Sen. John McCain echoed comments made over the weekend by former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates that Crimea is essentially lost. Even after ticking off a list of things the Obama administration could do to pressure Vladimir Putin, McCain had to answer in the negative about whether any such actions could reverse the Crimean invasion.
Vladimir Putin's power grab in Ukraine isn't a singular case of revanchism by Moscow. Ambitious states like China — long unhappy with aspects of the status quo in Asia — are watching Mr. Putin and learning how to test their neighbors' resolve.
While perceptions of Western irresolve or weakness don’t necessarily create conditions of instability by themselves, their real danger is that they make aggressive opportunism seem a more attractive path for revanchists like Putin or revisionist powers like Beijing.
The military has been forced to take a "six of one, half dozen of the other" approach that leaves it with no clarity as to its real future sizing or posture, and is unclear how to best reshape itself to deal with new threats.