Now that the administration’s campaign to stop the spread of Ebola and “degrade and destroy” ISIS are going so swimmingly, let’s take a quick look at how Obama is kicking major butt in the rest of the world.
Back in July, I posted on how Hungary was moving slowly and inexorably into Moscow’s orbit. NATO, for the Democrats reading this, is a NATO member. Moscow is not a friend. This is really not a good thing.
Now the Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl reports that the shift of Eastern Europe, particularly NATO members, to a stance of not offending Moscow has reached the status of an absolute route. Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia are all breaking their necks to come to terms with Putin.
Diehl makes this observation:
Remarkably, the wobbling in Eastern Europe comes only a decade after NATO’s big 2004 expansion and a dozen years after Poland and the Czech Republic gratefully and enthusiastically backed the U.S. invasion of Iraq. What happened? As Robert Coalson of Radio Free Europe suggested, one answer can be found in the “open letter” political leaders and intellectuals from those countries sent to Obama in July 2009, when, during his first year in office, he launched his “reset” with Putin’s regime.
“Many American officials have now concluded that our region is fixed once and for all,” the letter warned. “That view is premature.”
Obama, it went on, was making a mistake to put relations with central and eastern Europe on a back burner. The elites rising in post-Soviet countries “may not share the idealism — or have the same relationship to the United States — as the generation who led the democratic transition.” Moreover, Russia, far from being a suitable partner, “is back as a revisionist power pursuing a 19th-century agenda with 21st-century tactics and methods.”
Obama and his aides furiously dismissed those warnings, angrily telling the open letter’s authors they were suffering from “Russophobia.” Five years later, Obama repeats their diagnosis of Putin as his own wisdom. But it may be too late: The “Russophobes” of an expanded NATO have been replaced, in more than a few capitals, with Putin-appeasers.
So, Obama knows more about Easter Europe than the Eastern Europeans.
Surely things are going better in Asia.
In August, Russia conducted military exercises on an island which Japan claims as its own. China has built and modernized a navy that has, at least, regional parity with the US Navy. A soon to be released Congressional report says China is expanding its influence everywhere and building the military might to defend its interests:
China’s decades-long buildup of strategic and conventional military forces is shifting the balance of power in Asia in Beijing’s favor and increasing the risk of a conflict, according to a forthcoming report by a congressional China commission.
China’s military has greatly expanded its air and naval forces and is sharply increasing its missile forces, even while adopting a more hostile posture against the United States and regional allies in Asia, states a late draft of the annual report of the bipartisan U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
As a result, “the potential for security miscalculation in the region is rising,” the report said, using the euphemism for a conflict or shootout between Chinese forces and U.S. forces or those of its regional allies.
The report paints an alarming picture of China’s growing aggressiveness and expanding power, including development of two new stealth jets, the first deployment of a naval expeditionary amphibious group to the Indian Ocean, and aerial bombing exercises held in Kazakhstan.
China’s communist government also views the United States as its main adversary—despite strong trade and financial links between the two countries, the report says.
The task Reagan faced in cleaning up after Jimmy Carter pales by comparison to what the next president will have to contend with after the disastrous reign by an administration of fools and incompetents.