Wednesday, June 27, 2012

So much for "reset"

President Obama won in large part by being "anyone other than Bush".  He promised to bring the troops home out of Afghanistan and Iraq.  He eventually did bring the troops in Iraq home but first increased troop levels in Afghanistan.  He also whacked Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awalki (who still held US citizenship when it was revoked via missile). President Obama also authorized the use of airpower to help whack Muammar Gaddafi (who was whacked old-school via a bullet to the back of the head).  President Obama has also made no bones about potentially whacking Iran if it doesn't knock of the nuclear power wanna-be stuff.  He doesn't seem opposed to taking on Syria as well.

My irreverent review of the Obama Administration was to help better set the stage for the title of this blog.  While President Obama was still the darling of the foreign policy world (read, before he started to assassinate everyone George W. had missed), his administration started of policy of warming relations with the Soviet Union (er, Russia I mean!) called "reset".  (Why American leaders feel the need to give some goofy title to relations with Russia escapes me.  Detente, MAD, even perestroika).  Unfortunately for President Obama, Vladmir Putin has a different vision for Russia.  He firmly believes Gorbachev and Yelstin destroyed the honor and glory of mother Russia and Putin is hellbent on restoring it.  Having grown up as a KGB agent, he still remembers the glory days of the Cold War.  So while the American president was busy picking fights with Islam, Putin has gone old-school with Arctic war games.

USAF veterans will remember Bear bombers constantly testing our air defense response.  It almost become de rigueur for F-15 pilots in Alaska to intercept a TU-95 (pictured above).   The difference was both sides got the Cold War and played their respective roles acceding to script.  The 21st Century versions is more sinister.  The US thinks of Russia as a friend, Russia sees the US as a former superpower that is in its way.  With most of the US military diverted to the continuing crisis in the Middle East, the Russians might just keep bumping nasty with the Alaskan F-15s.  Hopefully everyone will still have a copy of the old script to go by.

The Bear at the Door


GBucello said...

Great point; with all the focus on the Middle East, we did forget about Russia. Thanks for the inspiration - this is going to be my next blog post. I'll link to this article when it's up.

Bob Baylor said...


GBucello said...

Quick update: here's my post, which links to yours. Give it a once-over if/when you'd like: