Skip to comments.Ukraine crisis tests Obama’s foreign policy focus on diplomacy over military force
Posted on 03/02/2014 4:45:39 AM PST by SkyPilot
For much of his time in office, President Obama has been accused by a mix of conservative hawks and liberal interventionists of overseeing a dangerous retreat from the world at a time when American influence is needed most.
The once-hopeful Arab Spring has staggered into civil war and military coup. China is stepping up territorial claims in the waters off East Asia. Longtime allies in Europe and in the Persian Gulf are worried by the inconsistency of a president who came to office promising the end of the United States post-Sept. 11 wars.
Now Ukraine has emerged as a test of Obamas argument that, far from weakening American power, he has enhanced it through smarter diplomacy, stronger alliances and a realism untainted by the ideology that guided his predecessor.
It will be a hard argument for him to make, analysts say.
A president who has made clear to the American public that the tide of war is receding has also made clear to foreign leaders, including opportunists in Russia, that he has no appetite for a new one. What is left is a vacuum once filled, at least in part, by the possibility of American force.
If you are effectively taking the stick option off the table, then what are you left with? said Andrew C. Kuchins, who heads the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. I dont think that Obama and his people really understand how others in the world are viewing his policies.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
We are in a very, very dangerous situation now, and it will affect our Dollar, our markets, and our economy.
Hagel (and Obama by fiat) announced to the world how we were going to gut our military EVEN FURTHER this week.
Morale of the DoD is in the toilet. The uniformed military is facing massive layoffs and firings, cuts to their pay, cuts to their housing allowances, cuts to the benefits, and massive hikes in their health care premiums. The civilian DoD force has been furloughed twice in 10 months and been hit with pay freezes for years, not to mention hiring freezes to replace workers that quit out of disgust. For instance, thousands of DoD doctors and nurses have quit in the last year, and they are not being replaced.
Military members and veterans watched in horror as Chuck Hagel nodded in agreement with Paul Ryan/Patty Murray's legislation to cut their pensions. It was only public outrage and courageous efforts by military families that overturned this. But those cuts signaled just the beginning. And Washington expects our military to continue to respond as it has in the past, despite being thrown to the wolves.
Sequestration cuts of $600 Billion over ten years are still in effect, which are on top of two previous cuts by Obama of $330 Billion and $487 Billion. The Tea Party applauded and supported those cuts, because they seem to want to grasp any rope to cut spending, as opposed to thinking this through.
Our geopolitcal and economic strength, and the US Dollar's status as the World's Reserve Currency, was always tied to our military might and prestige. There are few in Washington who understand this. America is going down the tubes, and fast.
How many Americans will the Pentagon leave behind this time?
Don’t make a threat you can’t back up with action. But then again, Obama could learn a lesson or two from “Idiocracy”.
Diplomacy is worthless unless the other side is convinced that you are willing and able to open a 55-gallon drum of whup-ass on them if negotiations are not concluded to your satisfaction.
Has the creepinchief managed even one “diplomacy” victory in he 2 terms?
The arrogant little priss is getting his a$$ handed to him on the world stage. He didn't even show up for the National Security meeting yesterday. I have little doubt he spent the time in the locker room of the Andrews Air Force base golf course, getting a steam bath with one of his boy toys.
This will not end well. Russia will emerge as the real Superpower, and the US is going to pay a military, political, but most importantly ECONOMIC price for this debacle. Watch.
We already have been paying for years. Didn’t you know Iraq was a Soviet ally, and they’re well opening up relations with Russia again? We’ve been losing the diplomatic relations battle in the Middle East for some time now, to the Russians. It’s only a matter of time before the world ends up seeing Russia as the heroes, and us as a bunch of trash. In fact, if you travel abroad, it’s better to pretend to be either Canadian or Russian nowadays in a lot of places.
I am impressed - a true statement about Obama. Barak Obama really is completely untainted by the pro-America patriotic ideology of George W. Bush.
I wonder if the number of people joining the military has gone down under Obama and what the retention rate is compared to when other presidents were in office. I can’t see why anyone would want to join now.
and the US is going to pay a military, political, but most importantly ECONOMIC price for this debacle. Watch.
Not only the US. Canada and the rest of the world are going to suffer too and that price is going to be so steep, our great-grandchildren are going to hate us for it.
"Obama sent hockey player Caitlin Cahow and figure skater Brian Boitano to represent the U.S. delegation both are openly gay. Asked if he would call his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin icy, Obama demurred. I wouldnt call it icy, he said, adding that Putin has always treated him with the "utmost respect."
Obama thinks he is brilliant and brave. He is a poser and a coward. Putin had him pegged, and is taking him apart piece by piece.
The alternate title to this article is:
Obama is the one in the corner sucking his thumb
Ya’ll heading on down to the recruiting center are ya? Or sending your kids or grand kids?
The link is not working for me, comes back with an error code.
