My, how the mighty have fallen under the stewardship of Barack Hussein Obama.
This weekend on CNN’s State of the Union, President Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor, Tony Blinken, revealed a shocking truth.
When asked about the impact of U.S. military assistance in Ukraine, Blinken said, “It’s very unlikely to change Russia’s calculus and prevent an invasion.”
Blinken is warning that the United States, a country that was called the world’s only superpower a few short years ago, is powerless to stop Russia from invading Ukraine. Worse yet, that means the United States is incapable of holding up its end of a treaty guaranteeing Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
The situation is desperate, according to Sunday’s AFP reports. Russian troops have consolidated Crimea’s annexation. A sweeping takeover of Ukrainian military bases in Crimea is basically over. The Russians met very little opposition.
Ukraine’s acting Defense Minister, Igor Tenyukh, lamented publicly about how his naval forces were ready to surrender to Putin’s Black Sea Fleet: “You know that in recent days, we have had our ships blockaded and seized, even though our commanders had the authorization to use force,” Tenyukh said. “Unfortunately, the commanders made decisions on the spot. They chose not to use their weapons in order to avoid bloodshed.”
So Barack Obama has decided to fly to Europe to huddle with leaders from Britain, France and Germany. Up to this point, the sanctions imposed by this merry band of appeasers have elicited yawns and laughs from Russia. And wider economic sanctions are off the table because Russia has the power to dim the lights and lower the thermostats across all of Europe. Without Russian natural gas, Europeans would almost certainly face energy shortages.
That means the United States has no real options. If we actually airlifted troops into Ukraine to counter the Russian buildup, we’d likely be defeated by a stronger opponent on what is essentially its home turf.
A Plan of Action
Meanwhile, an even more threatening development is taking place in our own hemisphere, and it’s gone virtually unreported. Russia is moving advisors and arms, and generally increasing its involvement in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Cuba and Nicaragua were both flashpoints of contention with Russia during the Cold War.
Obama needs to make it clear to the leaders of these three Latin American countries that there will be grave consequences for deepening ties with Russia. If Russia wants us out of its sphere of influence, the United States must demand that Russia stays out of ours.
Next, we should do what we can to bolster the current government in Ukraine. Any money used to quickly strengthen the regime would likely be well spent. Yet Obama, who has repeatedly used his power to act unilaterally in domestic affairs, has let the bill to help Ukraine get bogged down in Congress over unrelated issues.
As Commander-in-Chief, Obama has the power to move defense policy through. He should order the Pentagon to immediately provide supplies to the Ukrainian military.
Finally, he should let Russia continue overextending itself financially. Russia has its own economic problems, and carrying Crimea won’t help. As Reagan administration official Dr. Donald Devine wrote recently:
“While President Putin may seem to be riding high about now, he has made a terrible economic mistake. Ukraine already subsidizes Crimea, and Russian parliamentarian Leonid Slutsky estimates it will cost his country $3 billion more in normal expenditures per year, and perhaps $20 billion over the next three years, ‘maybe even $30 billion,’ although he thinks it is worth the cost psychologically.”
Devine concluded that “a struggling Russia can’t afford it. Russian control of any more of economically bankrupt Ukraine would be an unbearable burden. Removing Crimea from Ukraine actually strengthens it. It saves Ukraine [from] paying the subsidies and, more importantly, removes 2,000,000 Russian-speaking citizens who normally vote against Western Ukrainian candidates, making it more likely for an anti-Russia majority to prevail for the foreseeable future.”
Over the longer run, America must get its own domestic and defense policies realigned. Welfare and healthcare overspending has hurt our ability to keep our defenses sound… And the first duty of the U.S. government is to keep its people safe and free.
Your eyes on the Hill,