Putin Doesn’t Threaten Our National Security, Obama Does

Putin Doesn’t Threaten Our National Security, Obama Does

Don Feder
American Thinker
March 5, 2014

Vladimir Putin isn’t the Easter Bunny. On the other hand, he isn’t Joseph Stalin. It takes a truly fevered imagination to see Russian forces in the Crimea as a prelude to Russian tanks rolling across Europe toward Berlin and Paris.

Putin is a power player who cares more about Russia’s national interests, and Russian minorities in his near abroad, than in that mythical force known as world opinion. Would that America had a president who cared more about our interests than in promoting globalism and the left’s social agenda.

The Crimea’s population is 60% ethnic Russian. For most of the past 800 years, the Ukraine has been Russian.

An independent Ukraine disappeared in the 12th century. It reappeared briefly after the Bolshevik Revolution, only to be crushed by the Red Army and not emerge again until the fall of the Soviet Union. All of this fuss about the “territorial integrity” of a state born yesterday.

The Russian-backed government in Kiev came to power democratically, but was ousted by the Maidan mob. We’re told that the interim government is pro-Western and pro-EU.

When Reagan was president, the expression pro-Western meant something. It meant pro-representative government, pro-human rights and pro-Western (Judeo-Christian) values.

Today, it means a willingness to accept same-sex “marriage,” abortion on demand, an anti-religion ethos – the agenda of the EU’s cultural commissars – and the economic dictates of the Brussels bureaucracy.

Putin doesn’t want to see the EU — and, possibly, NATO — on his doorstep. Do you blame him? If someone overthrew a democratically elected, pro-American government in Ottawa and replaced it with an interim regime hostile to our interests, that contained neo-Nazi elements and which immediately moved against English-speaking Canadians, it would irritate us too. It would, that is, if there was an American in the White House.

But don’t I care about a possible Russian annexation of the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine (with its Russian-oriented, Orthodox population), conservatives who are still fighting the Cold War ask me? Not really. I’ll tell you what does concern me:

Obama’s hollowing out of our military – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced plans to slash the army’s active-duty personnel by at least another 70,000. Some support aircraft and cruisers are also slated for mothballs. The Marine Corps will lose 8,000 of the few/the proud. In 2013, defense spending was 4% of GDP — taking us to pre-Pearl Harbor levels. The president doesn’t think we need a military, just a marker for drawing red lines.

Obama’s life style-friendly military – If Putin doesn’t take us seriously, is it any wonder? The headline in the March 2 Stars and Stripes beams: “Gay, lesbian troops perform in drag at Kadena Air Base” in Okinawa. The publication disclosed that the drag show was “in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered troops.” Doubtless, this will do much for the morale of the non-LGBT troops. But as then-Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey, Jr. said at the time of the Ft. Hood massacre (which the administration still refuses to call a terrorist incident), diversity is the New Action Army’s most important product. Perhaps we could deploy an elite unit, armed with vibrators, to the Crimea to counter Spetsnaz commandos.

Muslims in the Obama White House – including Arif Alikhan (Deputy Executive Director for Policy in DHS), Mohamed Elibiary (Homeland Security Advisory Council), Rashad Hussain (Special Envoy to the deeply anti-Semitic Organization of the Islamic Conference), Imam Mohamed Magid (Obama’s Sharia Law advisor, on loan from the Islamic Society of North America, with its Brotherhood ties) and Eboo Patel (on the Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships). A Muslim who takes his religion seriously must put loyalty to Dar al-Islam above allegiance to an infidel state.

The suicide pact Obama and Kerry are determined to force on Israel – Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu arrived in the U.S. Monday to the administration’s threats. If Israel doesn’t participate in a negotiated surrender (leading to Jihadistan on its borders), Washington won’t be able to contain the “international fallout,” the White House warned. Unlike the Ukraine, Israel’s territorial integrity is in our national interest, as our only friend in a region with a lot of people determined to destroy us.

Obama’s metastasizing autocracy – We fret about democracy in the Ukraine while Obama treats the Constitution as a series of suggestions. For the president, the three branches of government are him, his pen and his telephone.

Putin is a strong man. Obama is a weak man (except when it comes to bullying our allies). Obama venerates multilateralism. Putin is willing to go it alone. Obama is committed to the entire LGBT agenda (including gay “marriage”). He’s also the only sitting president to address Planned Parenthood, such is his commitment to abortion without borders. Putin believes the foregoing is the road to national annihilation.

