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Mark Caserta: Savvy leadership can avoid another Cold War

21 Oct


Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot Editor

For nearly eight years, the Obama administration has utilized what has become a signature approach of appeasement and contriteness in dealing with world leaders. And Hillary Clinton’s symbolic “reset” with Russia, as secretary of state, has been met with aggression unlike anything we’ve seen since the Cold War of the mid to late 1900s.


A recent column by Judith Miller suggests that Putin is executing a “clearly defined strategy” to “undermine the West and liberal democracy.”

The column cites experts’ examples of recent actions such as “sophisticated cyberattacks,” “devastating air strikes on hospitals and relief convoys in Aleppo” (despite a U.S. Russian cease-fire) and Putin’s seemingly systematic attempt to “destroy Europe, divide NATO, and restore Russian power and global influence.”

Frankly, the Obama administration is dangerously outmatched in dealing with tyrannical leaders such as Vladimir Putin. Obama’s nave attempts to “talk” other nation’s leaders into submission has been an embarrassing disaster.


In stark contrast, Ronald Reagan understood the concept of achieving peace through strength.

Upon entering office, Reagan determined the U.S. military, under previous administrations, had become worn and antiquated. He saw America as the last stand for Democracy and believed in establishing a position of power to squelch communism.

In March 1983, the “great communicator” spoke on defense and national security and portrayed his vision for protecting the homeland.

“Let me share with you a vision of the future which offers hope,” Reagan said. “It is that we embark on a program to counter the awesome Soviet missile threat with measures that are defensive. Let us turn to the very strengths in technology that spawned our great industrial base and that have given us the quality of life we enjoy today.”

He proceeded to lay out his vision for a Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) which became known as “Star Wars.” The anti-missile system would be a space and ground-based weapons system designed to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles launched toward the U.S.

While SDI was never fully implemented, Reagan’s leadership as commander-in-chief and his tenacious approach to defeating communism helped influence the collapse of the Soviet Union and end the Cold War.

The U.S. is a prize target for many rogue nations. Ambitious leaders across the globe have waited for Americans to embrace weak leaders like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. They know they’re strategically challenged and can be easily out-maneuvered.

It’s time for the U.S. to once again take its place as the world leader of democracy. Tyrants must understand that while the U.S. is hopeful for peace, we will be resolute in defending freedom.

When you’re the United States of America, the only way to ensure peace is to have a military strong enough we’ll never have to use it.

But you must also have a savvy leader, like Donald Trump, with the determination and backbone to leverage it.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Russia’s influence growing at US expense

7 Nov

Is Russia winning the modern day Cold War?


Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

  • Nov 6, 2015

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is rapidly returning his nation to international prominence and easily upstaging the Obama administration in the Middle East. In a recent BBC column, diplomatic and defense editor Mark Urban reports that just one month into Russia’s Syria intervention, it has deployed a strike force of 34 combat jets and 21 helicopters that have conducted approximately 1,000 flying attack missions. He added that U.S.-led forces have averaged around six strikes per day during the last year.

Some may recall when Obama was caught on camera at the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit shaking hands with Dmitry Medvedev, assuring the outgoing Russian president that he will have “more flexibility” to deal with issues like missile defense after the U.S. presidential election. While I viewed this as a ploy by President Obama to protect his re-election from what might be considered poor judgment, Russian leadership viewed it as weakness and an opportunity to restore Russian power.

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In an online U.S. Politics and Policy column in Financial Times by Demetri Sevastopulo, he reports that Russian warships and submarines are operating at levels not seen in two decades, according to the new head of the U.S. Navy. “Their submarine force and their navy are as active as they have been in a long time, 20 years or so,” Admiral John Richardson said in an interview. “How are we going to posture our forces to make sure that we maintain the appropriate balance and are suitably engaged?”

But being “suitably engaged” has never appealed to Barack Obama.

Just last week, despite vowing there would be “no boots on the ground” in Syria, White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed the president’s decision to send 50 special forces troops to Syria in an “advisory” role to help rebel forces in the fight against ISIS.

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This feeble action of sending only 50 men into harm’s way sends a deafening message to our allies and enemies that Barack Obama isn’t taking the war on ISIS seriously. It’s simply a gratuitous attempt to appease critics and could pave the way for Russia to augment its influence and partnership in the region.

It’s been nearly a quarter century since the fall of the Kremlin. Ronald Reagan’s “peace through strength” policies are largely credited for precipitating the downfall of the Soviet empire. But the ebbing of our nation’s strength is creating a vacuum of power other nations desire to fill.

 Will America ever return to being a “shining city upon a hill,” as portrayed by John Winthrop? Well, if it’s to happen, it will require bold, inspiring, truthful leadership – and someone who values the virtues of Capitalism.

And this administration fails on all counts.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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