Alternative Insight|


From United States administrations remarks and media descriptions of Vladimir Putin, the public might conclude that the Russian president is a fumbling, bumbling bureaucrat who has failed in all of his endeavors and needs a makeover. Proven facts contradict these assertions and show president Putin to be an adept leader, who mainly interferes in border disputes with nations that border Russia, is decisive, and gets the task done to his nation's advantage. In contrast, U.S. administrations have intervened in all continents, have rarely, if ever, resolved the situations in which they intervened, have mostly intensified the havoc, destabilized regions and been counterproductive in their efforts -- causing more damage to U.S. interests than what may have occurred. The table below, which summarizes many of the involvements, describes the effects of foreign engagements by President Putin and U.S. administrations.



Indirectly involved in peace process but without power and effectiveness. Directly involved since day one and, after decades, has accomplished nothing.
Not involved Sent troops to Somalia to assist in relieving an almost entirely reduced hunger and became involved in local disputes. After causing Somali deaths, including children. and suffering casualties, U'S. forces retreated. But not before creating anarchy, which led to formation of al-Shabab, another al-Qaeda look-alike.
Not in office and Russia was not involved Large scale NATO operations ended war. Bosnia is now a fragmented nation
Did not favor intervention militarily. Tried to participate in peace process. Intervened with NATO.
Destroyed Serbia.
Kosovo is still not entirely recognized and remains a disputed territory by Serbia and others.
Not involved Has sanctioned Sudan while playing a "behind the scenes" role in assisting Sudan's breakup and aggravating problems with rebel groups. US "diplomacy" has not halted the 20 years of continuous violence, and contributed to the economic and social problems that envelop both North and South Sudan.
After years of a desperate civil war, Putin tool power and resolved the situation
Chechnya still a Russian Republic.
 Not involved
Only took part in diplomatic initiatives Military action formed new government but situation remains unresolved and chaotic after 15 years of involvement.
 Not involved Invaded Iraq, which eventually caused hundreds of thousand of casualties, 2 millions of refugees, led to quasi civil war, ineffective government and the rise of Daesh.
Russia assisted militarily in independence movements. and recognizes both states although much of world still considers them part of Georgia. No Russian troops are stationed within these states and neither nation considers uniting with Russia. Situations are stabilized Some financial and military assistance to Georgia, which proved ineffective,
Abstained in Security Council vote on establishing "no-fly zone" Voted for resolution and supplied surveillance for overthrowing Ghaddafi. Libya is now without a stable government, involved in a civil war and has Daesh elements empowered in several regions.
 Not involved The U.S. has a naval base in Bahrain and has not used that leverage to prevent the Bahrain government from its suppression of its overwhelming Shi'a majority or criticize Saudi Arabia for invading a slice of Bahrain and using its force to quell resistance.As of October 2014, Bahrain is ruled by an "authoritarian regime" and is rated as "Not Free" by the U.S.-based non-governmental Freedom House.
Directly involved since 2014 and has succeeded in turning the batted against ISIS Has assisted rebels and accomplished nothing
Directly involved in local rebellions and has enabled cease fire Has assisted Ukraine, militarily (non-lethal) economically. and politically and accomplished nothing. Ukraine still remains a corrupt and poorly functioning country. In December 2015 the White House reported it "plans to commit approximately $190 million in new assistance to support Ukraine’s ambitious reform agenda." 
 Annexed Crimea without casualties  Not involved
 Not involved Involved for several years in fighting al-Qaeda and assisting Saudi Arabia, which is militarily suppressing the Houthi rebellion. U.S.policies have not prevented Yemen from becoming a tragic mess.

If the facts in the table are accepted, it is clear that President Putin's Russia has, except for Syria, interfered in conflicts that involve the rights and privileges of Russians in neighboring countries. In all of these situations, except Ukraine and the ongoing war in Syria, the battles have been resolved, and the situations have been stabilized, maybe not permanently but quickly and decisively, and with minimal casualties. Because Georgia will never admit to the permanent detachments of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and Ukraine will not recognize Crimea as integrated into Russia, the words "permanently resolved" are not used. Only the insurrection in Chechnya was not settled easily but it was resolved decisively. As for Putin trying to recapture the old Soviet Union, after 15 years in power, Crimea is the lone territory that has been re-attached to Mother Russia.

Debate has not clarified why Russia intervened in the Syria civil war. With almost no casualties to Russian military, Putin's assistance to the Syrian government has halted Daesh's' offensive, and enabled Syrian and Kurdish forces to launch their own offensives and recapture territory. Despite these obvious successes, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 18, 2016, "Their military has only prolonged the civil war, propped up [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] and, as of now, we haven't seen whether Russia retained the leverage to find a diplomatic way forward." Carter has not described the alternative -- without Russia's interference, Daesh would have captured more territory, all of Syria, including government controlled areas and Damascus would be under siege, and the civil war would have entered its final stage -- lasting forever.

Several nations have worldwide interests and been willing to fight to preserve these interests without being sanctioned and verbally attached in the manner in which Putin has been castigated.
France has sent troops to Africa -- Chad, West Africa, Central African republic, Sahara -- when its interests were threatened.
United Kingdom went all the way to recapture the Falkland Islands from Argentina.
Saudi Arabia has fought to preserve its interests in Bahrain and Yemen.
India and Pakistan thrash it out along their borders.

However, no interventions or battlegrounds compare to those originating from the United States and its willing partner, NATO. They go uninvited everywhere, reinforcing the death and destruction and never completely resolving the battles. In the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Sudan, their fingerprints and footprints still linger.

The United States' administrations express concern with Putin's movements in nations bordering Russia.
Putin's principal argument with the western world concerns the provocations engineered by NATO expansion, stationing of troops close to its borders, providing military assistance to nations with whom Russia has conflicts, and establishing missile bases close to Russia under a far fetched pretext of them being used as a defense against Iranian missiles -- sensible argument than any sensible leader of any sensible nation would profess. It is well known, provoke a bear and that bear will become aggressive. So, why provoke?

The United States has severe problems at its southern borders. Although having much influence for more than a century throughout Latin America. the nations of Mexico, Caribbean and Central America remain mainly in poverty, are ruled by oligarchy, or are subjected to excessive criminal activity. Latin America's social problems affect the United States with drugs and refugees flowing across its borders and severe criminal activity operating in its neighbors. Instead of concentrating on borders 5000 miles away, why does not the United States concentrate and resolve the problems on its own borders? Except for Ukraine, Putin has stabilized and quieted the borders of Russia with other nations, which solicits the thought, why not bring Putin to the U.S. and have him do the same for the U.S.?

The score:
Team Putin --6 hits, 5 runs, one error.
Team USA -- no hits, no runs, 13 errors

may 3, 2016