WASHINGTON – With cause, The Economist worries about America’s determination to stand up against the bad guys. (Putin in Ukraine, China with its preposterous territorial claims on islands in the South China Sea, Iran with its nuclear weapons plans).
However, a recent The Economist piece commenting on how Putin’s Crimea aggression has (supposedly) injected more resolve into NATO states that 600 US paratroopers sent to Poland and to the (weak and worried) Baltic States for exercises are an illustration of this new fighting spirit.
While this was only a passing comment in the context of a long article, it should be noted as silly. Who is kidding whom, here? Putin has sent 50,000 Russian troops right next to Ukraine’s eastern border with the obvious goal of intimidating the Kiev provisional government. Putin has sent into Ukraine Russians special operations troops in disguise to foment an insurrection.
And the mighty United States does what? It responded by promising Meals Ready to Eat, uniforms and socks, (military issue socks, mind you, not just ordinary stuff), to the Ukrainian army.
And now, just to make sure that everybody knows that President Obama means business, the US sent 600 US paratroopers to NATO countries that have plenty of reasons for feeling uneasy about their security.
Here you go: 600 Americans on this side, versus 50,000 Russians on the other side. And Putin is supposed to be scared? Of this? And do keep in mind that President Obama has already stated in clear terms that the US has no intention to use or even threaten to use force in order to bring the Ukrainian crisis, caused by Moscow, to an end.
And this display of timidity, plus a token 600 paratroopers is supposed to reassure allies and force Putin to change course?