Obama Helped Disarm the Ukraine
One reason Putin has been able to impose his will so effortlessly in the Ukraine is the fecklessness of current American leadership. Another is that the Ukrainian military is not in a position to put up a fight – in part due to that same American leadership:
As a U.S. senator, Barack Obama won $48 million in federal funding to help Ukraine destroy thousands of tons of guns and ammunition — weapons which are now unavailable to the Ukrainian army as it faces down Russian President Vladimir Putin during his invasion of Crimea.
In August 2005, just seven months after his swearing-in, Obama traveled to Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine with then-Indiana Republican Senator Dick Lugar, touring a conventional weapons site.
Lugar was an infamous RINO.
The two met in Kiev with President Victor Yushchenko, making the case that an existing Cooperative Threat Reduction Program covering the destruction of nuclear weapons should be expanded to include artillery, small arms, anti-aircraft weapons, and conventional ammunition of all kinds.
After a stopover in London, the senators returned to Washington and declared that the U.S. should devote funds to speed up the destruction of more than 400,000 small arms, 1,000 anti-aircraft missiles, and more than 15,000 tons of ammunition.
Obama’s justification for helping disarm what could have been an extremely valuable US ally at US taxpayer expense was, like all things Obama, farcical:
Obama said then that the existing Cooperative Threat Reduction Program ‘has effectively disposed of thousands of weapons of mass destruction, but we must do far more to keep deadly conventional weapons like anti-aircraft missiles out of the hands of terrorists.’
Much of the Ukrainian small-arms supply was ultimately exported, not scrapped, by a Yushchenko regime that chose revenue from arms dealing over the cost of melting down metal.
In 2008 the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reported that between 2004 and 2007, the Ukrainian Export Control Service told the UN that it sent 721,777 small arms and light weapons to 27 different countries.
So instead of potentially warding off a Russian invasion of the rest of the Ukraine, the weapons are now spread out all over the world – so as to keep them out of the hands of terrorists. The terrorist hotbed Libya imported over 101,000 of them.
To give up all this ordnance, Ukrainians must have thought that someone would take the Budapest Memorandum seriously. This document – signed by the USA, the UK, the Ukraine, and Russia – guarantees the Ukraine’s territorial integrity in return for renouncing nuclear weapons.
Elsewhere in the former Soviet bloc, the missile shield Bush had promised Poland and the Czech Republic to defend them from Russia was nixed by Obama – evidently to curry favor with Russia.
Obama isn’t actually on Putin’s side. But his dopey liberal ideology makes him behave no differently than if he were.