Air Force General Philip M. Breedlove, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe and commander of U.S. European Command, provided what the Pentagon called a “command update” during a news conference at the Pentagon on June 30. He said, “For the last 12 to 14 years, we’ve been looking at Russia as a partner. We’ve been making decisions about force structure, basing investments, et cetera, et cetera, looking to Russia as a partner.”
Claudette Roulo of the American Forces Press Service added, “Now, the situation is very different, he said, and there’s a new baseline for the conversation about U.S. capacity and capability in Europe.”
In other words, the U.S. has been caught unprepared for Russian aggression.
This is an acknowledgement of an intelligence failure that ought to be ringing alarm bells all over Washington, D.C. Our Russian “partner” turned out to be an adversary, even an enemy. Why didn’t the CIA see this coming? Russia, after all, isn’t an insignificant country. It has nuclear weapons capable of reducing the U.S. to “radioactive dust,” as Putin’s media mouthpiece put it.
It seems that many in positions of power and influence don’t want to believe what is happening. How did it get this bad?
Leon Panetta, Obama’s former Secretary of Defense and CIA director, is scheduled to receive a “Ronald Reagan Peace Through Strength Award” award from the Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in November. How can this be justified when it is now clear that Panetta seriously misjudged the intentions of Russia?
Yet, the only reporter—aside from Claudette Roulo of American Forces Press Service—who covered General Breedlove’s comments was James S. Rosen of the McClatchy Washington Bureau. And Breedlove’s comments about Russia going from partner to adversary were in the last paragraph of Rosen’s story.
Breedlove described the Russian invasion of Ukraine that is underway, even as Vladimir Putin asked the Russian Duma to rescind an authorization of force to invade the country.
He said, “Russian irregular forces are very active inside eastern Ukraine. Russian-backed forces are active inside eastern Ukraine. And Russian financing is very active inside eastern Ukraine.”
Asked about the revocation of Putin’s authorization to use force in Ukraine, McClatchy reported that Breedlove said, “There is good rhetoric. There are some good words about a cease-fire and peace, but what we see is continued conflict, continued support of the conflict from the eastern side of the border, and until we see those things turn around, I think we need to watch with a wary eye.”
Not only did the Russians lie about being our partners, they are lying about their desire for peace in Ukraine. But Putin’s “peace” rhetoric gets the headlines, not only in Moscow but here.
Breedlove also said there’s “a very good likelihood” that the anti-aircraft artillery used to shoot down a Ukrainian transport plane on June 14, killing all 42 people on board, came from Russia, McClatchy reported.
There is clearly a need for full-scale investigations into how the U.S. was fooled by the Russians into thinking they were peaceful partners of the West. This is a strategic intelligence failure of major proportions.
And if that isn’t bad enough, American Big Business entities, such as the U.S Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, are siding with Russia over the issue of sanctions because of its invasion of Ukraine, as we reported yesterday.
President Reagan would react to a situation of this kind with a strategy to undermine Russia. Instead, the Russian side is upping the pressure on the U.S. The Voice of Russia is reporting that a top economic aide to Vladimir Putin, Sergey Glazyev, is proposing an “anti-dollar alliance” of countries “willing and able to drop the dollar from their international trade.” Such a move would undermine the U.S. economy in a big way, including our savings and retirement funds.
Russia is behaving like the enemy it is.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin, which originally sponsored the international terrorist networks in the Middle East that threaten the state of Israel and even Iraq, is now rushing to the aid of Iraq in its battle with Sunni terrorists. Putin got Baghdad the fighter jets it needed in record time.
It is all for show, since the evidence indicates that al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, himself a Sunni, is a trained Soviet operative. Russia will benefit no matter who ultimately takes control in Iraq because the old Soviet KGB supported both Sunni and Shiite terrorists. But Putin now emerges on the global scene as the savior of the world by arming Iraq. It is a clever strategy that he is able to pull off, because President Obama is content to take a back seat to the Russian leader, and the tendency in Washington is to believe Russian lies.
The United States is proving to be increasingly irrelevant in the world as the forces of freedom fade before Moscow’s dominance in Europe and the Middle East.
Fortunately, some in the media are starting to pay attention to the Western surrender all around us.
The headline in the July 1 National Journal said it all: “ John Kerry Told Russia It Had ‘Hours’ to Back Off in Ukraine. That Was Five Days Ago.”
When the liberal media are mocking the leaders of the Free World, you know America is in trouble.
In addition to Kerry’s hollow threat, the story by Marina Koren noted that Putin’s “formal request” for his parliament to revoke the authorization of force in Ukraine “makes it appear to other world leaders that Putin is indeed working to de-escalate the situation. But the move is mostly for show, and mirrors the Russian president’s other politics in the region this year. Putin, in short, doesn’t need to ask for his government’s approval for Russian intervention. In March, when unmarked troops swarmed Crimea, Moscow denied any involvement, despite considerable evidence held up by many world powers, including the U.S. A month after Russia annexed the peninsula, Putin admitted the soldiers were indeed Russian.”
Putin and the Russians are giving us one lie after another, and the U.S. is responding with empty threats. It is almost as if the U.S. wants to be fooled, a state of affairs suggesting the power of Russian influence operations taking place in Washington, D.C.
It would seem that decisions making the world vulnerable to the aggression of a resurgent Russia ought to be examined and investigated, in the same way that scandals involving the IRS and the VA are getting national attention.
But the national security crisis confronting the U.S. is not even getting front-page attention.
This is a time when conservative media have to step up. A conservative favorite, Matt Drudge of Drudge Report fame, says, “I go where the heat is. I’m a heat-seeking missile. I will go where the action is…”
If this is true, we should expect to see as much coverage of the Kremlin’s grand designs for conquest on the Drudge Report as the illegal alien crisis. “I’m more obsessed with what’s going on with the border these days,” Drudge says. He’s referring to the U.S. border, of course.
It’s true that the borders of Ukraine are far away and many conservatives were fooled by Putin and don’t want to admit it. But this border problem is just as momentous in terms of the ultimate impact on America’s survival.
Drudge did cover General Breedlove’s warning, back in March, that Russia “may be poised to expand its territorial conquest into eastern Ukraine and beyond…” The general has been correct in his assessment of Russian intentions every step of the way.
It would seem that General Breedlove’s comments about the U.S. having been fooled by Russia for the last 12 to 14 years might be worthy of some attention as well. Isn’t that news? And isn’t it a proper subject of inquiry as to why the U.S. bought into the Russia lies—and is still doing so?
Time is running out and the world is burning.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.