Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

March 26, 2014 - 3:48 pm

Republican leaders at the House Armed Services Committee have urged President Obama to act quickly against Russian aggression and pledged to support any show of force by Washington.

Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and the seven subcommittee chairman — Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), Randy Forbes (R-Va.), Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Michael Turner (R-Ohio), Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), Rob Wittman (R-Va.), and Joe Heck (R-Nev.) — sent Obama an open letter and a separate classified letter.

The unclassified letter said the chairmen wrote “with urgency and alarm, based on new information in the committee’s possession.”

“We are gravely concerned about the aggressive posture of Russian forces along the eastern border of Ukraine, as well as reports that Moscow may be making threatening moves towards allies in the Baltics. We urge your administration, working with our NATO allies, to share available intelligence information with the government of Ukraine that would enable it to take prudent and timely measures to protect the very ‘sovereignty and territorial integrity’ that you have committed to maintain. We also believe it is imperative that the United States take precautionary steps to improve the posture and readiness of U.S. military forces in the region, and pursue additional measures to bolster the security of our eastern and central European allies and partners,” the lawmakers wrote.

Those details to which they refer are in the classified letter. Reporters today from Ukraine indicated that the Russian border buildup now includes tanks and troops in Voronezh, 50 miles north of the Ukrainian border.

The Armed Services chairmen noted that the Obama administration has openly acknowledged the “tens of thousands of Russian troops massed near the eastern border of Ukraine conducting ‘military exercises,’ the presence of Russian Spetsnaz special forces in eastern Ukraine fomenting civil unrest and chaos, and the large footprint of Russian naval forces and coastal troops in the Baltics.”

“There is deep apprehension that Moscow may invade eastern and southern Ukraine, pressing west to Transdniestria, and also seek land grabs in the Baltics,” they added. “…Mr. President, you have stated that you ‘are in close communication with the Ukrainian government.’ We would expect this communication to immediately include any intelligence on Russian troop movements and possible attack scenarios into Ukraine, and to provide such information with sufficient time to allow the Ukrainian government to take prudent defense measures to protect its people, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. ”

“We also believe it is crucial that you direct the Secretary of Defense to increase and enhance the alert posture and readiness of U.S. forces in Europe without delay, including maintaining forward-deployed U.S. quick reaction forces. A failure to take such deterrent actions in the face of continued Russian aggression will certainly risk the very diplomatic and peaceful outcome that we all desire. Inaction by the U.S. and NATO will only further embolden Russian military planners, making further escalation more – not less – likely.”

The chairmen add “as we have learned in previous crises elsewhere, if U.S. forces are not positioned in advance to respond to foreseeable threats, the options for senior decision makers become severely limited.”

“To that end, we further call on you to convene an emergency session of the North Atlantic Council, to be led by Secretary Hagel and Chairman Dempsey, and to request that our NATO allies also enhance their force readiness in the event that an Article V response is required,” they wrote. “Mr. President, we still have opportunity to deter Russia aggression, but President Putin must see our commitment to Ukraine and to our European allies and partners.  He must visibly see our resolve, including our military resolve, and clearly understand the costs.”

Separately from the letter, McKeon stressed that “Russia’s war on Ukraine has already started.”

“It is time to stop speculating about possibility, and start dealing with reality,” McKeon said. “Europe will unite behind American leadership. It’s time we demonstrate it. Continued inaction by the President in the face of Mr. Putin’s invasion will make further Russian aggression more – not less – likely. Any show of resolve from the White House will have my full support.”

At a press conference in Brussels today with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Obama said “there is still a way for Russia to work with Ukraine and the international community to deescalate the situation through diplomacy.”

“That’s the only way that the issue will be resolved,” Obama said. “If Russia continues on its current course, however, the isolation will deepen.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
"We are gravely concerned about the aggressive posture of Russian forces along the eastern border of Ukraine, as well as reports that Moscow may be making threatening moves towards allies in the Baltics."

