Obama's lack of response is inviting more harassment of US forces around the world
The U.S. military is getting an unwelcome reputation: a pushover.The Iranians and the Russians have been the worst actors, and Obama's lack of response just invites more harassment. The US may need to provide fighter escorts of the spy planes and need attack choppers in the Persian Gulf to take out Iranian small boat attacks.
An escalating series of confrontations on the seas and in the skies around the world is creating the perception that the U.S. is the child who's bullied in school because he doesn't fight back.
Whether it's Iran playing chicken with U.S. patrol boats in the Persian Gulf, Russia buzzing U.S. ships in the Black Sea, or China demanding American ships adhere to phony claims of sovereignty over the air and water of the South China Sea, the narrative seems to follow an all-too-familiar script.
The Pentagon denounces the provocations as "unprofessional," issues a stern warning, and then there are no consequences.
"It's like a mom in a grocery store, or a parent, and the kids are running amok and they say 'stop that right now or else,' but the 'or else' never comes, so the kids behave as badly as they want to," said Dakota Wood, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
"If there aren't any consequences, then the bad behavior just escalates."