While President Obama and his national security team react to events in Crimea and to Russia
there has been little to no introspection by the US Department of State or White House about where the mistakes were made with regard to Russia.
that perhaps it is time for an independent committee to review the last decade of Russo-American diplomacy to determine when the
United States should have recognized the reality of Putin’s ambitions. Only by studying past mistakes can
future diplomats hope to avoid repeating them.
Also rewatch Rubin’s appearance on
covering US diplomacy with Russia, Syria, and Iran.
Defense and National Security
Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) backed military aid to Ukraine in separate interviews
on Sunday. Sen. Durbin said the Ukrainian military needs “everything from fuel to tires to sleeping bags to meals.” Having recently returned from a trip to Ukraine, Sen. D
urbin also said he wouldn't rule out sending small arms.
The failures of American will that were exposed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are numerous and mounting. Coming on top of America’s tepid response to China’s declaration of an Air Defense
cation Zone over Japanese waters and the withdrawals from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the “red line” in
Syria, these failures have revealed President Obama as a man who not only leads from behind but also marches to the rear. In The Weekly Standard,
that “it would be politically
courageous to call his bluff and find out what cards Putin really holds, but no American
politician seems willing to cover that bet with boots on the ground. That is a crippling weakness as, after a generational vacation from history, post-Cold-War strategic competition begins in earnest, not just in Europe, but across the Middle East and throughout East Asia. Power abhors a vacuum, except when
as we see with Vladimir Putin, Ali Khamenei, and Xi Jinping
power covets it.”
Representative Buck McKeon (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, recently
rejected the Pentagon’s latest defense strategy within hours of its release, saying the 2014 Quadrennial
Defense Review (QDR) failed to meet statutory requirements. While Rep. McKeon intends to introduce legislation requiring another report, the secretary of defense is unlikely to comply.
and Roger Zakheim rethink the QDR in their latest for Breaking Defense. They argue that before deciding how to overhaul the QDR, Congress should follow the recommendation of five former deputy secretaries of defense to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and direct another bottom-up review like that of 1993. Read their explanation
On a visit that was supposed to be nonpolitical, Michelle Obama delivered a message to the Chinese on Saturday, saying in an address that freedom of speech, particularly on the Internet and in the news media, provided the foundation for a vibrant society.
US options for responding to Russian moves are now limited, which is the whole point of Putin's decisive action. But Washington can still avoid a fait accompli in Asia.
to revise the peaceful regional order built on the blood and treasure of America
and its allies. They explain, “China will gain more power and prominence,
so Washington needs an unrelenting strategy with unrelenting execution that guarantees that China is
surrounded by strong independent powers allied with the US.”