There Will Be Costs

On Friday, the teleprompter-in-chief read a short statement regarding the deteriorating situation in Ukraine.

The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.

Over the last few days, Russian forces captured key objectives in Crimea, and on Saturday, without a single dissenting vote, Russia’s parliament rubber-stamped a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Mr. Putin has handily outplayed Mr. Obama and his administration on the world stage. The President’s statement that Syria’s usage of chemical weapons “would cross a red line for us” was met with no meaningful response after everybody agreed that chemical weapons had indeed been used. This was apparently just a prelude to the main event. With Russia now certain that the United States and Europe would not intervene, it could invade Ukraine with no fear of reprisals from the West. An impassioned speech from the safety of the White House briefing room does not stop soldiers and tanks.

Teddy Roosevelt is famous for his approach to foreign policy: “speak softly and carry a big stick”. Mr. Obama has already learned first hand the costs of speaking loudly without carrying any stick. Now, Ukraine’s parliament pleads for the US and Britian to enforce the Budapest Memorandum, wherein Bill Clinton and John Major pledged to uphold the territorial integrity of Ukraine in exchange for Ukraine giving up it’s nuclear weapons.

45 million Ukrainians watch as their country is destroyed, while UN ambassadors wring their hands in despair. Without direct and meaningful intervention by the United States and Britian, in accordance with their treaty obligations, Russia will be free to re-establish the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation, and Mutual Assistance, more commonly known as the Warsaw Pact.