Russians in Crimea

Russian Soldier at Simferopol Airport, February 28
Russian Soldier at Crimean Airport, 28 Feb

I guess we could have seen this coming; Hey President Obama – a scorpion is still a scorpion! WH warns yesterday that “we will stand with the international community in stating that there will be costs for any military intervention into Ukraine”.

That means absolutely nothing.  In fact to my mind it conjures up the scene from “Team America: World Police” where Hans Blix tells the Korean Dictator that the UN will write a harshly worded letter.

As of this morning there are 2,000 Russian Special Forces and their air support helicopters are on the ground in Crimea.  The main Russian interest there is their Naval base at Sevastopol on the south-western tip of Crimea, only about 40 miles from where troops were landed.  Without access to that base and port the Russian Black Sea Fleet is in real trouble.  The only access the Russians have to the Mediterranean Sea is through the Black Sea out past Istanbul and through the narrow passages constrained by the Bosporus and Dardanelles.

I can imagine the wheels turning in Obama’s mind right now; “What to do?  What to do?  Play golf?  Go to a fund-raiser?  I’ve got it!  I’ll ‘stand with the international community.’  Ya Mr. President I bet THAT has Putin scared s#!tless!

Here are a few ideas Mr. President – pretty simple stuff really, these are all in the realm of “Strategic Communication” which is what I do these days, and know something about:

1. Withdraw our Ambassador to Washington for “an indefinite period” to “discuss the worsening situation in Ukraine” – that’s the cost of a first class plane ticket

2. Place US forces in Europe on a “heightened state of alert”; that doesn’t have to actually MEAN anything – just openly make the announcement

3. Direct Congress to study what sorts of actions might be taken against Russia in the form of boycotts and other actions – again no cost to that

4. Direct our Ambassador to the UN to immediately meet with the UN Ambassadors there from the UK, France and Germany to “coordinate” an “upcoming trip to Europe” to meet with the leaders of the UK, France and Germany to “discuss the matter”, “should that become necessary” – no cost there

5. Begin a series of “military-to-military” (referred to as “mil-mil”) meetings between US military leadership in Europe and Russian military leaders – the network for this is already well established and used regularly for the very purpose of backing down from thresholds

In terms of ratcheting up military presence:

6. Load out a Marine Expeditionary Unit (about 6,000 Marines) on a “big deck” amphibious carrier group and sail them toward the Mediterranean – there are training and contingency funds already set aside for this sort of thing

7. Increase the US and NATO presence in the Black Sea – an action which would immediately draw the attention of the Russians just as it did in August of 2008 under President Bush (Read about that here http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/28/world/europe/28russia.html)

So that’s just me sitting here in Kabul on Saturday morning with a cup of coffee watching the news!

But the President will do nothing. Even if the Russians seize control of Crimea President Obama will do nothing.

Remember that Obama actually LAUGHED at Romney during the 2012 pre-election debates when Romney stated his opinion that Russia was our most serious international threat.  Remember the line Obama delivered with a chuckle “the 1980s called and want their foreign policy back”?

Russia has no fear whatsoever of the US or the UN, or any of the countries in Europe.

Putin sees the Ukraine as part of Russia and he will not allow them to revolt and turn toward the West.

Our President is a pussy and will not come to the aid of the people of the Ukraine, other than to “stand with the international community” as they condemn Russian aggression.

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Related; “Krauthammer: Obama ‘Could not have issued a more flaccid statement’ on Russian Invasion

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