A picture paints a thousand words….

Repeatedly I’ve argued against escalating the crisis in Ukraine, but the West should act.  The United States should work within the framework of NATO to beef up both NATO’s training and weapons systems.  Revisiting discussions on NATO’s most vulnerable eastern countries defense against Russian aggression, to include the scrapped missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, should have already been high-profile.  President Obama taking a military option off the table from the start gave Putin a clear message that the West won’t act, setting a dangerous precedent and weakness is more provocative than a show of strength.  A show of strength gives adversaries some second thoughts on using more force, because they know there might be a high cost to further action.  Here are some ideas worth considering, in this USA Today piece, “Ukraine’s military unprepared to hurt Russia”.  They say a picture paints a thousand words and  if the best this administration’s collective brain trust  can muster  is Jen Psaki holding a placard announcing US “support” of Ukraine…… a lame selfie worthy of a 12 year-old on facebook, then we’re in deep, deep trouble!  The world is laughing at us, not with us.

It’s time to get serious and put some real options into play.  Now is not the time for sweeping cuts to our military, with both China and Russia asserting themselves beyond their borders and so many smaller countries falling into disarray.  Iran going nuclear will fuel an entirely more dangerous nuclear weapons proliferation rush, as other Arab states decide that acquiring nuclear capability is in their national defense interests now.  President Obama facilitated Iran going nuclear.  Instability looks to be the trend for the foreseeable future and we’re stuck with this inept clown leading us from behind until 2016, which is a long, long time.

The United States, as I’ve said before, needs to get serious about breaking free of our domestic malaise.  Please, President Obama, let the force of the American entrepreneurial engine roar back to life!  Remove the heavy foot of government from the US energy sector and let it breath again.  Sign the Keystone pipeline deal.  And frack, frack, frack!

19 Comments

Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Military, Politics, The Media

19 responses to “A picture paints a thousand words….

  1. JK

    I ‘ave me doots (as Duff might put it) whether Iran has gotten to the point of actually “going nuclear” – but I’d give somewhat where the knowledge is concerned. The Iranians are certainly more “technologically capable” than for instance, the Norkies. & there is the possibility nay, almost certainty those two share stuff.

    How much … for now is difficult to assess but what does seem apparent at present is one thing I guess the Norkies can’t do but the Iranians “might possibly be capable of” … is ring sequence initiating.

    (That’s what separates the tactical atomic from the strategic nuclear in the viable weaponized sense).

    But a ring sequenced initiation would take a test. Then miniaturization coupled with marriage to a proven missile (perhaps a sub – “anybody so concerned” is almost certainly keeping eyes out for any surface ships so capable so it almost certainly would have to be a sub).

    Of course the “conjectured target” is geographically tiny so a simple atomic warhead would be to put it mildly, a “no can allow scenario.” The “conjectured target nation” would – supporting ally or not – have already taken action.

    But then … the Iranians do have in a fairly common “Near Abroad” proximity … a bunch of folks who already have what expertise (and tests performed) would be required.

    “The world as we know it” is in a far far more dicey position potentially than what we may ever have imagined. MAD is not applicable where actual nutjobs are in charge.

  2. Minta Marie Morze

    It’s like most of the Administration are fraternity and sorority kids. Like this is a game, played with paintball weapons and clever phrases shouted at each other. They are playing on an Earth-sized game board, moving their tokens about, fomenting unrest or antagonisms, encouraging alliances, spending paper play money in vast amounts, careless of the way things will turn out. nothing is real, certainly not the people who will be stunted, tortured, forced into “re-education” camps, separated from the ones they love, or forced to live little better than livestock in a barn. Such possibilities are merely stacked and shuffled cards to select that say things like “Go Directly To Jail, Do not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200” or “Your City Has Been Destroyed, Your Token Is No Longer On The Board”, or some other nonsense that the game players can laugh at as they go on playing. Nothing is really Real. Just the game—and the cheerleaders in the press and elsewhere, and the activists who hold up posters in a selfie that is just as mockingly empty as the players themselves. There is no there, there. It’s empty, all the way down.

  3. JK

    Thank you Minta for saying what I dare not. Er, well I don’t exactly agree but then, everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion. We are the United States after all … or were last time I checked. … Except for …

    (That covers me PC Police?)

    Anyway LibertyBelle, blame Obama for taking “all” the missile defense options “we’ve” proposed over the years? Yeah like the teenager Barry Soetero wherever he was took out Reagan’s Star Wars but there were a few more plans came down the pike with the first GW proposal (after Bill’s) being nixed before the second GW proposed plan actually did get nixed by Obama. But that 2nd GW proposal had as much to do getting nixed by Obama (probably more – since it required more Euros than the Euros … – well, see what the Euros “willingly” spend on NATO – doubt that’ll take much homework my friend)

    Anyway LibertyBelle … I admit as I suspect you would to, place some faith my next-door neighbor would help in our common defense against a common home invasion ring? Less extremely, some juvenile buddy-system bent on stealing Easter Eggs out of our vehicles? That’d be GW’s “Active Layered Theater Ballistic Missile Defense System” which, the EU had as much interest in as the EU had in committing Euros to NATO. Hate to link a Wiki but it’s concise

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missile_defense

    (The ALTBMD system “for whatever reason” the EU decided in it’s wisdom it couldn’t put any funds toward since there was no longer a threat of getting blowed up by the USSR but could be by Greece.

    Rumsfeld in one of the very few decisions he made I totally agree with, figured investing money into the Aegis BMD system was the better strategic choice. & I still do.)

    As for Obama’s decision regarding missile defense;

    http://www.the-american-interest.com/articles/2014/02/20/when-missile-defense-is-about-more-than-missiles/

  4. Thanks for the information JK and I stand corrected on the plural missile defense systems. I hadn’t even thought about Reagan’s Star Wars in a long, long time. Hoping that NATO could agree on much of anything is about as likely as hoping that Obama changes and grows a spine. The fate of Ukraine won’t matter to the United States, one way or the other, but this string of the US blustering, then blithering in the face of crises will be remembered far and wide.

  5. Minta,
    I agree that they live in a different reality, far removed from the repercussions of their decisions, but Obama and many of his inner circle are dangerous zealots, not teenagers. They’re in way over their heads dealing with tough customers like Putin, but they don’t recognize that – therein lies the danger. The haughty rebukes, that Putin is exhibiting behavior from another century, indicate how far-removed from reality they live. Dreams only they can believe in is where we’re at and it scares me. Moving in to annex a chunk of territory speaks to the only reality that really matters – who holds the ground and plants his flag. Obama, in his academic travels, probably never studied any real military history.

  6. JK

    Thing is LibertyBelle, as you well know, NATO expenditures on it’s Article 5 understanding amounts to … well what alliance of of combined $, £ and € exactly?

    Your “I stand corrected” is moot LibertyBelle when the German Siemens Company (and the Frenchies) combine to undercut even what “our guy” is trying on the EU behalf.

    For awhile I thought all the past post-Sochi was Marxist then I thought, “No it couldn’tly possibly be.”

    Then I remembered Groucho, Harpo & Chico.

    Harpo & Chico these days maybe. But I sure wish there was a Groucho. Eh …

  7. JK

    I didn’t close my italics LB.

  8. The French, being French, JK, decided to pretend that the two helicopter carriers are unarmed civilian ships.

    http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140319/DEFREG01/303190028/French-DM-Cancellation-Carrier-Sale-Russia-an-Extreme-Measure-.

