Thirty-five years ago, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The president of the United States at the time, Jimmy Carter, had spent years appeasing the Kremlin and hollowing out the U.S. military. He responded by reversing those failed policies.
For over five years, President Barack Obama has pursued a similar approach towards Russia. In the wake of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Crimea, however, Mr. Obama has done little more than express outrage and adopt some inconsequential sanctions.
Putin has now massed forces that could be used at any time to invade still more of Ukraine, and perhaps other countries. There is so far no sign though that Mr. Obama will recognize, as President Carter did, that – among other necessary responses – he must stop dismantling America’s armed forces and begin urgently rebuilding them.