Much like the Japanese admiral who planned the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the Russian president realizes he only has a certain amount of time to "run wild" until someone stands up to him, especially with the 2016 American presidential election literally right around the corner, as reported on by both The New York Sun and The Telegraph (of London, UK) on Mar. 1, 2014.
As cited, the de facto Russian invasion of the Ukraine is already underway with 2,000 troops already occupying key strategic points in the Ukraine's heavily Russian-ethnic populated Crimean Peninsula.
In the meantime, with Barack Obama's hot mic promise of future "flexibility" framing the re-set in US-Russo relations, the American government has effectively signaled to the Putin regime that other than verbal condemnation of their armed incursion into the Crimea, there would be no response of any real significance.
But at least one of the presumed GOP front runners is making it known to Vladimir Putin that the clock is ticking for his moves at resurrecting the Russian Empire.
Florida's Republican Senator Marco Rubio is demanding Obama initiate a political full court press against Putin.
Not holding back, the legislator from the Sunshine State added:
This is a critical moment in world history. The credibility of the alliances and security assurances that have preserved the international order is at stake.
If Putin's illegal actions are allowed to stand unpunished, it will usher in a dark and dangerous era in world affairs.
Everything old is new again ...
Putin's mad dash at empire building is eerily reminiscent of Japan's running riot through the Pacific in the opening days of the Second World War.
Fleet Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto warned his nation's leaders that prior to the December 1941-January 1942 initial attacks on American, British, Dutch and Australian Pacific territories, he and his Imperial Fleet would only have a certain amount of time to crush Japan's enemies, but after that period, no promises of further success could be made:
In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory.
But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success.
Georgia not on his mind ...
During the Russian invasion of the postage stamp-sized nation of Georgia during the closing months of the George W. Bush administration in 2008, scant reports surfaced to the American people that at least there were open discussions of the United States launching air strikes to defend the Georgians.
As the left-of-center leaning news portal Politico.com reported at the time, former Vice President Dick Cheney was quoted during one of the meetings as saying directly to President Bush, "We can’t let Georgia go down like this."
While no American military intervention ever came to being, there was an implicit threat Bush sent to the Russians: He opted not to use civilian aircraft to ship humanitarian supplies to Georgia. Instead Bush made a point of using clearly marked military aircraft to send a none-too subtle message along with supplies.
According to Bush's National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley:
We thought it was a useful signal to use military aircraft to transfer supplies and things into Georgia, and that was not lost on the Russians.
Soon thereafter, under the Obama Administration any American response of substance to the Russian invasion of Georgia was effectively abandoned.