Hope and change is easy. Being the leader of the free world is not …
American chief executive Barack Obama gave plenty for his critics to pounce upon when he stated in the Netherlands that Russia is simply a “regional power,” simultaneously declaring Belgium that Moscow have no “global ideology,” as reported by Front Page Magazine on March 28, 2014, and the Christian Science Monitor of March 29, 2014.
Speaking before the world’s press earlier this week in the Dutch capital of The Hague, Obama attempted to soothe European fears of an aggressive Vladimir Putin possibly seeking to expand Russia’s control beyond nations his country borders.
Possibly hoping to regain some of the magic he had in 2008 when he was greeted by hundreds of thousands of adoring Europeans, Obama maintained:
Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors not out of strength, but out of weakness.
Doubling down on his earlier statement, Obama declared on Saturday in Brussels:
This is not another Cold War that we’re entering into. After all, unlike the Soviet Union, Russia leads no bloc of nations, no global ideology. Nor does the United States, or NATO, seek any conflict with Russia.
Regarding his “regional power” comment, Obama must certainly be aware that Russia still maintains one of the largest nuclear weapons arsenals on the planet. A study published in the May 2013 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) estimates “that, as of March 2013, Russia had ‘a military stockpile of approximately 4,500 nuclear warheads, of which roughly 1,800 strategic warheads are deployed on missiles and at bomber bases.”
The BAS also made note of the Russians “modernizing its nuclear forces, replacing Soviet-era ballistic missiles with fewer improved missiles. In a decade, almost all Soviet-era weapons will be gone, leaving a smaller but still effective force that will be more mobile than what it replaced.”
A new version of the Soviet Empire on the horizon …
In spite of Obama’s declaration tjay the Russian lead no bloc of nations or possess a global ideology, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made public last month that Moscow is already constructing military bases in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Vietnam (treaty lapsed, but re-opening base), The Seychelles, and Singapore.
Russia already maintains a military presence in Kyrgyzstan, Transnistria, Armenia, Tajikistan, Syria, and Moldova.
In diplomatic and military circles it is widely known that Russian technicians and support personnel are currently serving Mother Russia in Iran, shoring up their faltering nuclear weapons program. Moscow has also recently inked a deal with Egypt to grant them $2 billion worth of weaponry with “no strings attached.”