There are only two Americans in the last century that the Russians truly came to fear. Ronald Reagan and George S. Patton. What Reagan and Patton understood, communicated; and in the case of Reagan, acted upon, was the idea that the Russians not only respect true strength but those who show the ability to use that strength to achieve just means.
General Patton’s exploits in Europe are legendary. Both the Soviets and the Nazis were stunned that Patton did not lead the final assault on the European continent. Patton understood what the true intentions of the Soviets were and unlike Ike, FDR or Harry Truman, had a plan to take them out. Not just deal with them.
Reagan brought down the Soviet Union. Liberals will tell you everything from market forces to the Pope being the reason the Iron Curtain came down. But, it was Reagan; plain and simple. Reagan kept Congress focused, the American public informed and most importantly, made sure the Soviets knew that it was his purpose to bring them down.
They both respected and feared him. The current leadership in Moscow has no such fear of Barack Obama. Do they respect Obama? Who knows? Who cares?
This past week, Obama sent a letter to Russian President, Dmitri Medvedev. Details coming out show that Obama offered to take missile defense off the table in exchange for Russia helping America deal with Iranian nuclear ambition. Medvedev must have read the letter and thanked the corpse of Lenin that resolution of the missile defense issue turned out to be so easily solved. Obama capitulated barely a month after Bush left town.
Oh and let’s not kid ourselves – it is capitulation. What is to prevent Medvedev or Putin from giving a wink-wink-nudge-nudge to the Iranians stating the need for them to abandon their drive towards nukes while continuing to send in supplies and unemployed Russian scientists through the back door? There is nothing preventing this!
Putin and his generals now have the green light to finish what they started in Georgia and to possibly expand into other territories of interest (read: Ukraine). They know that Obama has neither the stomach nor spine to stand-up to them. The American President is not even a paper tiger. That is how easy it will be for them to roll the U.S.
And roll, they will. Medvedev is already replacing Governors in Russia using the recession as an excuse to get rid of old dead wood that aligned themselves with Gorbachev more so than Putin. A corrupt central government has seen exports of gas, oil and minerals shrink. Many factions are fighting for those precious rubles. Civil war is one possibility as is expansion into former Soviet territories. Does anyone believe Obama would do anything to restrict the flow of oil and gas from the Ukraine to Western Europe if the Russians took over power in Kiev?
After just a month into his presidency, it is difficult to gauge how kind history will be to Barack Obama but at this pace it is clear that his international leadership skills resemble Jimmy Carter. No sense of direction, capitulation before confrontation, and a reliance on advisors who are unqualified to provide guidance on foreign affairs.