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.