- - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Not many Americans are aware or understand the Obama Doctrine, but it is in full play in the current Ukraine crisis. President Obama’s inept handling of this flash point is not due to his inexperience or incompetence. Quite to the contrary — what we are witnessing is the execution of a planned agenda reflecting his 2008 campaign rhetoric about his promise to fundamentally change America. His doctrine is based on the false premise that dominant U.S. military and economic power throughout the world has been the problem.

With his left-wing background, he views anything that undermines American power as objectively progressive. We saw this in Libya withour non-response to the Benghazi tragedy; the unmentionable “red line” in the Syrian civil war, the ill-fated interim nuclear agreement with Iran, and now President Obama’s handling of the Ukraine crisis.

After all the threats and bluster about severe consequences if Russian President Vladimir Putin did not withdraw his forces from the Crimea, the pathetic sanctions against a few second-tier individuals was mocked not only in Moscow but throughout the world. Compounding this embarrassing situation is Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that Mr. Putin should not take the sanctions personally. Apparently, he hasn’t, since he imposed sanctions on nine of our well-known congressional elites. This would be comical if it were not so tragic.

With his uncontested success in Georgia and now with the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, we can be sure that the weakness of our leadership has only whetted the KGB thug’s appetite. Will eastern Ukraine next? After all, there are Russian-speaking nationals in eastern Ukraine who obviously will want protection from the regime in Kiev, which Mr. Putin declares is fascist.

It is clear the 1994 Budapest Memorandum means nothing to him. It is certainly unclear to Ukraine what this declaration means to the United States and the United Kingdom. After all, these nations joined Russia in reaffirmed their commitment to Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty, provided Ukraine surrender its nuclear stockpile, which it did. Many in Ukraine now regret that decision. Had there been any firm U.S.-led NATO response,which did not even require boots on the ground, Mr. Putin would have reassessed his actions.

Instead, Mr. Obama’s weakness will only embolden our enemies. China, Iran, North Korea and Cuba as well as our allies throughout the world, are all carefully analyzing our response to this clear military challenge by Russia. Mr. Putin has spent $750 billion to modernize both its conventional and strategic nuclear forces, but his military has severe problems. It is a declining military force. Fundamental demographics have the Slavic population in a continuing slump (below replacement level), while its Muslim population is rapidly increasing. Therefore, with a conscript-based military, this population shift has to be a huge concern for the future. What is more disturbing is MR. Putin’s demonstrated willingness to use his conventional forces, plus his preparations to use new small tactical nuclear weapons.

NATO forces led by the U.S. military are more than capable of meeting any challenge from Russia. What’s lacking is political backbone.

When the Obama administration apparently turned down Ukraine’s request for military equipment to defend the nation, it certainly clarified what Mr. Obama meant when he stated he would have more “flexibility” after the 2012 election. “Capitulation” more accurately describes his “flexibility.”

With increasing world instability, the question must be asked: Why is the administration continuing with our unilateral disarmament? It is jeopardizing our national security. The latest budget request reduces the Army to its lowest manpower level since prior to World War II and the smallest Navy since prior to World War I. Compounding this disastrous situation is the social engineering that has been forced on our military, none of which enhances our readiness or capabilities.

There are many other areas of concern, including violating our Constitution as well as the national debt that has exploded under the Obama administration. In the new era of cyberwarfare, it must be asked: Why would Mr. Obama want to turn over control of the Internet to the United Nations with all the negativeconsequences that will certainly follow?

The administration’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose mission is to destroy us from within and replace our Constitution with Islam’s Shariah law, borders on treason. Likewise, there may have been impeachable acts committed leading up to and during the attack on the Benghazi Special Mission Compound. Our non-response further degraded our credibility.

None of these acts should be a surprise as they are all part of the Obama Doctrine to transform America away from its leadership position in the world. What should be a surprise is that none of our elected representatives are taking action to prevent the execution of this disastrous doctrine. House Speaker John Boehner has the power to start the process by appointing a select committee to investigate the Benghazi tragedy. As an American, he must to live up to his oath of office, put aside politics and appoint a select committee.

James A. Lyons, U.S. Navy retired admiral, was commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.

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