President Obama’s proposed budget for 2015 includes cutting the Tomahawk and Hellfire missile programs the Navy has relied on for years. Russia has been building its military while Obama is dramatically cutting ours back. The problem is Obama’s belief that he can reason with the world’s bad actors. Unfortunately, the bad actors of the world, including Vladimir Putin, aren’t interested in reason, as Allen West pointed out.
Obama follows the school of philosophy of Immanuel Kant who believed that experience is purely subjective without first being processed by pure reason. He also said that using reason without applying it to experience only leads to theoretical illusions — in Obama’s case delusions.
Putin, well, he certainly follows Niccolo Machiavelli and his beliefs, as articulated in The Prince, that violence may be necessary for the successful stabilization of power and introduction of new legal institutions. Force may be used to eliminate political rivals, to coerce resistant populations, and to purge the community of other men strong enough of character to rule, who will inevitably attempt to replace the ruler.
Through these lenses, it’s easy to understand the actions of Obama and Putin. Obama believes that “reason” by way of economic sanctions will influence the actions of Putin. Putin believes he is stronger and is facing a weak opponent whom he can easily thwart by use of violence and coercion to achieve his desired end state: resurrection of the Russian empire. (Read More)
Yesterday Obama said that Russia is just a regional power. Isn’t that what was said in the 1930’s about Hitler before he began his reign of terror? In his speech today Obama pretty much took military action against Russia off the table. Even if one has no plans to use military force, is it wise to let one’s adversaries know that? Won’t the assurances to Putin that he’ll be nice just embolden Putin?
What’s most ironic is that while Obama thinks he can reason with someone like Putin, on the domestic front he refuses to reason with anyone who disagrees with him politically. He’s tougher on Republicans than he is on Russia, China, Iran or any of the other rogue nations of the world. He’s traded national defense and a strong military for a huge expansion of the welfare state. So he should be feeling right at home during his trip to Europe.