Since I like to read the article before commenting, I’ll have to leave the commentary to those who don’t bother to read the article.
“cuts to their pay
cuts to their housing allowances
cuts to the benefits
cut their pensions”
When I served I did it for love of country. I wasn’t paid that well, but it didn’t matter to me, it was an obligation.
What you outline is a disaster of a military where people serve because of the benefits and the entitlements.
The US military will have no role in Ukraine. Nor should it.
To try to cast this event as a way to parlay MORE MORE MORE for the DoD and the already over pensioned, over benefited DoD civilian class, the over-benefited, over pensioned portions of the military that do not ever risk combat is absurd.
The risk to the US “reserve” currency is primarily the fact that we spend too damn much on everything building a permanent bloated bureaucracy that benefits itself and it’s members over the private sector that must pay for everything.
It is the government bureaucracy that is the biggest threat to the American way - not Russia, not terrorists, not anything else but Americans who support and Americans who are part of big government everything - including “big welfare”, “big military”, and every other program that distributes checks to a majority of America, including probably most “conservatives” on this board.
Two questions for you:
1. Does the military need people who stay in longer than say, 4 to 6 years, that is a LONG term commitment of decades in uniform?
2. Thank you for your service! How long did you serve? What did you think about staying in, when it as time to get out?
The point is. some say those people who stay in are worthless lifers, who couldn’t make it on the outside. Others say, no they are the true backbone of the military, and their dedication, experience and knowledge is what makes the US military as good as it is. Most of the benefits you’ve cited are really there for those who commit to stay several decades rather than go back to being civilians and seeking their own personal desires and potential fortunes.
I served for 22 years. Sometimes I wish I had not, and had the opportunity to settle down, buy a house, build a lucrative career, etc. But I didn’t, and they, meaning the US Air Force and government, offered me a CONTRACT of things to stay in. I did. How is this CONTRACT like welfare, when I fulfilled all of MY obligations to it, down to the very letter of the agreement?
Please do not see this as an argument on my part; one to be lost or won, but rather another perspective on the thinking of another party to the scenario you’ve described.
I have in the past on many posts (as you well know) cited and warned against the reductions in equipment, training, flying hours, weapon systems, and all the rest that is part of the disastrous dismantling of our military under Obama, with the collusion and aid of certain Tea Party types in Congress who think that cutting a dollar to SS Disability is the same as cutting a dollar to the military.
You are dead wrong that our military is over compensated for what they do. We will never agree on that, but you are entitled to your opinion of course.
Part of what you say about the risk to our status as the World's Reserve Currency is spot on. Our debt is murdering us. The Fed's medicine has become the poison. But the primary cause of our debt and deficit is not military spending. Far from it.
To your #1 Of course a professional military needs a small core of combat professionals who are career. A 20-year pensioned stint in the motor pool is not something everyone is entitled to. We can’t afford it.
To your #2 Please do not thank me for doing my duty. I served, I moved on.
The military of the last 20+ years has been the most political, politically correct ever. We’ve engaged in conflicts that did not need to be extended conflicts - if we even needed to be involved at all.
We can’t even cut our military down to a $500B a year budget without howls of entitlement. Then it is claimed there is no way to field an effective force for that much (little?) money. Nonsense.
Let’s talk about your CONTRACT. Who pays? where does the money come from? How many like you were promised someone elses money to be paid some time in the future?
We have so many people who were promised things from the US Government that we can’t possibly pay everyone everything. DO you think you deserve a multi-million dollar pension package for your service? If so how do we pay for yours and everyone elses multi-million dollar pensions - both in and out of the military.
It would be nice if we had, above all, a vibrant private sector that could pay all of the promises made by others that were in your CONTRACT and in everybody elses entitlement obligations. We do not have a vibrant private sector. We cannot pay everybody everything. We won’t pay everybody everything. Pretending we can and will doesn’t make it so.
You make it sound like fortune awaits everybody who works in the private sector, and that government prevents you from achieving that fortune - so all who work in government deserve to have a multi-million dollar package of pension benefits - and to extract that from the folks in the private sector to get it (because we’re all rich in the private sector, and can afford it).
We are not. Most folks in the private sector would be fine if they didn’t have to pay the massive tab for outsized government - including government pension promises in your CONTRACT and other promises and benefits.
Do you know what happens when you can’t pay a CONTRACT in the private sector? Default. If you think that does not apply to government promises you are mistaken.
I agree with you - it is NOT an argument to be won or lost between us. ALL government promises for future checks have to come from present revenues + borrowing. When the present revenues cannot support the obligations and the borrowing, the checks stop (or inflate away).
There are tens of millions who think the government will continue to have the ability to pay them.
I think that is an assumption that is not based on the fiscal realities before us. Maybe I’m wrong and we can continue to punish and squeeze the private sector with taxes while also borrowing vast amounts of money without penalty.
THAT is the discussion we need to have.