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Why Obama is betting on "soft power" in the Ukrainian crisis
Material posted: Publication date: 26-03-2014

Spy planes and sanctions instead of a massive military force. This was an Arsenal now to bet the foreign policy of the USA. The Ukrainian crisis will be a test of the effectiveness of the strategy of President Obama.

The current situation for Barack Obama - the most difficult foreign policy crisis of his reign, says Harvard political scientist Niklas burns. "I believe President Obama faces challenges. The first is together with Germany and other countries to respond to aggression Putin in Ukraine," burns explains in an interview with DW. However, according to him, the U.S. face many questions with regard to an "uncontrollable desires of Chinese expansion in the South China sea and the East sea".
Two problems - one conclusion. "It is time for American leadership," says the expert, who was the U.S. Undersecretary of state for political Affairs from 2005 to 2008-the year of George W. Bush. In his opinion, we should convene NATO and "strengthen sovus between Europe and the United States."

Criticism from Republicans

After the Crimean referendum-especially the Republicans are attacking Barack Obama. In particular, Senator John McCain accuses the White house of insufficient rigidity against Putin. Burns, however, warns that a military strike on Russia, which has nuclear weapons, would be fatal. Besides, the expert said, Ukraine is not a NATO member. Chancellor Merkel and President Obama behaved balanced, says burns, when made a bet on "triple punishment": "the First is to support the Ukrainian authorities, financial. The second is to meet our commitments to our NATO allies - Poland, Estonia, Latvia, neighboring Ukraine. Finally, Putin must pay for his illegal actions, and here the sanctions are meaningful. "

Rethinking in Washington

The U.S. Treasury Department becomes a branch of the Pentagon. It introduces economic sanctions and allocates appropriations for reconnaissance aircraft. Intelligent warfare is expensive and protracted military operations is now the slogan of Washington. Moreover, the U.S. did not want to win the war single-handedly. So, in 2011, Obama made a condition for air attacks on Libya the support of NATO and Arab States. When Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown, the Americans did not invest in the development of democracy in an Arab country, what some then considered a mistake.

And last year, when the international community objected to a military strike on Syria, Obama backpedaled. This is a blunder, which he accused Republicans. Fluctuations in the Syrian issue showed to President Putin that the threats the U.S. is not followed by any action, said in an interview with DW conservative Congressman Charles dent.

He says Putin is carefully watching the U.S. in the last five years. "He watched our nuclear negotiations with Iran, watched our actions in Syria. He saw that the United States abandoned the programs missile defense in the Czech Republic and Poland," says dent. Therefore, according to the Congressman, the Russian President saw that the U.S. no longer perform their traditional duties in the world and "there was a certain vacuum that he can fill."

Former diplomat burns also thinks the pullback in Syria a false signal. Because Syria crossed the red line, but the punishment never came. However, burns does not consider this fact a reason to call US "weak" or "naive".

Stable power

Quite the contrary, argues Bruce Jones of the Washington think tank "Brookings Institution": "Given the strength of the American political and economic system, military capabilities, innovation and high technology, rapid growth of population, energy boom, the US remains a stable force on the world stage. "

Not to mention the fact that the U.S., as before, is a state leader in a military point of view. "If you add up the power of the American army and the economy with the power economies of the allies, the West accounts for about 70 percent of the world economy and largest military potential," Washington emphasizes the expert. And somewhat indecisive stance on military intervention is a result of learned lessons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Foreign policy splits

Upon completion of these two military campaigns in foreign policy, the Obama strategy is currently under development, I'm sure Michael Burke with the "Center for American progress" in Washington. This is because in the current era traditional forms of military conflicts are inferior to an asymmetric conflict, military means alone will not resolve them.

The Obama administration is trying to create a network of future partners in cooperation with other democratic countries, make large political investments in Turkey, Brazil, India, and along change foreign policy in the Pacific, particularly toward China.

According to Werke, Obama is in the grip of foreign policy: "Between the old conflicts of the 20th century, that is, Palestine, the Middle East, and future challenges of the 21st century in the Pacific." This transition, he said, would last more than one decade.


Source: Day After Tomorrow

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