“Farkas had no comment Tuesday.” This is the way Politico described the lack of public statements by Dr. Evelyn Farkas yesterday when it was announced by the Pentagon that she would be resigning from her post as top Russian expert serving Barack Obama’s current Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, after Obama “pushed out” Chuck Hagel following his urging of “a stronger American response to Russia’s aggression.”
Farkas is a veteran defense policy expert on Russia and Europe, and she has been one of the most knowledgeable and essential US officials in the continuing standoff with Russia over Ukraine. There is a lot of additional background on Farkas in this Breitbart article.
A Pentagon official commented yesterday that “There are not a lot of Europe experts in this administration who have a long record of accomplishment,” like Dr. Farkas, but he was being diplomatic. In fact, when Dr. Farkas leaves at the end of October, it will leave the Obama Administration with almost no one experienced in dealing with Russia at a time of extreme hostility between the White House and the Pentagon and a looming crisis with Russia in Syria.
Just today, Russia began bombing Syrian rebel forces that the US has spent half a billion dollars supporting and training. There are still Americans with those rebels, and we are in the volatile situation of Russians actively killing (possibly) Americans today, this very minute. And we are in a position for the first time in decades where American and Russian troops may face each other on the ground in Syria at any time.
This is the moment when Obama loses the only Russian expert left in his administration. Is Barack concerned? I doubt it. He still thinks he’s the smartest guy in any room. Should we be concerned? I think we should be terrified.