Skip to comments.The crisis in Ukraine — America can be deferential no more
Posted on 03/09/2014 1:14:30 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
The Obama administration's Russian reset, designed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was premised on the idea of Russia as a partner with the United States. Hand in hand, the former rivals would address the major international crises of the day. This initiative will be remembered as one of the biggest foreign policy follies of the modern era a staggeringly naïve exercise in appeasement that emboldened Moscow at Washington's expense.
From Damascus to Tehran to Kiev, the Russians have been running rings around a U.S. presidency that believes leading from behind is a serious strategy, rather than a policy of surrender.
There can be no doubt that Russian President Vladimir Putin, a man schooled in the Soviet-era KGB, sees Barack Obama as a figure of considerable weakness. With a vacuum of leadership on the world stage, Moscow has gotten its way over Syria, propping up the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad.
The Kremlin has also successfully enticed the United States to enter into futile, direct negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program. This buys the mullahs valuable time to advance their nuclear ambitions while building their long-range missile capability.
And now Mr. Putin is massing his forces on the border of Ukraine, threatening the new government in Kiev, convinced that the free world is too weak to stand in his way. Thousands of his soldiers are already on the ground inside the Crimea, a de facto occupying army, hiding under the guise of pro-Russian self-defense forces.
In many respects this is a defining moment for the free world in the 21st century and for American leadership in particular. There are those who say this isn't the West's fight, that we have no vital interests at stake. They are wrong. Ukraine is at the heart of Europe, bordering four NATO member states. Its 50 million inhabitants share an aspiration to be part of the West.
Allowing Russian tanks to roll into the Crimea with impunity will set an extremely dangerous precedent. Moscow will feel emboldened to enter into other parts of its near abroad, intervening under the pretext of protecting ethnic Russians. The Baltic States, with their large Russian-speaking minorities, could be next.
This is no time for a deer-in-the-headlights response from the White House. The world's superpower must do all it can to warn Russia against an invasion of Ukraine, while bolstering NATO allies in the region.
It is simply not enough to merely talk about expelling Moscow from the G8 a group that is little more than a glorified talking shop. It would be far more effective to announce the withdrawal of the United States from the New START Treaty. Signed by the Obama administration in 2010, this fundamentally flawed pact hampers Washington's ability to deploy an effective global missile defense system.
Simultaneously, Washington, as it says it will, should implement targeted sanctions against any Russian officials implicated in aggression against Ukraine, including the freezing of financial assets and the imposition of wide-ranging visa bans. Further, it must be prepared to enforce the Magnitsky Act, passed by Congress in 2012, which restricts travel to the United States for Russian officials implicated in human rights violations.
Additionally, the United States must rally key European allies, including Britain and Germany, to implement similar sanctions against Russia. Such sanctions will hit hard among the Russian elites surrounding Vladimir Putin, many of whom conduct business in the major Western capitals.
But sanctions against Moscow must be coupled with robust support for NATO allies in proximity to Russia and Ukraine. Washington must reassure our NATO allies that their security is guaranteed and the United States should deploy additional military assets to the region to warn Moscow against any expansionist ambitions into NATO territory.
Additionally, U.S. restrictions on the export of liquefied natural gas to NATO partners in Eastern Europe should be eased. This would reduce their energy dependence on Russia.
Barack Obama is clearly no Ronald Reagan but he should take a page from the Gipper's playbook on global leadership. To be respected on the world stage and exert real influence, the United States must be prepared to stand up to tyrannical regimes that seek to bully those around them while threatening international peace.
President Reagan, together with Margaret Thatcher, brought down the might of the Soviet Empire through a policy of strength and unwavering support for the principles of liberty. The enemies of freedom must be confronted if the free world is to be secure in the 21st century.
Nile Gardiner is director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation and a former aide to Lady Thatcher.
Obama's foursome included Ahmad Rashad, Cyrus Walker and Alonzo Mourning, the White House said.
Rashad is a sportscaster and former NFL wide receiver. Mourning is a former center for the NBA's Miami Heat who has helped raised money for Obama's campaigns. Later this month, Obama is scheduled to headline a fundraiser for the House Democrats' campaign arm at Mourning's Miami home.
Mourning is also helping the administration promote Obama's new health care law. He played golf with Obama in Florida last November.
Walker is a cousin of Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett................."
I understand Rashad is dating President Jarrett
Russian Defence Ministry to stop receiving US inspectors under New START Treaty "MOSCOW, March 08 /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Defence Ministry will stop receiving foreign inspectors under the New START Treaty and the Vienna Document of 2011, a highly-placed source in the ministry told ITAR-TASS on Saturday, March 8.
We are ready to take this step in reply to the Pentagons statement on the suspension of cooperation between the defence ministries of Russia and the United States, he said.
Since such inspections are a confidence-building measure, there can be no normal regular bilateral contacts on compliance with the treaty now that the U.S. has basically announced sanctions, the source said. We take the unjustified U.S. and NATO threats against Russia over its policy with regard to Ukraine as an unfriendly gesture that allows us to declare force majeure, he added..........."
I believe that was Hitler's favorite pretext as well ... intervening to "protect" ethnic Germans in the lands he had his eye on.
