President Obama’s leadership tested over Ukraine

Russian Leader Vladamir Putin
Russian Leader Vladamir Putin

Ukraine conflict reignites Soviet threat

Although the Ukraine is far away from the United States it plays a pivotal role in today’s world politics. After the collapse of the Soviet empire in the 1990s, the Ukraine asserted its independence and became its own nation.  This was a blow to the former Soviet Union that needed the gas and oil that is abundant in the Ukraine. Since the Soviet state no longer controlled these resources, Ukrainian entrepreneurs made a large profit in the energy sector producing over 17 billionaires.

But even though Ukraine was no longer under communist rule, social reforms were not implemented. Corruption and embezzlement was all through the government, which led to the current conflict. The government was overthrown in a popular revolution; however, now Russian forces have landed in an area called the Crimea. Crimea sits on a peninsula and is key for control of the inland ocean known as the Black Sea. Both Russia and the Ukrainian military have significant naval assets in the area. Russia it seems is getting ready to make a move on regaining Ukraine as a satellite state.

The Ukrainian Crisis could very well push America and Russia to the brink of war. Ukraine is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), with many in the Ukraine distrustful of the international military organization. Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych kept Ukraine as a non allied nation.  But now the world turns to the United States for guidance and use of military strength. The seriousness of the Ukrainian conflict is being compared to the Cuban Missile Crisis under President John F. Kennedy. Just as Kennedy had to stare down Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Obama is faced with a tough adversary in Vladimir Putin.  Putin has disagreed with Obama on every major international crisis including Iran, Syria and now the Ukraine. Putin has been openly disdainful of Obama as a leader and a man in both public and private circles, which hurts diplomatic overtures.

But Obama is not a president to be underestimated. He has proven throughout his administration that he will take decisive action. He did it with Somalian pirates, the drone program and the Osama bin Laden raid. America’s military is still strong and the options that Obama can employ including economic sanctions are many. What it means for the average American military family is that once more a loved one is getting ready to deploy.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

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