A Time For America to Take Action

Since+becoming+president%2C+President+Obama+has+had+icy+relations+with+Russian+President+Vladimir+Putin.

Since becoming president, President Obama has had icy relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Michael Curran

Since becoming president, President Obama has had icy relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Under his tenure, President Obama has had icy relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

With tension rising in the Ukraine, American leaders are faced with the difficult decision on whether or not to get involved in the region. Recently, President Obama threatened Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, with economic sanctions if they continued to occupy Crimea (a threat that was shrugged off by the Russians), but no decision has been made if America will respond with military force. The majority of the American people do not want another war, especially with a nuclear superpower like Russia, but how much further will we allow Putin to go? With the complete disregard for America’s economic and political threats of isolation, American military action seems to be the only possible solution.

Many of President Obama’s critics blame Russia’s actions on his weak leadership, an unwillingness to assert himself. The President has dismissed Russia as a “regional power acting out of weakness;” however, that is nothing but a cop-out. Russia is not weak, they are the exact opposite which makes this an even more serious situation — Russia and President Putin should not be taken lightly. They have proven in the past they are highly capable of invading and annexing a neighboring country when they invaded Georgia in 2008 and came away with two thirds of their country. Russia’s willingness to take over and Obama’s unwillingness to act leaves the American public in fear of how far Putin will have to go until America steps up to the plate and defends its allies and ourselves. To prevent an even more serious issue, action must be taken, not only to show that America does not cower to Russia, but to protect ourselves and the interests of our allies in Europe who are directly affected by the conflict. Our relations with our European allies are incredibly important and should be preserved at all costs, and if that protection means a portion of our military is stationed in Crimea for a period of time then that is a risk we must take. The Ukraine situation presents a threat to US national security because of the serious rivalry between America and Russia that will only intensify with the continued expansion of Russia.

Russia’s presence in the Ukraine is caused by the anti-government protesters that flooded Ukraine’s Independence Square demanding the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych. Russia capitalized on the political turmoil and unrest that has consumed the Ukraine since the riots began on February 18, 2014. There are many reasons for Russia’s occupation of Crimea, and one of them, according to CNN, is Russia’s need for a warm water port on the Black Sea. Russia’s lack of a warm water port makes trade and travel very difficult, especially in the freezing winter months.

Another theory shared by many people is that Putin is trying to resurrect the Soviet Union and add to Russia’s power. The return of the Soviet Union could potentially present a serious threat to America. The potential rebirth of the Soviet Union should be enough to incite the US to put down the threat before it becomes a reality. By not acting, America not only shows weakness, but it also sets ourselves up for a serious military conflict where each country fighting to preserve its way of life . The potential major military conflict would be caused by the resurgence of the Soviet Union and its want to control as much of Europe as possible. The situation in the Ukraine has set America and Russia on a collision course not seen since the Cold War.  Evidence for a return to Soviet rule is Russia’s continued expansion by taking over neighboring countries and instituting their socialist way of life.

The most recent development in the Ukraine crisis is Crimea’s overwhelming vote to secede and join Russia on March 16. A secession in this manner is deemed illegal by the US and the rest of the United Nations. The White House does not recognize the vote of secession to be legitimate because the vote was “administered under threats of violence and intimidation from a Russian military intervention that violates international law.”  Will the US act on these injustices?

The Russians continue to ignore and defy the demands of the US, showing complete carelessness for the repercussions of their actions. Russian forces stormed Ukraine’s naval headquarters in Crimea and raised their flag over the base. Seeing as though all of America’s economic and political threats of isolation have been completely disregarded by President Putin, the only possible solutions seems to be American military presence in Crimea.

The United States is not only being made to look weak and foolish over this conflict, but the people of Crimea are being victimized by the Russian military, and the US is doing nothing about it. People who believe a problem like this should be resolved through diplomatic discussion, and to only just isolate the Russians (President Obama), are wrong. Our economic threats carry no weight and are not being taken seriously.  Russia has the power to ignore these threats because they are the leading exporter of oil, and the second largest exporter of natural gas, making their economy strong enough to withstand US economic sanctions.  Although these sanctions have somewhat of an impact, they won’t be crippling because Russia exports to countries all over the world, and not just the US. NATO support for US military action and aid from other countries is another issue. NATO is also being made to look weak by allowing Russia to commit these international crimes, and are looking on America to work as the “World Police.”  If America wants to send a message to the Russians that we are taking this threat seriously, and will not allow a nation to be victimized by a foreign super-power like Russia and take action against such an unjust threat to balance in Eastern Europe.