Opinion – Putin dares, Obama dithers | The Economist – John Gelmini

Official Portrait of President Ronald Reagan

Official Portrait of President Ronald Reagan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Putin speaks for himself and decides for himself, but Obama and his entourage have to consult and are told what to do by others who are slow to deliberate and even slower to let Obama act.

This creates gaps, which as Dr Alf knows, can and are being exploited by Vladimir Putin, and by the Chinese who can see exactly what the West is really trying to do.

Sun Tzu said 2,500 years ago that invulnerability could not be replicated, but that to prevail the military leader needed to have no gaps.

In the case of the West, there are many gaps and these exceed those held by others, despite all the rhetoric that says or would seek to persuade us otherwise.

The West wants Assad gone, Syria dismembered, the Lebanon taken down, Iran destroyed, the continuation of the “Arc of Crisis” and Russia and China’s leadership replaced. It cannot say so openly, but the PNAC website does say so as does Paul Wolfowitz in private.

Obama is a failure because he is not up to the job of playing geopolitical chess with either Putin or Xi and should go back to practicing law which he is better suited to.

In the end, Donald Trump has a point when he says that no-one particularly likes America and that under Obama she isn’t respected either.

Under Ronald Reagan, a man criticised for taking naps and being a B-movie actor, America was respected and even feared, so to change the present position there needs to be:
1)Rapprochement
2)Nuanced appeals to youth who represent the future
3)The development of more high-tech weaponry by America so that no-one would dare to challenge her

On all 3 counts, America is failing to engage and in President Obama has the wrong man in supposed charge.

This can change but for now Vladimir Putin is still making the running and has called the West’s bluff.

Perhaps, we can still learn from the Reagan/Thatcher era?

John Gelmini

Opinion – Russia begins airstrikes in Syria; U.S. warns of new concerns in conflict – The Washington Post – John Gelmini

Vladimir Putin is in the driving seat because the West wants Assad gone and is ambivalent about ISIS whose paymasters in the Gulf states are major buyers of military hardware from America, France, Italy and the UK.

By focussing on ISIS, Putin forces the West to make an unpalatable choice, either back Assad or put boots on the ground to destroy ISIS.

This puts Turkey, one of our supposed NATO allies on the spot, and is going to create costs for the EU in the form of more refugees.

Putin can wind his military operations down if the EU and America reduce sanctions on Russia but if they don’t he has no reason to do anything but ramp up his military actions, destroy ISIS and bloody the noses of the Gulf states.

In my book, Putin is running rings round Obama!

John Gelmini