To the editor:
There is an international game of chess being played that will have a long-term impact on world history. This contest is between Russia's Vladimir Putin and our President Barack Obama.
The opening gambit by Putin was to engage Obama in a discussion about the Western power's plan to place a defensive missile shield in Poland. Our president agreed to cancel the plan if Russia would help us slow Iran's march to produce nuclear weapons. Putin readily agreed to this proposition. Our president cancelled the missile shield. This signaled a weak resolve.
Putin's next move was to physically occupy the Crimean Peninsula and declare it will be part of Russia. Obama accepted Putin's bloodless seizure of this priceless warm water port in the Black Sea without a counter move or serious complaint.
Putin then placed his pawns on the soil of eastern Ukraine under the guise of ethnic Russians seeking autonomy from the Ukrainian government. When Obama made some objection to this ploy, Putin moved Russian Army units to the Ukrainian boarded without supporting distance of the "pawns." And, he had a civilian commercial airliner shot down over the area of fighting. This signaled to Obama's Defense Department that they should think twice before sending air support to the legitimate Ukrainian government.
The next move by Putin was to increase the Russian military units at the border. This force is a credible military threat to Kiev and all of Ukraine. The president and his befuddled State Department have made no discernible countermove.
The end game appears to be that Russian skill and preponderance of power on the chess board will be a loss for President Obama and the Western world.

Col. (Ret.) Patrick Delavan