Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Russia: Another Reason for the Surge

Last week the President made the correct argument that if US troops were withdrawn prematurely from Iraq, we can expect a death toll of civilians on the scale of the post Vietnam Conflict, when millions were slaughtered and hundreds of thousands forced to leave their homes by the victorious communist forces.

Another incentive for continuing the Surge until General Petraeus deems the security situation has improved sufficiently is because of recent provocations undertaken against the West by Russia Vladimir Putin. Cold War type bombers sorties using ex-Soviet aircraft against NATO countries and US Pacific bases have increased alarmingly. Recently a Russian submarine was ordered by the Kremlin to lay claim on rich Arctic oil reserves, in defiance of Canadian, Dutch, and American claims to the region. Putin continues to bully ex-Soviet countries from her old empire, including Ukraine and Georgia.

We recall how the Russian communists under Brezhnev were emboldened after the US retreat from South East Asia in 1975. Even while negotiating peace with then-President Jimmy Carter, the Russians took advantage of our weakness to support the rise of radicalism in Iran, and to invade Afghanistan. All this has carried over to our present day, and is the cause of much of the instability in the Middle East.

For America to fail now and appear impotent before a resurgent Russian Bear can only add to our current woes. By standing firm in this latest trial of democracy, we might outlast another dictator from Moscow as did under President Reagan, while this renewed threat is in its early stages.