There is very little we realistically can do to stop Putin’s takeover of Ukraine. First off, we don’t have the political will to act militarily against Russia, and Putin knows it. We have, except for a few exceptions, over the past three administrations, left many of our allies high and dry.
Where we did get involved militarily, our politicians put our soldiers in the field under extremely ludicrous ROE. Our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan did not have a clearly defined, attainable, and realistic mission. The current administration got us involved in Libya and made policy decisions regarding Egypt and Syria – all with questionable results.
The current administration has greatly expanded, not our foreign enemy intelligence gathering capability, but rather our domestic spying against its own citizens, and against our clearly defined allies. Yes, we have always kept an eye on our allies as well as our enemies, but not to the extent that has been revealed recently.
In addition, the current administration has been reducing our nuclear capability, scrapping our policy of creating a literally nuclear missile shield around western Europe, and drastically reducing our conventional military capability (number of trained divisions, naval forces, etc.) – all in favor of relying more and more on drones, and small, well trained special forces to make surgical strikes against our enemies. All the while, this current administration has also been reducing our presence in the world and abdicating it to China and Russia. Power abhors a vacuum. Once we remove our influence from the world and leave it open to whomever, “whomever” usually turns out not to be so nice and creates a worse situation for everyone, including us.
Yes, our military is still a tremendous weapon, but we’ve reduced it’s capability, stretched it to the point of breaking, and turned it into some kind of social experiment. In essence, we’ve crippled ourselves so that no one believes our word to keep our commitments anymore, in fact, our enemies since a wounded and vulnerable prey. They know we are incapable politically and militarily to make good on our promises to protect our vulnerable allies as they watch and wait for our continuing decline.
This administration has made good on its promise to reduce our presence and influence in the world – but to what end result. We are now a paper tiger and all our enemies know it.