Ill prepared as the Obama Administration may be for dealing with the real-world realities of geo-politics, the fact is they and the rest of the world will not escape the consequences. Like him or hate him there’s no denying that although Putin has achieved tactical advantage there are several risks for Russia as well as the West and here are just a few:
(1) Putin has very limited conventional resources at his disposal; Russia cannot sustain a long campaign.
(2) He is creating a fully integrated bloc that includes Syria, Iraq & Iran (Shiite) offering a significant tilt in the already imbalanced region.
(3) He is simultaneously taking advantage of both the Administrations ineptitude(s), the Presidential Campaign Season and the fact the E.U. is distracted with its own problems (Immigration Horde & Economic).
(4) He has, by his combined movements in Syria, Ukraine and Crimea, suspended whatever solution NATO might have offered.
The great concern here, now that Russia has fully engaged, is the simple truth that as time passes so does the timetable accelerate for Putin and Iran. Their efforts will only become more bold and more confrontational as the move to secure their interests well before the next Presidential election for fear that the next occupant of the White House will be far more hawkish.
Do not be surprised to see a move on the U.S. Carrier Task Force located in the Persian Gulf or (even) possibly the Mediterranean. The current environment is precisely the type where chaos is an ideal false-flag cover for such an effort. Given the abundance of weaponry in the area would anyone truly be surprised?
Curtis C. Greco, Founder