Russian officials threatened the Obama administration last week in regards to the new anti-ballistic missile system in Romania. They brought up the possibility of a nuclear war that would destroy the host country and “neutralize” any American-sponsored missile system.
This is just one example of Russia’s recent intimidation tactics, which also includes bullying Sweden, harassment of U.S. ships and planes, warnings to NATO, and constant threats to the Baltic countries.
Russia is not the only country that has recently become emboldened. China warned the U.S. to keep its military away from the South China Sea, where they created an artificial island and military base to control international sea lanes.
North Korea and Islamic State are increasing their usual boasting of a nuclear war on the U.S. homeland, and Iran consistently threatens to close the Strait of Hormuz, a key passage way.
These are reminiscent of the boasts and bullying of Germany, Japan, and Italy of the 1930’s.
What is the cause of the sudden tough talk?
America has lost its deterrence and credibility after the incidents in Benghazi and Syria, failed reset with Russia, the 2011 pullout from Iraq, and slashing of the military.
Obama even claimed that his Syrian flip-flop was one of his prouder moments and belittled some of our allies (Britain and France among them) as unreliable, glory-hogging freeloaders.
Israel has growing doubts of America’s commitment and has formed alliances with some of its longtime enemies in the Persian Gulf over their common fears of Iran.
Given Obama’s lack of initiative and toughness, countries like China, Russia, and North Korea are beginning to believe the U.S. will not do anything to stop their aggressions. Other countries that have relied on America, fear that they will only issue more red lines, deadlines, and step-over lines rather than come to their aid.