Supreme Allied Commander for Europe (NATO) U.S. General Philip Breedlove, has reportedly told Congress in classified briefings that Russia has mobilized 80,000 troops for a potential invasion of Ukraine proper. He is reported to have urged more vigorous support of the Ukraine military with communications equipment and intelligence. His superiors reportedly do not share his views.
The pacifist leaders of the U.S., including President Obama, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen have a different approach, seemingly dictated by fear of angering Russian President Vladimir Putin.
As 40,000 to 80,000 troops are mobilized for a potential invasion of the Ukraine, and in any case are in a posture that constitutes a threat of the use of force in violation of Article 2(4) of the U.N. Charter, U.S. military assistance to the Ukraine has consisted, to date, of 300,000 “ready meals”.
These are not likely to anger Putin.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reiterated once again that the U.S. would not use force in the Ukraine, even in response to a Russian invasion.
Aggressors and invaders are never angered and always welcome the pacifist responses of leaders who have chosen the path of appeasement.
Meanwhile, as the U.S. prepares to meet with Russia, the EU, and Ukraine on April 17, they seem not to understand the international law implications of Russia’s actions.
The absence of a distinguished and forceful State Department Legal Adviser (the position has been vacant for over a year) may be in part responsible for the fact that Obama and his administration don’t seem to fully grasp the implications of the Russian invasion and annexation of the Crimea.
Do Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry fully understand, for example, that any agreement with Russia that accepts the annexation of the Crimea, or which is concluded under the threat of a Russian invasion of the Ukraine, would be null and void under jus cogens principles of international law? These include the prohibition of the threat or use of foce against the territorial integrity or political independencev of any state.
Eli Lake, “Key General Splits With Obama Over Ukraine,” The Daily Beast, April 11, 2014 (10:02 am EDT)
The commander of NATO is insisting that the West do more to protect Ukraine from a possible Russian invasion. But the Obama administration has other plans.
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