So why aren't we listening when the cost of avoiding war is low and the rewards great?"
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, made that clear when he told National Public Radio in an interview broadcast Friday how U.S. officials must plan for the possibility that Vladimir Putin's Russia has access to American battle plans and other secrets possibly taken by classified leaker Edward Snowden.
"If I'm concerned about anything, I'm concerned about defense capabilities that he may have stolen from where he worked, and does that knowledge then get into the hands of our adversaries in this case, of course, Russia," Flynn said of the former National Security Agency contractor who fled to Moscow to seek asylum.
A hero to some and traitor to others, Snowden last year disclosed details of the vast U.S. surveillance network put in place after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, including how the government keeps records on billions of phone calls for possible use in terrorism investigations.
Flynn said he worried about what else Snowden knows, and how Russia -- where Snowden lives now -- may have access to the documents. He cited intelligence capabilities, operational capabilities, technology and weapons systems as potential subjects of so far unpublicized information Snowden -- and Russia -- may have.........."
National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden poses with German Green party parliamentarian Hans-Christian Stroebele in Moscow on October 31. Stroebele returned from the meeting with a letter from Snowden to German authorities, which was distributed to the media. In it, Snowden said he is confident that with international support, the United States would abandon its efforts to "treat dissent as defection" and "criminalize political speech with felony charges."
1. Can anyone blame Russia for what has transpired over there in Ukraine? The U.S. and some European countries have been pushing to have Ukraine join NATO. That's a ridiculous approach to diplomacy. Think of this as the Monroe Doctrine in reverse (from Russia's standpoint). There's no way in hell the U.S. would ever have tolerated a situation where the Russians created another Warsaw Pact and added Mexico to the list of member countries.
2. Does anyone with any principles believe that the U.S. has any moral authority to dictate terms to the Russians? U.S. foreign policy now revolves around propagating a "climate change" scam and using discretionary foreign aid as a means to influence countries to homosexualize their laws.
With a vacuum of leadership on the world stage, Moscow has gotten its way over Syria, propping up the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad.
3. The author destroys his credibility with this one statement. By any objective measure, the U.S. was on the wrong side of that debacle. In fact, the situation in Syria offered strong evidence that our foreign policy is fouled up from top to bottom -- because it's become obvious the U.S. has provided support for radical Islamic elements to thwart Russian interests around the globe. I'll offer the idiotic military and foreign policy moves in Kosovo, Chechnya (one of our best-kept secrets is that the terrorists who carried out the Beslan massacre had strong support here in the U.S. government), Iraq, Egypt and Syria as cases in point.
You make Putin’s case very well. He’s been wronged by America and had no choice but to takeover Ukraine.
Have you considered relocating yourself to live in Russia so that you can get all the benefits of Putin’s moral authority?
Which U.S.? A Reagan U.S.? Or a Obama U.S.?
Feb 28, 2014 - Russia Seeks Access to Bases in Eight Countries for Its Ships and Bombers "At a time of escalated tensions with the West over Ukraine, Russia says it is negotiating with eight governments around the world for access to military facilities, to enable it to extend its long-range naval and strategic bomber capabilities.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday the military was engaged in talks with Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Algeria, Cyprus, the Seychelles, Vietnam and Singapore.".....
......Russia has started reviving its navy and strategic aviation since mid-2000s, seeing them as a tool to project the Russian image abroad and to protect its national interests around the globe, the RIA Novosti state news agency commented.
Now, Moscow needs to place such military assets in strategically important regions of the world to make them work effectively toward the goal of expanding Russias global influence.
During his previous tenure at the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin in 2002 shut down a Cold War-era radar base in Cuba and a naval base in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. Russia cited financial constraints, but the move was also seen at the time as an attempt to improve relations with Washington.
The listening station near Havana had been a key intelligence facility for decades, while the Vietnamese base, which was built by the U.S. during the Vietnam War, was leased to the Soviet Union in 1979 and became the largest Soviet base in the world beyond Moscows Warsaw Pact allies.
Upon his return to the presidency in 2012, Putin began exploring options to renew alliances with the communist countries, and Russian Navy chief Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov said that year Cuba and Vietnam were in the frame."......
The author fails to grasp that the true "enemies of freedom" are currently residing in Washington D.C. and are supported by a majority of the citizenry.
“Have you considered relocating yourself to live in Russia so that you can get all the benefits of Putins moral authority?”
Have you considered the very cogent points Alberta’s raised? What are your thoughts on those points?
Also, based on the points made, why would you question the patriotism of the post-er?
The region of Ukraine has been defined as an independent state for 20 years. For a thousand years before that, it belonged to Russia (except for Galicia, which belonged, and belongs, to Central Europe).
It is profoundly unconservative to support a recent innovation such as a “free Ukraine”.
You can be a Puinista and be a patriot, I suppose. You just won’t be an American patriot. Even Russian billionaires flee Putin.
We are witnessing the emergence of a new type of conservative. The new conservative cares not about property rights, the rule of law, free and fair elections, popular sovereignty, or limited constitutional government. The new conservative worships the effective use of power without regard for the how and why it is used. It’s a strange sort of bromance for flabby Putin.