Vladimir Putin has interjected Russia in Syria against America’s wishes under the guise of defeating ISIS, and his intentions to prop up the Assad regime is contrary to America’s strategy to the extent that Obama has one.
What are Putin’s objectives? At least an initial objective is to develop a Russian presence in the Middle East that includes alliances with major Shiite nations Syria and Iran, nations with which he already has close relationships. In addition, it is speculated that this Russian action will serve as a distraction, allowing Russia to become more aggressive in taking over Ukraine. Russia, in presenting itself as forming a coalition against ISIS is presenting itself as the major global power broker, pushing the United States out of that role, which Obama has chosen not to assume in any meaningful way. These actions serve to return Russia to its former Soviet Union status, an objective that the Russian people strongly support. This all leads to Putin’s ultimate objective of Russia becoming the dominant global military force, overshadowing the United States. This result would make a Russian pursuit of an American takeover highly likely.
Since Putin, known as a man of action, is aggressively pursuing these objectives, we are confronted with the question, “What will stop him?”
Two factors are required to achieve this task. The first is political will, a leader committed to confront Russian aggression and do whatever it takes to stop it. The second element necessary for stopping Russia consists of the military strength to do so.
Regarding political will, one news commentator made a revealing statement regarding Russian’s recent intervention in Syria by ending her report saying, “And there is nothing anyone can do about it.” This attitude reflected by this reporter’s analysis represents the lack of American will that has been engendered by the Obama administration. On international issues, he has interacted from a position of weakness on every account. Whether this is because he lacks the moral strength to do otherwise or he just chooses not to do so we cannot tell. However, his record leaves us with the impression that in the future he will opt for capitulation over fighting. Putin senses this, smells blood in the water, and consequently is energized to fill the void left by Obama’s weakness.
A major contributing factor to Obama’s incapacity to handle international challenges resides in the difference between his capacity to bully the American people as opposed to global forces. American culture calls us to be law-abiding citizens, which has made us compliant in the face of a lawbreaking President. In addition, in this country he is empowered by a supportive media, a weak and fearful Republican Congress, major support from the judiciary branch, a large contingent of low information voters, and a church that for the most part hides out in the sanctuary. Consequently, he is able to push the American people around at will.
However, he does not enjoy those luxuries on the international scene, and without them he appears to respond in confusion and weakness. Unfortunately Secretary of State John Kerry projects the same confusion and weakness. Obama’s weakness is no match for Putin’s resolve.
Regarding military strength, our armed forces have been reduced by about one third under Obama’s watch, and our equipment is becoming old, with some question as to whether some of our nuclear arms even work. In addition, under the Obama administration the military has been weakened through the loss of good military men and officers, permitting gays to serve openly, and now seeking to put women in combat roles. In the interim, Russia has been building its military forces. Though our military may still have the edge against Russia, in its weakened state and in the face of life and death issues, it may be unwise to test this conclusion.
It would seem that Russia sees a great open door during the remaining 15 months of the Obama administration with a weak willed President and a weakened military. A new President have the personal strength to confront Putin and may rebuild the military. However, that will take time. In the interim, Putin is on the march with nothing to stop him. That does not bode well for our children. Only God can help, and that will require repentance and recommitment to Him.