The days are growing shorter in Ukraine. The summer of fighting will soon be over; and a brief, cold fall will be followed by a bitter winter.
Russia is anticipating the end of the fighting, and Putin has become more aggressive as a result. Beyond resupplying the rebels, Russia sent an invading caravan into Ukraine last Friday, a blatant violation of international law.
Of course, Putin doesn’t care about international laws. In fact, he even helped the convoy by allowing his troops to shell Ukrainian soldiers from the safe side of the Russian border.
Embarrassingly, Obama offered almost no reaction to this brazen move.
Don’t be fooled by our timid president, though. The world hasn’t experienced this type of tension in Europe since Hitler and Stalin bullied their way into Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Poland during the 1930s.
In fact, Putin’s invasion marks the first major border changes inside Europe in the post-World War II era. These borders have been stable since the early ‘50s; yet Barack Obama is sitting idly by as Putin redraws them at will.
Obama is Letting Putin Off the Hook
In March, Putin annexed the entire region known as Crimea. Now, he has set his eyes on a resource-rich slice of Eastern Ukraine.
But Putin’s final prize may be even bigger: the subjugation of the entire Ukrainian people. After all, Russia has considered Ukraine a vassal state since the Tsarist times.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama has made errors commonly committed by foreign policy novices, such as encouraging war by adopting weak, ineffective counter measures. Meanwhile, the United States has had months to project power into the region with its vast navy… yet nothing has been done.
Additionally, we could’ve given the Ukrainian military advanced equipment to protect themselves and their populations, rather than just rations. One expert from the Potomac Foundation, Phillip Karber, has been pleading with the White House to give Ukraine access to Predator drones.
Karber explains, “For every battalion of combat material or troops the Russians send into Ukraine, the United States should send a team with the MQ-9 Predator. It is not only effective against dispersed armored vehicles, but greatly reduces collateral damage that comes from ground-attack aircraft.”
But the White House has yet to bite on Karber’s idea.
Obama talks a good game about supporting democracy around the world. Yet Ukraine – a democratic country with an elected government – is being menaced by Putin while we stand aside and let the bully pick on the weakest kid in the schoolyard.
I predict that Barack Obama will go down in history as the Neville Chamberlain of his era. Putin could’ve already been stopped with decisive toughness, but Obama’s actions (or lack thereof) could now lead to a wider war in Europe.
The fact is, weakness only encourages a bully like Putin; and Obama’s policy of withdrawing from the world has encouraged thugs in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Gaza, and now Eastern Ukraine.
I hope his rounds of golf this summer were good because the world is burning down on his watch as Commander-in-Chief.
This commentary originally appeared at WallStreetDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission.
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