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by
Bryan Preston

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March 19, 2014 - 12:24 pm

First, Bosnia. Russia was never happy with how that war ended. Now Putin is stoking separatism.

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik has long resisted any efforts to centralize power in Sarajevo, predicting instead the country’s eventual demise.

He met Russia’s ambassador to Bosnia, Aleksandar Bocan-Harcenko, on Tuesday and said the Serb Republic backed Sunday’s referendum in Crimea on joining Russia as “legitimate and democratic”, in accordance with international law and the U.N.-guaranteed right to self-determination, Bosnia’s Fena news agency reported.

As the Crimea crisis neared its climax last week, Dodik visited Moscow, where he was rewarded by Russian Patriarch Kirill for his efforts “to consolidate the unity of Orthodox nations”.

Ashdown noted an offer by Russia of a loan to Bosnia’s Serb Republic to compensate for a freeze in funding to both of Bosnia’s entities by the International Monetary Fund over stalled economic measures.

Russia stepped in to help Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president, Viktor Yanukovich, with billions of dollars in aid after he spurned a deal on closer ties with the European Union in late November. Yanukovich was toppled by mass protests in February, precipitating Crimea’s secession by referendum on Sunday.

“The actions of offering an alternative loan … to one of the (Bosnian) entities, the action of withdrawing support for a project to join Europe, it cannot have any other outcome but to encourage those who wish to see secessionism,” Ashdown told reporters.

“Is this just a coincidence? Ask the Russian ambassador.”

It’s no more or less a coincidence than Ed Snowden dropping leaks on U.S. intel capabilities from wherever he now lives in Russia. And it’s no more or less a coincidence than Russia going public with this now:

Interfax: Russian diplomat says Moscow considering changing stance in Iranian nuclear talks.

What does this mean? Russia has traditionally regarded Iran as a non-threat to itself, and has traditionally played its influence with Iran against U.S. interests. Iran’s nuclear program is built on Russian technology. While Russia does not want a radical Islamic state armed with nuclear weapons, Russia here is signalling that it will fight any U.S.-led effort to slow down Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Couple that with Obama’s own Hamlet-esque dithering, and the bottom line is that Iran will obtain nuclear weapons. Iran has previously threatened to obliterate Israel. Russia and Iran have an understanding about who their real enemy is.

The American celebrity and media culture that elevated Barack Obama to the presidency is going to have a lot of reality to come to grips with. Presidents have to know more than just college basketball stats and the odd hard-left ideological trope. Their skills must go beyond those of the average insult comic. They have to be more than glib and photogenic. The Russia-China-Iran axis, with junior partners in Pyongyang and Karachi, may be about to make some very consequential moves.

Putin looks set to start too many fires for Obama and his pitiful national security team to deal with. His immediate prize remains, in my view, Ukraine and its energy production. He’ll start one fire over here, another over there, and while those conflagrations get going, he gets what he wants, consolidates, and moves on to his next real target. So far, Putin is overmatching Obama. Badly.

And that’s supposing that Obama really wants to keep Putin in check. That’s not a given.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
"The Russia-China-Iran axis, with junior partners in Pyongyang and Karachi, may be about to make some very consequential moves." - Preston

You are as depressing as Ledeen. But the truth must be known.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
We very much need an administration that understands world history and we don't have one. From the end of the 18th century until the end of the 20th, "the Big Game" called for the containment of Imperial Russia within it's home ports to keep it out of the Middle East and Western Europe. . Great Britain pretty much commanded that role until 1945. After that it became the job of the United States and NATO ( although it was the US nuclear umbrella that was most effective as the Warsaw Pact armies would have torn through the NATO forces in about 30 days ) to keep Russia in check. Putin knows history. He knows that power never respects a vacuum and seeing one in Western Europe combined with the drawdown of the US in the Middle East, he is free to make his move/s. China witnessing the same ( and also knowing history ) in Asia will feel free to move against South Korea and Japan causing the latter to rearm, probably very soon as Abe seems to understand history too.
History is not tolerance and conciliation but aggrandizement and conflict, and conflicts are decided by the strong not the noble. What truly upsets me is not just our leaders but the dull, vague understanding of the significance of geopolitics on the part of our citizenry.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well they won't then either, will they?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Ho Hummm........we have no dog in this fight........
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The danger is that Putin could lose control of his fires and Russia finds itself in the midst of a major war. It might not be with the US and probably won't, but if Putin's strategy causes regional wars, then it will be burned, too.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who is Putin's best ally in the USA? Rand Paul, of course.
http://nyyrc.com/blog/2014/03/the-problem-with-the-pauls/

