Being a European it is interesting to me to follow the discussion about the Ukraine in the US. Here on the old continent we have a slightly different point of view.
The world changed fundamentally in the past few years but some things never changed. Of course Obama like all other US-Presidents before him has practically no millitary means to put pressure on Putin. We all know that Russia has enormous conventional and nuclear abillities. Even for the mighty US forces it is far too dangerous to engage the red army. Therefore only economic sanctions are a realistic alternative. Success will be limited since such attempts never worked in the past and it is not the US that are the partners of the Russians. US sanctions are de facto irrelevant to Russia since you guys simply are not important to them. The EU, particulary Germany is the main trading partner of Russia. But after all I doubt that we will follow Obamas course since we would loose far too much.
The heating of my house is working with Russian gas and the Russians are on a good way to overtake the US in economical importance from a European point of view (our trade volumina with Russia is 2/3 of the trade volumina with the US). Nevertheless this is not the biggest problem we have with the US. It is a matter of values and trust. The gap between Europe and the US is widening every day. I.e. the bugging affair (Merkels handy and many others) made clear to most Europeans that from a American view we are no close friends but simply subordinates.
Therefore we have no reason to help the US (except of lip service) in this matter.
Has Europe reason to help the Ukraine?
The question is who needs really help there. We should not forget that the Crimea is in fact Russian territory. Khrushchev added the former Russian peninsula to the Ukraine during Soviet times (in the 50ties). 58 % of the people living there are Russians. Therefore the Russian invasion of the Crimea is something quite understandable to me. Imagine a area that is inhabited by 58.5 % Americans undergoing such political changes. We would see bazillons of lethernecks and aircraft carriers there. You Americans have a disposition for martial appearances.
Janukowich -like it or not- was the last democratic elected president of the Ukraine. Since the Ukraine is a deeply devided country with two different ethnic groups that hate each other, it is quite logical that there will be winners and loosers in such a gouverment change. BTW I understand the Russians that they do not want to live under Ukrainian regime. The best thing for them would be a divorce. The Czechs and the Slovaks made it, even the Jews and the Arabs are thinking about it. It would be not the end of the world.
A friendly advice from a old friend of the US is being reluctant. The US only can loose in this game. In the end they will stand alone.
Regards from Europe
No problem, friend. Putin is your problem. Obama is ours. And our embarrassment.
Not a problem. For awhile I've been of the mind that the US should pull all troops out of "Old" Europe. Our presence skews local government's decision making processes and masks the real costs of decisions such as using Russia as an energy supplier. Such a policy is foolish and short sighted.
I also believe we need to rethink NATO. We should be in alliance with like minded democracies such as Poland, and adios to the rest.
Then we can cheerfully wish you well with your new BFF, Putin.
“The US only can loose in this game. In the end they will stand alone.”
Your points are logical and valid, as is your conclusion.
Accordingly you will be resolutely ignored.