Jackson Diehl, the deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post, says that Putin has been quietly winning in Eastern Europe. ”To grasp how Vladimir Putin is progressing in his campaign to overturn the post-Cold War order in Europe, it’s worth looking beyond eastern Ukraine, where the Kremlin is busy consolidating a breakaway puppet state.”
Obama has been congratulating himself on leading a “unified response” by the West that, he claims, has isolated Putin. In reality, a big chunk of the NATO alliance has quietly begun to lean toward Moscow. These governments do so in part for economic reasons: Dependent on Russia for energy as well as export markets, they fear the consequences of escalating sanctions.
That probably won’t bother Spencer Critchley, who writes in the Huffington Post. He believes Obama has transcended the traditional categories of winning and losing. He observes that “President Obama has faced a lot of criticism lately for not being ‘tough enough’ on ISIS. Most of it seems to boil down to this: Why won’t he do what we always do?” What America used to do was ‘win’.
But what if military victory — at least as traditionally defined — is not the primary objective? What if, instead, the goal is to escape the seemingly endless need for military victories — each one ending up so transient and inconclusive?
After all, we’ve been stuck in an entropic cycle of such “victories” (and some defeats) for decades, each one leading to the need for more. To a large extent, it’s been a cycle of support, accommodation and intervention on behalf of governments that can’t, or won’t, take care of their own people. We beat back a threat, and sow the seeds of three new ones. …
People who complain that Obama’s foreign policy has no theme might look no further than this: just like he’s always said, it’s time for a change.
Now there’s a thought. Why not try losing for a change? After all, as Critchley points out: “What Obama’s War Critics Don’t Get: Change Means Change”. Critchley says: