Aaron Blake / The Washington Post & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com – 2014-03-13 00:18:20
Few Americans Want
‘Firm Stand’ against Russia in Ukraine
Aaron Blake / The Washington Post
(March 11, 2014) — A new poll suggests Americans have very little appetite for any real involvement in the crisis in Ukraine.
Only 29 percent of Americans would like for the Obama administration to take a “firm stand” against Russia’s incursion into its neighbor, according to the Pew Research Center poll, while nearly twice as many — 56 percent — prefer the United States not to get too involved in Ukraine.
Another 15 percent did not have an opinion.
The poll reflects a war-weary American public that is still very reticent to get involved in international conflicts. The American people were similarly opposed to military intervention in Syria last year, despite President Obama calling for the use of force and seeking congressional approval for action.
Few are talking in terms of military intervention in Ukraine right now.
Opposition to getting involved in Ukraine is bipartisan, with at least 50 percent of Democrats, Republicans and independents all expressing opposition to an active role in the crisis there.
The poll follows on a Washington Post-ABC News poll from earlier Tuesday that showed a majority of Americans support sanctions against Russia. But just 28 percent support sanctions “strongly.”
(c) The Washington Post Company
Senate Panel Seeks to Impose
‘Tough Sanctions’ on Russia
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(March 12, 2014) — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has voted 14-3 to push forward a bill seeking to impose what officials say are the “most significant” US sanctions against Russia since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
The sanctions are mostly non-specific, authorizing President Obama to unilateral impose whatever financial sanctions he sees fit on Russian officials that he determines are “to blame” for Crimean secession from the Ukraine.
Some hawks on the committee had pushed for sanctions targeting Russian banks and oil companies as well, but these were not included in the final bill, which will go on to the Senate floor.
In addition to the sanctions, the bill includes $1 billion in “loan guarantees” for the interim Ukrainian government, a move which concerned some senators who say they aren’t clear where that money is going to come from.
Belarus: Russia to Send More Planes
In Response to NATO Drills
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(March 12, 2014) — The Belarussian Air Force is reporting Russia has promised to deploy several warplanes to its country in response to NATO’s war games in neighboring Poland, where the US has sent at least 12 F-16 fighters.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko had confirmed requesting the planes in response to the war games, which he dubbed a “clear escalation” along their border.
The US had couched the deployments to Poland as retaliation for the ongoing secessionist movement in Crimea, and support for the new interim government in neighboring Ukraine.
Russian officials haven’t confirmed how many planes would be sent, but the Belarussian officials said they had requested 12-15 planes in an effort to maintain parity with the NATO build-up in the area.
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