The United States has been wandering in the foreign policy wilderness for some time now, but since Russia showed its bear claws last week, it got worse!
The US took its eye off the ball, and it has been clear to see for anyone paying attention. When you draw red lines on the ground and broadcast those red lines, but do nothing when your opponent crosses them, your credibility goes down the drain.
And so here we are with Russia realizing that the US is asleep at the wheel, and taking its chance to back the wishes of the Crimean people, legitimately or not.
Russia annexed the Crimea Peninsula, and now one Washington lawmaker has decided Americans need to be shaken awake..
Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Republican, said he thinks the United States should send weapons to Ukraine. Worried that Russia is not finished encroaching on territory, he wants to help Ukraine defend itself from a possible Russian invasion. Up until Rogers said this, no one with his kind of authority (including the president) had made such a suggestion.
Rogers, speaking via satellite from Tbilisi, Georgia told David Gregory, “I think Americans are so far removed from this. We need to reengage with what is actually happening.”
Rogers told Gregory that intelligence officials believe Putin is “not done” in Ukraine. “It is very troubling. [Putin] has put all the military units he would need to move into Ukraine on its eastern border and is doing exercises. We see him moving forces in the south in a position where they could take the southern region. And we see that he’s actually working what they call soft power.”
The committee chairman said Putin “goes to bed at night thinking of Peter the Great and he wakes up thinking of Stalin.” He also believes that Putin thinks the US was behind the unrest in Ukraine.
He also said “We need to understand who [Putin] is and what he wants. We need to reengage with what is actually happening.”
The big problem with these statements are that we don’t know where this is coming from. Is this the same people that brought us Benghazi? The same people that advocated lifting sanctions on Iran? The same people who came up with the Iran agreement that allows them to continue refining uranium, The same people who abandoned the MEK in Iraq?
We don’t know.
Barack Obama flew to Europe on Sunday to drum up support against Putin and his actions in Crimea, but he has said the use of U.S. troops on the ground in Ukraine is not an option. Rogers said the same thing.
Rogers thinks the US should offer Ukraine “things that they can use to really protect and defend themselves.”
Obviously, that includes weapons in one form or another, but Rogers played that down.
Rogers clarified that, saying, “We’re not talking about even complicated weapon systems. We’re talking about small arms so they can protect themselves. Maybe medical supplies, radio equipment, things that they can use to protect themselves, defensive-posture weapon systems.”
Rogers thinks the US needs to be tougher with Putin, “otherwise he will continue to take territory to fulfill what he believes is rightfully Russia’s.”
Over to Obama to convince America’s allies.