Obama And Putin Are Trapped In A Macho Game Of “Chicken” And The Whole World Could Pay The Price
By Michael Snyder
March 6th, 2014
The U.S. government and the Russian government have both been forced into positions where neither one of them can afford to back down. If Barack Obama backs down, he will be greatly criticized for being “weak” and for having been beaten by Vladimir Putin once again. If Putin backs down, he will be greatly criticized for being “weak” and for abandoning the Russians that live in Crimea. In essence, Obama and Putin find themselves trapped in a macho game of “chicken” and critics on both sides stand ready to pounce on the one who backs down. But this is not just an innocent game of “chicken” from a fifties movie. This is the real deal, and if nobody backs down the entire world will pay the price.
Leaving aside who is to blame for a moment, it is really frightening to think that we may be approaching the tensest moment in U.S.-Russian relations since the Cuban missile crisis.
There has been much talk about Obama’s “red lines”, but the truth is that Crimea (and in particular the naval base at Sevastopol) is a “red line” for Russia.
There is nothing that Obama could ever do that could force the Russians out of Sevastopol. They will never, ever willingly give up that naval base.
So what in the world does Obama expect to accomplish by imposing sanctions on Russia? By treaty, Russia is allowed to have 25,000 troops in Crimea and Russia has not sent troops into the rest of Ukraine.
Economic sanctions are not going to cause Putin to back down. Instead, they will just cause the Russians to retaliate.
In a letter that he sent to Congress this week, Obama claimed that the Ukrainian crisis is an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”
Language like that is going to make it even more difficult for Obama to back down.