Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Fruits of Smart Diplomacy: For the First Time Since the Cold War, the U.S. Stations Heavy Weapons in Eastern Europe

In a significant move to deter possible Russian aggression in Europe the Pentagon is poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for as many as 5,000 American troops in several Baltic and Eastern European countries
write Eric Schmitt and Steven Lee Myers in the New York Times.
The proposal, if approved, would represent the first time since the end of the Cold War that the United States has stationed heavy military equipment in the newer NATO member nations in Eastern Europe that had once been part of the Soviet sphere of influence. Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the war in eastern Ukraine have caused alarm and prompted new military planning in NATO capitals.
Update: Russia to increase nuclear arsenal as U.S. plans more firepower in Europe.

    Am I the only one who thinks that the world seems to be a far more dangerous place in 2015 than a decade ago?

    I remember when Barack Obama mocked Mitt Romney during the 2012 election, telling him "the Cold War's been over for 20 years."  I also remember him furtively asking Vladimir Putin's protégé for "space" that year, whispering that after said election he would "have more flexibility" with regards to making the U.S. missile defense more palatable to the Kremlin.

    Finally, I remember the enthusiasm in 2008 for getting that dumb, war-mongering cowboy Bush out of the White House, and replaced by a visionary who would make the United States loved and respected again, bringing an unprecedented measure of peace to the world in the process.

    Besides Moscow annexing Crimea (with Russian fighters routinely violating EU airspace), we have Beijing saber-rattling in the China Sea and ISIS capturing one Middle East stronghold after another.  (Yes, I also remember Joe Biden calling the 2011 return of all U.S. combat troops from Baghdad "one of the great achievements of this administration", with Obama declaring "I ended the war in Iraq, as I promised.")

    One might be excused for speculating that far from appreciating the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate's overtures, his numerous apologies, and what Democrats call "smart diplomacy," all sorts of actors have become emboldened and, if anything, are itching for a fight with Uncle Sam.

    During the previous administration, we kept hearing—far from inappropriately— how the latest batch of troubles of the time was "on Bush's watch."  Will no media outlet point out the obvious, that the leftists' feel-good, smiley-face fairy tales about the world ("be nice and talk to everybody, we can all live together") might be at least partially responsible for the the current perilous state of events?