Where does the threat to America lie?

Russia is allowed to have 25,000 troops in Crimea…and other facts you didn’t know

Russia is allowed to have 25,000 troops in Crimea...and other facts you didn’t know

Ukraine’s statement at the UN that 16,000 Russian soldiers have been deployed to Crimea has caused a frenzy among Western media which chooses to ignore that those troops have been there since the late 1990s in accordance with a Kiev-Moscow agreement.

Western media describes the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as if a full-scale Russian invasion were under way, with headlines like: “Ukraine says Russia sent 16,000 troops to Crimea” and “Ukraine crisis deepens as Russia sends more troops into Crimea,” as well as “What can Obama do about Russia’s invasion of Crimea?”

It seems they have chosen to simply ignore the fact that those Russian troops have been stationed in Crimea for over a decade.

Russia’s representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, reminded on Tuesday that the deal surrounding the Black Sea Fleet allows Russia to station a contingent of up to 25,000 troops in Ukraine. However, US and British media have mostly chosen to turn a deaf ear.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov underlined that the country’s military “strictly executes the agreements, which stipulate the Russian fleet’s presence in Ukraine, and follows the stance and claims coming from the legitimate authority in Ukraine and in this case the legitimate authority of the Autonomous Republic Crimea as well.”

The Black Sea Fleet has been disputed between Russia and Ukraine since the collapse of the Soviet Union back in 1991.

In 1997, the sides finally managed to find common ground and signed three agreements determining the fate of the military bases and vessels in Crimea.

Russia has received 81.7 per cent of the fleet’s ships after paying the Ukrainian government a compensation of US$526.5 million.

Moscow also annually writes off $97.75 million of Kiev’s debt for the right to use Ukrainian waters and radio frequency resources, and for the environmental impact caused by the Black Sea Fleet’s operations.

According to the initial agreement, the Russian Black Sea Fleet was to stay in Crimea until 2017, but the deal was later prolonged for another 25 years.

The 1997 deal allows the Russian navy to have up to 25,000 troops, 24 artillery systems with a caliber smaller than 100 mm, 132 armored vehicles, and 22 military planes on Ukrainian territory.

In compliance with those accords, there are currently five Russian naval units stationed in the port city of Sevastopol in the Crimean peninsula:

The 30th Surface Ship Division formed by the 11th Antisubmarine Ship Brigade, which includes the Black Sea Fleet’s flagship guard missile cruiser Moskva as well as Kerch, Ochakov, Smetlivy, Ladny, and Pytlivy vessels, and the 197th Landing Ship Brigade, consisting of seven large amphibious vessels;

The 41st Missile Boat Brigade, which includes the 166th Fast Attack Craft Division, consisting of Bora and Samum hovercrafts as well as small missile ships Mirazh and Shtil, and 295th missile Boat Division;

The 247th Separate Submarine Division, consisting of two diesel submarines – B-871 Alrosa and B-380 Svyatoy Knyaz Georgy;

The 68th Harbor Defense Ship Brigade formed by the 400th Antisubmarine Ship Battalion of four vessels and 418 Mine Hunting Ship Division, which consist of four ships as well;

The 422nd Separate Hydrographic Ship Division, which includes Cheleken, Stvor, Donuzlav and GS-402 survey vessels as well as a group of hydrographic boats.

Besides the naval units, Moscow also has two airbases in Crimea, which are situated in the towns of Kacha and Gvardeysky.

The Russian coastal forces in Ukraine consist of the 1096th Separate Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment in Sevastopol and the 810th Marine Brigade, which hosts around 2,000 marines.

Several other coastal units of the Black Sea Fleet are located in Russia’s Krasnodar Region, including the 11th Separate Coastal Missile Brigade in Anapa, the 382th Separate Marine Battalion, and a naval reconnaissance station in Temryuk.

Last week, Russia’s Federation Council unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to send the country’s military forces to Ukraine to ensure peace and order in the region “until the socio-political situation in the country is stabilized.”

However, the final say about deploying troops lies with Putin, who hasn’t yet made such a decision, stressing that deploying military force would be a last resort.

Authorities in the Ukrainian Autonomous Republic of Crimea – where more than half the population is Russian – requested Moscow’s assistance after the self-proclaimed government in Kiev introduced a law abolishing the use of languages other than Ukrainian in official circumstances.