Johnson Prediction About Putin Proven Right

In light of recent news
reports that Vladimir Putin is now moving Russian arms and troops into
Syria, a recent prediction by U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has been
proven right.

The prediction appeared in the latest edition of The Ripon Forum.
In an essay entitled “Putin’s Push for Power,” Johnson warned
that the
Russian President is not interested in “friendship” with the U.S., but,
rather, is looking for the next “on ramp” to expand Russia’s reach and
influence around the globe.

“In
2009, the Obama administration ‘reset’ relations with Russia,” the
Wisconsin Senator wrote. “Unfortunately, the reset has proved to be a
miserable failure because Putin respects only strength and is adroit at
perceiving weakness and fully exploiting it … Instead of accepting
the West’s outstretched hand of friendship for the benefit of the
Russian people, Putin took advantage of our good intentions to
consolidate his hold on power.”

“As
Putin advances, the Obama administration continues to talk about
offering Putin ‘off ramps. To prevent even greater destabilization in
Europe, the West must realize that Putin isn’t looking for ‘off ramps.’
He’s only biding his time and looking for the next ‘on ramp.’”

Johnson
is Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on European and
Regional Security Cooperation, and serves as Chairman of the Committee
on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, as well. In these roles,
he has become not only one of Congress’ leading experts on national
security, but one of its leading authorities on the growing Russian
threat.

“I
have taken multiple trips to Ukraine and other Eastern European
countries,” Johnson wrote. “I have seen how the pressure that Putin has
been applying in Eastern Europe has increased significantly, as
evidenced by his most recent military aggressions. Putin invaded Georgia
in late 2008 as the West was distracted by the financial system
meltdown and a U.S. presidential election. In 2011, I stood at the new
‘border’ of South Ossetia, just 33 miles north of Georgia’s capital,
Tbilisi, looking through binoculars at the Russian guard post. It was a
bizarre and sobering experience to witness concrete evidence of a
post-Cold War Russian invasion.

“Quick
and resolute reaction by the Bush administration and our European
allies during the Georgia invasion halted Putin’s advance, but he has
not withdrawn. Similar to the ‘frozen conflict’ in the Russian backed
Transnistria region of Moldova, Putin consolidated his gains and then
patiently waited for his next opportunity to seize for Russia what the
Soviet Union once controlled.

“Unfolding
events in Ukraine and the Middle East combined to present that
opportunity. The brave protesters of the Maidan succeeded in
overthrowing Putin’s puppet in Ukraine, a result Putin was loath to
accept — and one that he didn’t. With the new Ukrainian government
struggling to overcome decades of corruption and failed communist
policies, with its military purposely hollowed out by Putin’s puppet,
and with the West distracted by the deteriorating conditions in the
Middle East, especially in Syria, Putin made his move on Crimea.”

Now,
with Russia expanding its footprint in Eastern Europe and escalating
its involvement in the Middle East, Johnson believes it is time for the
Obama Administration to take a stand.

“In
testimony before our committee,” he writes, “experts described Putin’s
actions as an invasion consisting of 15,000 Russian troops on Ukrainian
territory. President Obama should utilize the authority passed
unanimously by Congress to supply lethal defensive weaponry to the
courageous Ukrainians fighting for their territorial integrity and
freedom.”

Johnson’s full essay is available here: http://www.riponsociety.org/article/putins-push-for-power.