Whether grave concerns about an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Baltic counties be grounded in reality or in paranoia or just in attention seeking, I am about 25 million times more concerned about the successful invasion of America, and tribute collecting from America, by Mexico. Are these "Republican leaders at the House Armed Services Committee" serving in the House of Representatives of America or that of some foreign nation?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (62)
All Comments   (62)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Time for another speech by Obama. A truly weak and despicable man. Bold enough though when he lusts to destroy our health care system.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Congress should immediately defund some useless wastefulness and allocate the money to something military that Russia will very much hate. If they were to do so every time Russia, or China, makes a sortie such actions would be disincentivized. Money talks, BS walks.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Could it be that all of Obama's communist mentors loved Russia? D'ya think?
Could it be that Obama the American Marxist Communist has also been enamored with Russia? D'ya think?
Just as American Communists of old (like Frank Marshall Davis) tried their level best to persuade Americans NOT to go to war with Hitler; could it be that the same MO is alive and well with Putin?? D'ya think?
These American Marxist morons in the WH are having a real bad-hair day with their beloved Putin acting-up. Their backs are against the wall and their little utopia is about to meet reality ... and their hoping like hell Putin won't keep acting-up.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Reminder to self:
Sanctions and tales of Russian economic woes are patently false ... the danger
of planned attacks against Israel and the U.S.A. are being "played-down" and
Putin's ambitions are far more insane than most imagine; we're acting like we've got such great security measures that we don't even have to name an enemy; 'cos we've got them "on the run".
What if Al Qaeda pales in comparison to the most recent terror groups?? After all they have the benefit of years of recon and the power of the world's best KGB agent's resources available to them. Russia/Iran/Syria, an alliance made in hell.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
If I recall correctly, didn't President Obama send a message to Putin through Medvedev just prior to the last election that he would be 'more flexible' after the election? It seems to me that President Putin is simply taking President Obama at his word. The problem for America is that we elected someone whose makes such statements to people leading governments with an adversarial relationship to the U.S. Also, I think that our media seriously failed to make that statement an issue in their vaunted role of 'vetting' our presidents/candidates. The rot starts at the top. I was my son's age when Carter was president; I didn't think America would find a worse one in my lifetime; but it seems when most of the media who are supposedly dogged searchers for truth are in reality advocates for one party, we end up in a real pickle. Thanks Obama, and thanks news media (and people who don't actually seek out information on their own, but just consume whatever crap the network feeds them, if that).
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here's the thing about forward-deploying forces, as you do that it builds up a momentum to use them, and any actual use against the Russians would likely be WWIII. Plus, it's hard to say what forces we have to even do this with. Plus, what about the rest of NATO/Europe?

I think these Republican members of the House should STFU, they are at best playing politics, and at worst playing with fire. We've already got too much of that out of Obambus.

Russia taking Crimea was about a 1 on a scale of ten of events important to the US. Russia taking Georgia in 2008 was at least a 4 - and we did nothing. What if Russia decides they want half of Ukraine, or the whole thing? I dunno, more like a 3, Russia and Ukraine are never really separate, if you ask me. Not to mention, Putin holds 30,000 US troops in Afghanistan effectively hostage, they're not equiped to fight Russian strategic forces, though they could still fight south to the ocean.

Extremely irresponsible by these Congressmen.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Iran...isn't it time for Obambi to return that Nobel Peace Prize?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
THE OBAMA DOLL
You wind it up and it sticks its head up its ass, saying: "Look at me. I'm leading from behind."
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
One more time, with Obama in charge, all those countries expecting the US to act in their defense should recall Prince Matak's letter to the US as the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia:

"I thank you very sincerely for your letter and for your offer to transport me towards freedom. I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion. As for you and in particular for your great country, I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which has chosen liberty. You have refused us your protection and we can do nothing about it. You leave us and it is my wish that you and your country will find happiness under the sky. But mark it well that, if I shall die here on the spot and in my country that I love, it is too bad because we are all born and must die one day. I have only committed the mistake of believing in you, the Americans."

Good luck Europe. I think you might find the cost of your social programs, which gutted your defense budgets, a lot higher than you thought.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Putin practices Realpolitik.
Obama practices Diabolical Infantilism.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you sell adult diapers, take note of those names in the article. There is big money to be made, selling to Republicans! Tell them that the Russians are Tea Partiers, and you are set for life!

I praise President Obama, for taking a really low-key approach to this affair. He reminds me of Reagan, who ususally was allowed to sleep through things of this sort. "Crisis for who?"

Any respnse in this matter, must not be led by the US, BUT BY THE COUNTRIES IN THE REGION THEMSELVES. We let them lead.

Poland, Germany, France , Austria, etc...do you think they are just going to sit around, while Putin attacks the Ukraine? ("The Ukriane" doe NOT include the Crimea, which is Russia's)

An attack, by Russia, on Europes most darling teenagers, the Ukrainians, would be insane. Could happen, sure, but that attack would also be accompanied by Putin hanging himself.

The Republicans are playing politics. Shame.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
"He reminds me of Reagan,..."

Did Reagan go around the world apologizing for our greatness? Did Reagan dedicate himself to dismantling our military? Did Reagan allow the USSR/Russia to flout nuclear treaties? Did Reagan allow Russia to establish naval bases all over our hemisphere?



25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The Republicans are playing politics. Shame."

To Obama everything is politics, except golf and vacations. No previous President, even Nixon, even came close.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
And yet, he is acting correctly, in this case. Hands off.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
About the only time Obama does act correctly is when he does nothing. And you can tell me "hands off" when you become World Pope.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama...IS DOING NOTHING!

I accept your praise of Mr. Obama.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
FCMABBHO is doing plenty.
Among other actions which will result in our loss of power and prestige in the world, he is:

trying to eliminate our Hellfire and Tomahawk missiles;

overseeing a Navy unable to deliver Marines to the battlefields;

the boss of a secretary of defense who loves Iran and Hamas, loathes Israel and is dedicated to eliminating our nuclear capability;

trying to reduce our military to pre-WWI levels;

not protesting Russia's continued violation of nuclear treaties, and

trying to force Israel to make peace with people who want to wipe it off the Earth.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, saying he is doing nothing is indeed the highest praise any honest person can give Obama. He should have done nothing with health care.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All