign policy is these days with countries like South Korea. First, the US imports about 400,000 cars a year from South Korea while we send them a whopping 15, 000 annually. Second, the US recently signed a free trade agreement with South Korea and the outcome was predictable. Our trade deficit with South Korea soared to a record $23 billion dollars. Third, South Koreans don’t even like Americans. With the exception of the older generation that can still remember America helping South Korea the rest of South Korea seems to almost hate Americans.
All of this makes me ask why? Why do we sign free trade deals with a country that costs us billions in lost jobs? Why do we then station tens of thousands of troops there to defend the same country at great cost ( I was recently told by someone that South Korea has agreed to foot part of the bill for US troops stationed there, how generous of them)? Finally, why would we do all of this for a country that hates us? The only country capable of such stupidity is America, thanks Uncle Sam!