Specifically, POTUS has been shooting off his mouth concerning Ukraine when he should have been silent. In warning Russia's Putin that there would be “costs” accruing to an incursion into Ukraine he again embarrassed the United States, whose citizens are not about to back his play militarily. Someone suggested such a cost might be his refusal to attend the G-8 Summit in Sochi, Russia, in June. Some cost!
A petulant POTUS refused to attend the games last month in Sochi because Putin indicated his disapproval for and perhaps even a dis-invitation to the games regarding homosexuals. POTUS was in high dudgeon at this affront to his latest gaggle of sycophants, now a protected species somewhat like Jimmy Carter's snail darter that shut down a vital piece of infrastructure back in the day. Ignoring the G-8 powwow would turn Putin around? Stop laughing!
Obama embarrasses this nation any time he says anything because what he says is heard within the context of empty phrases and outright lies. If the current “costs” are anything like the “red lines” he told Syria's Bashir Assad not to cross, they mean nothing. The only time Obama instigated a war (unconstitutional, at that) was when he decided to BULLY Libya into a four-day submission and wound up with seven months worth of the blood of dead Libyans on his hands. U.S.: 1.5 million troops. Libya: 76,000 troops. Those are Obama's preferred odds: 20 – 1.
Russia has 845,000 active troops plus anyone's guess as to how many million reserves. NATO, which is nothing without the U.S., has already indicated that it will do nothing if Putin moves, meaning that Obama is not on board with his own outfit. NATO does nothing without U.S. backing (or instigation) so Obama speaks with forked tongue, one tine for propaganda (for the world) and the other tine for lying (at home).
Putin pulled a fast one in Syria, saving Obama's empty-threat bacon while preserving Assad's WMD. U.S. citizens might have taken to the streets if Obama had undertaken any sort of military action regarding Syria other than sending a few rifles to save face, an empty gesture especially since no one—not even John McCain—knew to whom to give them. As it stands now, the insurrectionists and al Qaeda gangs fight each other to see who will own Syria, while Assad does business as usual, not including transporting all his toxic stuff out of country. Nobody expected that anyway except maybe John Kerry.
The EU has this elephant in its living-room, not the U.S., which has been at war with some entity or other since 2001 and has had enough. EU nations are in even worse shape than the U.S. financially and probably wouldn't risk a face-off with Putin anyway since much of its oil flows from Russia through Ukraine. The UN Security Council has been convened but Russia has veto power over anything that's decided, not that a UN resolution would mean anything anyway. The UN has no army without suckering Uncle Sam into another war. The NATO nations ran out of ammo in the Libya butchery, so Obama spent over a billion dollars on his “little war,” part of which paid for the ammo.
Southern/eastern Ukraine (Crimea) is mostly Russian and would welcome Putin, who already has neutralized the Ukrainian Coast Guard. Ukrainian active troop-strength stands at only 129,950, so any significant opposition would be nil, suicide. None of this means that Putin is right. He's wrong, but his Black Sea Naval contingent is in Sevastopol and his troops have already taken over its airport. In effect, he's already invaded Ukraine. As if necessary, he has his Parliament's permission (the upper house) to make war.
Bush 41 managed to cajole the world into helping the U.S (500,000 troops) throw Saddam out of Kuwait in 1991 (100 hours). In the free world, there's no one of that stature today. Maybe a partitioning of Ukraine is possible. That would seem to be the best approach. Nobody wins, but bloodshed is averted. Otherwise, civil war is more than possible...another Syria.
And so it goes.