Greetings everyone! I pray you had a solemn and memorable day honoring our fallen yesterday. Angela and I had the pleasure of hosting some friends at our house and we honored our fallen before enjoying an afternoon of friendship and bonding.
If there’s one thing that remains certain, it’s a quote attributed to Plato: “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” Those of us who’ve experienced the crucible of combat know the greatest deterrent to war is strength, might and resolve. When dictators, despots, and theocrats sense weakness, they will exploit such for their advantage.
And here is the latest example.
As reported by Fox News, “Romania and Poland are in the potential crosshairs of Russian rockets because they are hosting parts of the U.S. missile defense shield that Moscow considers a threat to its national security, President Vladimir Putin warned Friday.
Putin warned the European nations that Moscow has repeatedly said it would have to retaliate if the missile defense shield was put into place, but U.S. allies have ignored Russia’s warnings.
Earlier this month, the U.S. program was declared operational at a site in Romania, drawing an angry reaction from Russia. NATO said the system is purely defensive and a response to a growing capability of ballistic missiles globally.
Washington has said that the shield is needed to protect Europe from Iran and is not a threat. Another part of the shield is getting ready to be implemented in Poland.
“If yesterday in those areas of Romania people simply did not know what it means to be in the cross-hairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security,” Putin said in a joint news conference in Athens with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.”
The issue is that Putin’s threat comes off a series of provocative actions by Russia against our naval warship. And that comes off Putin’s endeavor into Syria, which ended up with him propping up Bashar Assad. And yet another ancillary positive event for Putin was that, thanks to Barack Obama, he has a capable ally in Iran.
So we should consider all of these events leading up to Putin’s clearly unveiled threat against Romania and Poland. This comes as we know that the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia — as well as Moldova — are well within the threat range of Russia. We know exactly what has become of the Crimea and Ukraine — and there were no consequences for the Russian culpability in the Malaysian Airlines shoot down. Therefore the question the Romanian and Polish leadership have to ask is, will Barack Obama stand by them?
Vladimir Putin is displaying a mastery of global strategy, albeit his economy is suffering. At every turn he has, since 2012 when Obama declared he would have more flexibility after reelection, twisted Barack Obama in knots. The only country that has stared Putin eyeball-to-eyeball and won was Turkey, which shot down two Russian fighter jets that violated its airspace.
Hmm, Russian jets come within 30 feet of our warship and we issue a stern statement. The Iranians seized our assault boats, put our Sailors on their knees at gunpoint, and we thank them.
So, what do you think is running through the minds of Romania and Poland’s leaders? Putin knows Obama is looking for the barn and truly is a lame duck president who’s “rattled” by the ascent of Donald Trump. Putin also knows Donald Trump has made some very interesting statements about the US-NATO relationship.
American foreign policy is at a crossroads. We have a president the world knows isn’t going to do anything — certainly not take an aggressive stand other than provide an optic of doing something. We have the presumptive nominee of one party and no one knows what he’ll do. And we have the other political party with an avowed socialist and the person who came up with the stupid “Russian reset button” — y’all remember that dumb little yellow toy box with the red button?
Sadly, I must say that at this time, I seriously understand what Putin is doing. He’s capitalizing on a moment of American foreign policy weakness and lack of lucidity. We have a military being thoroughly decimated in so many ways and neutered in others as the current administration is more concerned with social egalitarianism, and who uses what bathroom. I do agree that you don’t want to “tip your hand” when it comes to your actions regarding national security. However, our allies need to know what the heck to expect, some sense of predictability. That is not what the United States is offering at this moment — there are more questions than answers.
And let me be very clear, our allies are not “rattled” because of Donald Trump. They’re “rattled” by a weak, obtuse and obfuscating Barack Obama who has fostered more global chaos. Our allies are, without a doubt, wondering what a Trump foreign policy represents — perhaps Trump should open dialogue with more of them, and do less tweeting.
Our allies know what they’ll get with a Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders — or Joe Biden, if it comes to that – is more of the same failing strategic policies. What America needs is a quiet professional with a sharp strategic mind who can chill the enemy with just a look. I’m reminded of the Marine Force Recon motto: “Swift, Silent, and Deadly.” No bravado, just results…bad for the bad guys.
During these past seven years we’ve had lots of talk, bloviating, pontificating and false narratives. We’ve seen lots of optics but the result is always the same — weakness. The world is looking to be reassured and that reassurance is only going to come from one place: the leader of the United States. And our choices are very, very narrow.