Forget about ISIS. The next big war — war like we haven’t seen in almost 70 years - is shaping in Europe. Nuclear threats have been bandied, and Russia has fully reverted to their amoebic Imperialism of pre-communist days. That our President had to travel to Europe and lay this marker very visibly on the doorstep of Russia should get everyone’s attention - but it doesn’t seem to be.
The direct message came on Wednesday, in Tallinn, Estonia, in the sharpest language any U.S. president has used toward Russia since Ronald Reagan upbraided the Evil Empire. One by one, President Obama repudiated the lies Vladimir Putin has told about Ukraine: that the Ukrainians somehow provoked the invasion, that they are Nazis, that their freely elected government is somehow illegal. He rejected Russia’s claim that it has some sphere of influence in Ukraine, some right of veto over Ukrainian constitutional arrangements. And he forcefully assured Estonians—and all NATO’s new allies—that waging war on them meant waging war on the United States. “[T]he defense of Tallinn and Riga and Vilnius is just as important as the defense of Berlin and Paris and London,” Obama said. “Article 5 is crystal clear. An attack on one is an attack on all. So if, in such a moment, you ever ask again, who’ll come to help, you’ll know the answer: the NATO alliance, including the armed forces of the United States of America, right here, present, now.”
This is the ultimate commitment, given by the ultimate authority, in the very place where the commitment would be tested—and would have to be honored.
More: Obama Just Used the Most Forceful Language Against Russia Since Reagan - Defense One