Obama Single-Handedly Takes Down a Brigade of Straw Men, Takes Force Off the Table in Ukraine Crisis

While on his Asia-Pacific tour, President Barack Obama was asked about the "Obama Doctrine" and how it applies to the crisis in Ukraine.

The annoyed president responded by taking even the possibility of using force off the table.

Obama responded to the question, saying "Criticism of our policy has been directed at the failure to use military force. And the question that I think I would have is, Why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force after we've just gone through a decade of war, at enormous costs to our troops and to our budget? Frankly, most of the foreign policy commentators that have questioned our policies would go headlong into a bunch of military adventures that the American people have no interest in participating in. Do people actually think that us sending some additional arms into Ukraine could deter the Russian army?"

Obama did not name any "foreign policy commentators" who are pining to use US military force in Ukraine because there aren't any. Critics have pointed to a variety of things, from unseriousness at the US State Department to Obama's decision to scuttle missile defense with our NATO allies in eastern Europe, but have not suggested sending large numbers of troops to Ukraine to keep Russia from invading. Critics have not slapped the Obama administration for any "failure to use military force" over Ukraine, but for a variety of other decisions and statements, including the decision to send combat ration meals rather than weapons to Ukraine's military.

Critics have suggested sending more than just MREs to Ukraine, as the Obama administration has done, including sending weapons to the Ukraine military. Sending weapons could actually help Ukraine's poorly equipped military defend itself, or at least make Russia think twice about invading. Sending weapons would signal strong US displeasure with Putin's military adventurism without putting US troops at risk or risking a wider war at this point. So far, the Russians have mostly laughed off the sanctions that the US has imposed, and doesn't appear to be impressed with threats of more sanctions. Obama is rejecting the "peace through strength" principle that ended up defeating the Soviet Union, and is only replacing that with brave attacks on armies of straw men.