By Sheldon Richman
Obama has dispatched 600 soldiers to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The U.S. Navy has ships present in the Black Sea, an understandably sensitive matter for Russia, which long has had a naval base in Crimea. That may not sound like a large force, but it takes only one soldier to be a tripwire for greater U.S. involvement in this volatile region. Americans should be uneasy with this recklessness on Obama’s part.
… The New York Times reports that Obama “and his national security team are looking beyond the immediate conflict to forge a new long-term approach to Russia that applies an updated version of the Cold War strategy of containment.” But Sheldon Richman writes: “this is bad reporting because, as noted, the U.S. leadership never ended the Cold War and never saw containment as an obsolete strategy. It would brook no rival of any kind, however friendly or regional.”
… The U.S. government’s and news media’s demonization of Putin (who’s no saint) should not be allowed to overshadow the fact that America’s rulers have needlessly provoked the Russians, the coup in Kiev being just the latest example. In 1998, the architect of the postwar containment policy, George Kennan, warned that humiliating Russia by expanding NATO “is a tragic mistake.”
Must we learn this the hard way?
For more on this story, visit: Obama Plays With Fire in Ukraine » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.