After all the big words, its clear the Obama administration wants no part in arming a puny and pathetically inept Ukrainian military. Waging economic warfare is one thing, but handing Kiev guns and ammo is an act of provocation the Ukrainians have proven they’re hardly ready for.
Still unsure of Kiev’s ability to manage operations or exert authority beyond its own network of friends and family, the United States don’t want to get caught backing another losing cause. With a big show of support for the Kooks in Kiev, the United States wisely limited contributions to lunch money and promises to be nearby if the going gets rough.
While 50 billion bucks may sound like a substantial infusion of aid to pave the way for fair and open elections, in reality it’s less than a drop in the proverbial bucket of Ukraine’s financial woes. After that runs out, and it will rather quickly, Kiev will be still standing around aimless and broke.
Besides, if Russia gets its way, the revamped constitution which must precede said elections will give Vladimir Putin most of what he wants for Russia anyway. Presuming Ukraine’s final constitution is worded to meet separatist demands, the likelihood of Ukraine remaining intact after the vote is remote.
Big talking but cautiously walking, the United States and its Western allies must somehow assure NATO’s nervous Nellies, that their asses will be covered if Russia decides to bust a bigger than expected move. While that’s highly unlikely, the propaganda warriors have created more than enough fear to grow that narrative exponentially since the onset of hostilities.
At this stage of the process, the White House has to delicately manage Putin’s penchant for paranoia. Having 40 thousand troops poised to pounce at the slightest sign of provocation, the Obama administration don’t won’t to give Putin the impression the West is closing in on him. Accomplishing this sensitive task won’t be easy, as the administration will be simultaneously charged with quieting its domestic peanut gallery.
If Barack Obama can withstand the building barrage of baseless bitching and bellyaching over his circumspect approach to defusing the Ukraine crisis, perhaps there’s still time to avert an avertable civil war. However, if the White House lacks the discipline required to ignore the voices of unreason and ratchets up the rhetoric and sanctions just to quell a few crazed critics, Eastern Europe is going to have an interesting summer.