One More Time: Bring Back the Twelfth Fleet
by Deacon Blues
The Obama administration is worried about Russian intentions with their recent moves to send military hardware and advisors to prop up Assad in Syria. According to the NYT, the White House now worries that Vladimir Putin is trying to reestablish a military presence in the Middle East, instead of trying to play a helpful role in combating the Islamic State. Oh please.
We are in this mess because Joe Biden and Barack Obama wanted out of Iraq and the region at all costs. Any direct intervention in the evolving Syrian civil war was warily rejected by the President. His now laughable policy of training and arming a small number of resistance fighters to deal with Assad has yielded only enough fighters to count on one hand, while his CENTCOM command structure lies to him about the effect of our pathetic air and remote ground effort against ISIS. And now the White House (and Turkey and our Arab allies) are worried that Putin may take advantage of the situation? Of course Putin is going to take advantage of the situation. It's in his DNA as a Russian nationalist.
As I have argued before, Obama should re-establish the Twelfth Fleet in Greece, Crete, or hell, even Turkey. Since Putin will not change his spots, and since both countries feel they have national security interests and rights to military expansion in the region, no matter how ill-advised that may be, Obama should send the biggest, loudest message possible and bring back the Twelfth Fleet.
He won't, but he should.