nternationally, Svoboda is an ally of the far-right National Front in France. The modern Right in France owes much to – drum roll please! – Dugin’s “friend and intellectual mentor” (pg. 10), Alain de Benoist, a writer for Le Figaro and other publications. For the record, relations have chilled a bit between Benoist and the National Front. Still, interparty spats are rarely terminal, and the political Right, backed implicitly and explicitly by the Pauls on various occasions, appears ascendant in Europe. To be Ukrainian today means choosing between Putin (and Dugin and Zhironovsky) and a coalition that includes many of Dugin’s friends on the Right (4/20 Ministers are Svoboda, and Serhiy Kvit is ideologically sympathetic). These facts appear to make Rand’s flip flopping a moot point.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I said this was coming over two weeks ago when Spengler was telling everyone "the strategic consequences will be nil."
Indeed most of what I said would be fallout then has come to pass and I expect the remainder is merely pending.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The Russia-China-Iran axis, with junior partners in Pyongyang and Karachi, may be about to make some very consequential moves." - Preston

You are as depressing as Ledeen. But the truth must be known.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
One fire is twice as many as the insane clown posse that is our gov't can imagine much less handle. Besides, if it doesn't interrupt his tee time, he doesn't know it exists.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank god for his laziness and golfing addiction. He blows trillions while he's "working". The best move the US could make would be to send him on a round the world vacation with $5000/hr call girls in hot tubs full of Crystal champagne.

A trillion = 1000 billion = 1,000,000 millions.

His last proposed budget was 4 trillion.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
so while Putin is planning to reestablish Russia to previous borders, we get b.o. looking to deal with the complexities of an NCAA basketball tournament.

Need anyone say anymore about the seriousness of this man or the media.

And tell me again, since we no longer have NASA with shuttle flights how we intend to get astronauts to the space station, if Russia is the only choice, and why are we paying them a reported $70 Million per flight, or was that $70 Million per person per flight
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Elon Musk who started PayPal, then Tesla Motors has another company Space-X. He has the capability to do a better job of getting astronauts up than even Russia.

He's already doing a lot of satellite stuff. NASA just has extreme safety requirements for him to meet that the Russians laugh at. He'll be certified pretty quickly. If the Russians get snooty, Space-X can take over tomorrow.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
We very much need an administration that understands world history and we don't have one. From the end of the 18th century until the end of the 20th, "the Big Game" called for the containment of Imperial Russia within it's home ports to keep it out of the Middle East and Western Europe. . Great Britain pretty much commanded that role until 1945. After that it became the job of the United States and NATO ( although it was the US nuclear umbrella that was most effective as the Warsaw Pact armies would have torn through the NATO forces in about 30 days ) to keep Russia in check. Putin knows history. He knows that power never respects a vacuum and seeing one in Western Europe combined with the drawdown of the US in the Middle East, he is free to make his move/s. China witnessing the same ( and also knowing history ) in Asia will feel free to move against South Korea and Japan causing the latter to rearm, probably very soon as Abe seems to understand history too.
History is not tolerance and conciliation but aggrandizement and conflict, and conflicts are decided by the strong not the noble. What truly upsets me is not just our leaders but the dull, vague understanding of the significance of geopolitics on the part of our citizenry.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The American celebrity and media culture that elevated Barack Obama to the presidency is going to have a lot of reality to come to grips with."

Unless a nuke lands smack-dab on top of their heads, these folks won't care.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well they won't then either, will they?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
If anything happens, anything at all, I swear to you, I will get very choked up. Honestly, there could be tears.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, yes. There is that.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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