March 21, 2014

BLOG: America is doing all it can to Russia

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star


The conservative response to President Obama's handling of the Ukraine crisis is a perfect example of what some Americans need to learn about how the world around them works now.

In the weeks following Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion — and that's what it is, no matter what he or any of his political buddies say — and the country's acceptance of the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea as a new Russian state, Republican lawmakers and figure heads have been anything but short in their criticism of the Obama administration for failing to flex American muscle — and oddly full of praise for Putin's supposed qualities of leadership. 

They seem to think that there are more things we can do in the face of such aggression against what many had hoped would be a big steal in Ukraine by bringing them over to the European Union and, who knows, NATO. Even with the strict sanctions, which include travel bans and asset freezes of top Russian politicians and, more crucially, an embargo on a major Russian bank that prevents them from dealing in the dollar, it seems the GOP is prepared for another war, one that makes even less sense than Iraq did.

Because that worked out so well the first time around. 

The sooner we realize where we actually stand in this changing world, the better.

We have to admit it: America is not the beacon of the free world that it once was. Our diplomatic weight is not as strong. Our military might is, but the ability to use it in this new world is more restricted.

And before your mind gets into a tizzy, no, this is not because of Obama's policies. This was going to happen no matter who was in charge.

That's because the America we once knew — the Cold War America that went toe-to-toe with the Soviets — is not necessarily getting weaker, but the rest of the world is catching up. Suddenly China has more influence, Europe is a united front that can pull it's weight in NATO. 

The only way for America to effectively fight this new battle with Russia is economically. The U.S. still stands on very solid financial ground, especially compared to the Russians. Theirs is a much more volatile and vulnerable market. American treasury bonds are still one of the safest investments in the world, while Russia is already feeling the effects of U.S. and EU sanctions. 

If Ukraine wants to go to war with their noisy neighbor, they are within their right and the U.S. should support them with everything short of boots on the ground or planes in the air. This war, in the more literal sense, is one for Ukraine and the EU to fight, not for the U.S.

Are there instances where the U.S. should send troops into Europe? Yes, but we are so far away from that at this stage.