    This feigned European outrage about Ukraine reminds me of the lamentations over Balkans,”Oh the horrors!”, while they looked to us to do something. Some poster on Dip’s site mentioned the Russians and Chinese stockpiling gold and I remember reading that many times a few years ago. We’re still burning the midnight oil churning out dollars, that if some others decided to make trouble, well, ours would be worth about as much as Monopoly money. Before we go dashing off to rescue some other failing state, shouldn’t we make sure ours is safely anchored?

  9. Able

    Er Libertybelle, I wouldn’t say it elsewhere but, you do realise what I’m sort of doing here (and points east) and I’m certainly not alone in that? Tourist seeing the sights is all, honest.

    Ukraine, even with support simply cannot sustain a conventional response. It will degrade to guerilla almost immediately, then the gloves ‘will’ come off and infrastructure on both Ukrainian and Russian territory can/will be a ‘legitimate target’. Russia, whilst militarily strong, is ‘very’ vulnerable in certain areas and ‘Russians living and working all over Ukraine’ and ‘not knowing who in the Ukrainian military can be trusted’ works both ways you know (don’t underestimate just how anti-Russian some Ukrainians are).

    If? It will get very bad, very quick.

    • Able, You would know, better than just about anyone else blabbering on, what the lay of the land is in Ukraine. For me, acting involved all sorts of other things that would be more long-term than fighting for Crimea or any other chunk of Ukraine (increasing our energy production in the US, etc, bolstering NATO – if that’s even possible). I am not keen on arming rampaging zealots, which seems the preferred call by politicians like John McCain, but then he doesn’t live in that neighborhood. . Memories of the escalation in the Balkans should give any Westerner pause.

      Despite how the press and respective government propagandists choose to report the story, none of the respective locals cares about the niceties of the Geneva Conventions and other such Western notions. I’m adverse to arming mobs of angry, bloodthirsty men when I don’t see a clear US national interest there.

      The glaring leadership vacuum in the Obama White house makes the prospect of any military undertaking a frightening prospect, especially since he’s been purging the top brass at warp speed, trying to weed out any who disagree with his new, LGBT tolerant force. Then again, the Democrats always have AirWarOverBosniaWesley to brainstorm a battle plan……he’s still hitting the airwaves bragging about that brilliant campaign.

      • Able

        Actually my experience of your average Ukrainian is that, despite their centuries old animosity, they are much like the Poles, and if given the chance (remember how corrupt and incompetent their leaders were at the beginning) would be considerably more ‘western’ than the Turks for example, and would be quite capable of making an industrial/agricultural free-market economy (most of the Soviets heavy industry, tech and food came from Ukraine, not forgetting almost all their nuclear weapons). (remember all these ‘right-wing’ extremists you’re seeing in the press are either a tiny minority or, as here/there, your average UKIP/TEA party types just painted as extremist by the usual left-leaning, and notice how pro-Putin they are in tone and assumptions if not always in words, press).

        You must understand the simple depth of distrust (and even hatred) of a people who were subjugated and faced genocide for seventy years under the tender rule of Mother Russia. They absolutely ‘will not allow it again’ (hear Tymoshenkos ‘nuke them’ comments in ‘that’ light). Remember, Crimea is only pro-Russian because after either killing or deporting all the Ukrainians and Tatars they used it as a retirement home for ex-KGB and senior military (and even then they only got the referendum result they wanted by bussing in thousands of unemployed ex-military Russians on the promise of money and the chance to fight for Russia, and ”stick it’ to some Ukrainians and westerners). As westerners we just can’t ‘Grok’ this, it would be similar if a resurgent fascist Germany tried to take over part of Israel, in feeling at least (how would they react?).

        The simple fact is neither you, the US, or we Brits and the EU, can or will intervene with sufficient military force here to make the slightest difference (or probably any). If, the sixty-four billion dollar question (inflation you know), Putin does intend to take the rest of Ukraine it will devolve into a messy and very dirty guerilla/counter-insurgency war in short order. Even without ‘western aid’ or even ‘encouragement’ the Ukrainians, as I’ve said elsewhere before, are both considerably better tactically, technically and motivationally than the Chechens were and will cause the Russia not some small damage (even in their own supposedly safe enclaves a thousand+ miles inside Russia).

