“This is our battle and we are losing.”
It’s the American political character to not recognize a problem until it’s life or death. Until that point domestic squabbling is MUCH more important. What’s still at the top of Obama’s agenda? Obamacare, golf and vacations. (Oh, and anything for blacks, gays, Hispanics, etc.)
This has been okay when we were separated by oceans and months from any danger. Now, danger is just 26 minutes from any position you can name.
Technology has changed everything since 1945. Therefore, one must be very careful about the lessons drawn from historical events. In 1914 and in 1939 the occupation of territory was everything, today it is virtually meaningless or, worse, it is a liability to occupy a hostile population as the Soviets and the Americans have found out in Afghanistan.
So then we must ask ourselves, is the territory of Crimea or even Ukraine worth risking thermonuclear war? That answer is self-evident. As Pat Buchanan pointed out, Truman answered it in Berlin, Eisenhower answered it in Hungary, and Kennedy answered it again in Berlin, all in the negative.
The bomb and ICBM changes everything as we found out in North Korea and are likely to find out very soon in Iran. The days of stopping a Hitler, as we stopped Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait, simply do not apply to a nuclear power equipped with missiles.
This awareness led us to engage in a multinational defense pacts which have the advantage of increasing the forces arrayed against the foe but the distinct disadvantage of taking on the dubious appearance of interlocking relationships which cast Europe into war in 1914. In other words, we in effect pass the power to declare war from Congress to South Korea or Ukraine. Sometimes the issue goes on the other foot as the Soviets found themselves nearly committed to nuclear war by the Cubans.
I agree with every poster who points out that our problem is a disintegrating economic and moral structure at home leaving us more and more vulnerable abroad with fewer and fewer options.
I think this is precisely what Barack Obama wants and I have thought so since before he was originally inaugurated.