US, World Still Struggle With How To Respond To Global Threats

As Russia Builds Up Troops, US Steps Back From Threats To Take Action
During classified briefings to Congress, Gen. Phillip Breedlove told members that he wanted to provide detailed information to Ukraine about Russian troop movements and war plans. But, Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, was rebuffed by the Obama administration, The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake reports.

“The General also told the members and staff that detailed estimates of Russian troops showed the number of forces preparing to invade Ukraine numbered 80,000. Other U.S. intelligence agencies and the State Department have said the total number of forces numbered around 40,000.  On Thursday, Breedlove published a set of commercial satellite photos showing Russian troop positions in Ukraine. On his Twitter feed he wrote, ‘Russian forces around Ukraine fully equipped/capable to invade. Public denial undermines progress. Images tell story.’”

So, far, the US has given Ukraine 300,000 meals ready to eat. Meanwhile, Russian military forces are again building up just outside the borders of Ukraine, satellite imagery has shown.

Despite the behind-the-scenes silencing of voices arguing for a bolder policy and the Russian troop movements, publicly Obama has called on Europe to do more to help Ukraine recover economically.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told his European counterparts that it remains “critical that the international community – multilateral development banks and bilaterals – take immediate steps to also support the IMF program by providing financing support, given the sizeable financing needs,”

UN Secretary General Says World Again Failing To Act To Stop Genocide
In an editorial in the Christian Science Monitor, UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon writes that progress has been made to defend human rights since the end of the Rwandan genocide, but that it still has “blind spots.” And he called for the global community to act more aggressively in the Central African Republic.

“The world needs to overcome these moral blind spots. Member states may have rival definitions of national interest, or be unwilling to take on new financial or military commitments. They may be daunted by complexity and risk, or concerned that discussions about an imminent crisis in other countries might one day focus on their own situations. But the results of this indifference and indecisiveness are clear: The bloodshed of innocents, shattered societies, and leaders left to utter the words “never again,” again and again – in itself a sign of continuing failure,” he wrote.

Does The US Still Have The Resolve To Respond To Dictators?
David Rohde of The Atlantic says in a post-Iraq and Afghanistan world the US is reluctant to act militarily to confront autocrats and favor economic sanctions as the primary means of defense.

“A quarter-century after the fall of the Soviet Union, authoritarian rulers such as Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad are showing they can and will defy international norms, suppress dissent, and use military force. American policymakers are struggling with how to respond,” he writes.

In Other News

Independence For Scotland: Looking At Both Sides Of The Argument
Matthew Engle of The Financial Times lays out the case for and against Scotland voting to gain independence.

Bernard Avishai of The New Yorker wonders if US Secretary of State John Kerry has a Middle East plan.

Stating The Obvious
United Nations hints that Crimean vote was rigged, reports Foreign Policy magazine.


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