        As you’ve said, ‘our’ perspective should be on bolstering our and our allies defences. On that front, even if the political talking (empty?) heads aren’t saying it, Putin ‘has’ shot himself in the foot much as he has in the energy field. Just as I expect Europe to ‘suddenly’ remember that energy independence is a must have, I expect even our dim-witted politicians to realise cutting military capabilities is tantamount to suicide now.

        Will it make a difference for the Ukrainians? No. For Moldovans, Czechs, Poles, and especially Fins, Latvians and Estonians, yes. Will Germany continue its nuclear shut-down idiocy? Will Fracking suddenly begin in earnest here? Will our never-ending military roll-backs be stopped and a substantial increase begin? I don’t know, but they should.

  10. Bravo Able, I agree with just about everything you said, although you are more optimistic regards our American dimwit-in-chief than I.

    Actually, the looming nuclear arms race in the ME, thanks to the Obama/Kerry dream team’s abetting regards Iran, worries me more than Ukraine and Putin’s ambitions. There we could, rather more quickly than most dream possible, encounter total nutjobs with nuclear capability, much more worrisome than the over-hyped dirty bomb scenarios the press hypes.

  11. Able

    On ‘that’ particular front I have a simple philosophy – support the Israeli point of view, and action.

    They have considerably more, and often better, insights and information, let alone a definitely more ‘pressing need’ to be informed. So if they decide ‘they’ must act all ‘we’ need to do is get a Prime-Minister/President who’ll ‘sic us on them’ in support (even ‘preferably’ covertly – ROEs are so much better that way lol)

    Please don’t tell our gone-native, bought and paid for, pro-Arab FO I said that as they already hate me (it’s mutual).

    • JK

      Well stated Able.

      T’other day over somwhere’s else I asked you “don’t send”?

      Here – I’m a bit more comfortable saying why, not exactly mind but I think you’ll figure it out. The account you are familiar with has been experiencing a “little problem” and the guys from the department advised me to stay away for awhile. Should be sanitized early this new week I suspect. I’ve been “touristing” abit lately too. From the comfort of an orthopedically designed armchair albeit.

  12. able

    Understood but I’ll remain off email until … later.

    As you may have guessed I’m not actually where I said I was, but I’m sort of … across the ‘road’, not far though.

    Paradoxically I can use the interweb more here, within limits of course, since almost everyone is looking .. elsewhere, for obvious reasons. (I’m bouncing through more servers than I care to count and should come up as in the UK, not anywhere specific, just in the .. either that or Amsterdam lol)

    In case you’re interested there were gr’s (duh!) and fs’s (expected) but even sv’s (not normally allowed in cis but I’d say they’re probably pulling all the strings. This is more their playbook than g’s). As for the sp’s? I’ve ‘seen’ evidence that 2nd, 16th (as expected) but also 45th – so what would that say?

    Surprisingly calm here despite all that.

    I’d better get back to my touristing – so many sights to see (and drinks to sample) but never enough time.

    Apologies LB for the cryptic bulldoody but … boys will be … no?

  13. Able,
    Minta and I were talking girl talk the other day, romantic stories and such…. upon her excellent advice, I’m happily reading away, “Assignment In Brittany”…. and serendipitously, here are you and JK talking cryptic bulldoody, rofl. Most of my viewers are from UK and the US, but WordPress so handily displays stats from whence your viewers hail and I have a reader in Brazil of all places, I had one from Russia last week, South Korea sometimes, France, Kenya and some other odd places – a few days ago I had a viewer from Serbia….. it’s definitely a small world after all. Hope you enjoy your touristing.

  14. JK

    I’d surmise a statement as opposed to an interrogatory.

    Still, don’t drink too much – wouldn’t want you taking the wrong buss.

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