Friday, May 2, 2014

Global Impact: US, EU Are Nothing But "Paper Tigers" When It Comes to Dealing with Vladimir Putin

According to Reuters, US President Barack Obama said on Friday (May 2) that the United States would move to "sectoral sanctions" on Russia if Moscow impeded plans for elections in Ukraine later this month.

President Obama was speaking to reporters at the White House after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who also supported a move to widen sanctions and said the European Union and the United States would continue to work in concert on the issue. 

COMMENT: The obvious weakness of US foreign policy vis-à-vis the Ukraine and the reluctance of the EU to nudge Russian President Vladimir Putin too firmly out of fear of having the oil and gas spigot summarily turned off, highlights the lack of starch in the shirts of both the US and EU.

The short answer is that Putin is cognizant of the fact that he has everyone over a barrel, literally.

Both the US and the EU are both war-weary after ten years engaged in wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, none of which are in the mood for another fight, particularly given the manner in which both theaters have essentially failed, given their belief that "nation-building"was an effective strategy.

Another facet is that the US has a President who is strangely unengaged and is concerned only with domestic issues, which he has equally failed miserably in. 

Obama said the purpose of sanctions was not to punish Russia, but to give it an incentive "to choose a better path."

Unfortunately, such a strategy, in a world dominated  by a rising number of dictators who are more motivated than the US and the EU, creating "red-lines" that are never delivered on, cause both the US and EU to be viewed as "Paper Tigers."

Obama called on Russia to persuade pro-Russian military groups in Ukraine to stand down and said it was disgraceful that the militias were holding international observers.

Whether it wants the job or not, historically the US has been viewed as the world's problem solver. 

Now, as rogue countries such as Syria, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and those of tomorrow easily call "bluffs," and have quickly discovered that most developed nations no longer have an interest in protecting key values.

The bottom-line is that Vladimir Putin is an experienced combatant who can run circles around both the US and EU. 

Needless to say, Putin is prepared for all foreseeable responses, as both the US and the EU simply "react" to the Russian President's next tactic. 

In the meantime, President Obama is intentionally cutting the US Department of Defense budget to levels not seen prior to World War II?

Why, when the number of thugs in the world are on the rise?