[W]hat of the defense of freedom, about which Mr. Obama spoke at Warsaw’s Castle Square? The president and his European partners are going only so far as they perceive they can without unduly upsetting Mr. Putin. Mr. Obama announced a $1 billion initiative for additional military maneuvers with Polish and other Central European countries and the prepositioning of equipment — but sidestepped Poland’s request for permanent U.S. or NATO bases on its territory. . . .
Mr. Poroshenko said last week that he hoped for an extensive “lend-lease” program from the United States that would supply the ragtag Ukrainian army with the weapons and training it needs to defeat the Russian-backed forces. He got a promise from Mr. Obama of $5 million in non-lethal equipment, including radios and goggles. It would have been less insulting to have offered nothing. . . .
Mr. Putin will no doubt judge the latest threat according to the rigor with which the last one was enforced. He has not given up his strategy of using force to undermine Ukraine’s stability and to compromise its independence. Given the West’s wobbly response, why would he?