If the strongest kid in school declines a fight, his credibility is questioned. Will other tough guys call him out in front of all the other kids? Will other students still look to him as the toughest kid in school when he declines to stand up to the bully picking on the little kid?
The global playground is changing. A recent article in The Economist stated: "Rogue states will behave more roguishly if they doubt America's will to stop them. As a former head of Saudi intelligence recently said of Vladimir Putin's land grab in Ukraine: 'While the wolf is eating the sheep, there is no shepherd to come to the rescue'" ("The Decline of Deterrence," May 3, 2014).
The world watched Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad use chemical weapons on his own people and Russia tiptoe in and swipe Crimea from Ukraine. America's response? Nothing. Threats and warnings were issued, yet nothing meaningful was done.
President Barack Obama is very adamant about using military action sparingly. The United States is in a tough situation when it comes to global affairs. When America intervenes it's condemned for being a bully and not "minding its own business." When America stays out of things, the world wonders if its people only care about themselves.
Whether America takes action or decides not to, the world notices and reads into it. Right now the world sees a sleeping shepherd, and the wolves are licking their chops at what they can gobble up.
Is America truly weakened? What is the cause of its inaction? That is still to be seen. The current administration, for the time being, has decided to not use its military muscle. That is news in and of itself, especially for the global leaders who are sizing up which country will try to rise as the next toughest kid in the schoolyard. (Source: The Economist.)