America has your back. What does that mean? It means with great reluctance, the war weary nation of the United States will react against Russia by protecting allies against further encroachment. It means that the Ukrainians will become the proxy of the willing in drawing yet another red line against the Russians.
What is to be done with the 25% of the population in Ukrainian cities that are Russians with their heart strings being pulled eastward? You can’t deport them. Most are Ukrainians now.
The answer is for the Ukrainian people to get their governmental act together. That can happen with European investment and NATO defense support.
Conservative military hawks in the US insist that the correct response includes more US boots on the ground in the region as well as deployment of military assets. We are seeing that.
The big mistake that prompted Russian aggression was President Obama’s being a naive softy with Russia to begin with.
“US options to curb Russia on Ukraine: Boots on the ground in Poland?
Amid GOP cries to 'do something' on Ukraine, the Pentagon weighs increasing military exercises, forward deploying equipment and personnel, and increasing naval, air, and ground presence. But there are also risks in doing too much, Pentagon officials say.
By Anna Mulrine, Staff writer / April 8, 2014
In the wake of the Russian invasion of Crimea, the satirical website The Onion ran a fictitious letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin thanking the US “for being so cool” about the whole thing.
“Believe me, I know it must have been hard to stand idly by and do nothing as a foreign military invaded one of your allies,” the fictitious Mr. Putin wrote. “But you didn’t really make much of a fuss over any of it, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.”
It nicely captures the frustrations of many Obama administration critics who are increasingly demanding that the White House “do something” about Russia troop buildup on the Ukrainian border if it wishes to maintain any credibility on the world stage.
This “doing something” generally means taking military action. Yet what would a “meaningful military response” look like at a time when the Obama administration is determined not to be the world's policeman? And would armed escalation be a wise move?
That was the subject of a hearing Tuesday on Russian military developments, which Putin is using as a tool to “reestablish a Russian sphere of influence in Europe,” warned House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R) of California. Fail to act, and the US risks losing major credibility among its allies, and more importantly, among its adversaries, both of whom, “are watching our every move.”
A number of right-leaning analysts have suggested that “the best way to invite Russia into Ukraine” is to fail to act, as Dov Zakheim, a senior fellow at CNA Analysis, put it during a Heritage Foundation discussion last week as he called for the US to move “land forces – not just air forces” to the region. “We need to move them quickly,” he added, “not just into Poland but into the Balkan states.”
Still, “Russia is not the Soviet Union,” Chollet noted. While the USSR’s military size was 4.3 million, the current Russian army numbers less than 1 million, Pandolfe pointed out, noting that many are still conscripts.
Even so, “The notion that if we’re somehow just tough enough,” as Rep. Adam Smith (D) of Washington put it, “is one that I always want to make sure does not stand unchallenged, because it can lead to some very, very bad results.””